Aussie Olympic swimmers needed a history lesson

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Disappointing performances by Australia’s swimmers at the 2012 London Olympics might have been partly due to a poor understanding of the history and strong traditions of their predecessors.

Olympic historian Harry Gordon believes a better knowledge of the spirit of Australian teams at past Games might have helped prevent the internal ruptures in London that left the swimmers bringing home only one gold medal, from the 4x100m women’s freestyle relay.

“A lack of respect for the past converted into a lack of inspiration,” Gordon said at the launch of his latest book From Athens With Pride – The Official History of the Australian Olympic Movement 1894-2014.

Gordon, the Australian Olympic Committee’s (AOC) official historian since 1992, quoted late friend and AFL coaching great Allan Jeans: “To know where you are going, you need to know where you have been.”

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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