NBC gave Katinka Hosszu‘s Husband credit for her world record swim and now folks on social media are crying foul. On Saturday night, Hungary’s Hosszu shattered the world record in the 400-meter individual medley.
Hosszu’s relationship with her trainer, (who is also her husband,) Shane Tusup, have been described by Hosszu’s former coach, Dave Salo, this way; “I think the biggest issue with her is her husband,” he said. “I think you have to look at her motivation. Is it fear or confidence that is driving her?”
Following a Grand Prix meet in April: After the backstroke, Hosszu avoided making eye contact with Tusup, who upbraided her while swimmers from other teams stared. Tusup continued his critique in the warm-down area, where two people said they overheard him suggesting to Hosszu that she stay in the water and drown. The night ended with Tusup kissing Hosszu on the forehead and pulling her close in a long embrace on the deck. Tusup became Hosszu’s coach at a crucial, delicate moment in her life: Feeling crushed by multiple defeats at the 2012 Olympics in London, Hosszu returned to her previous training spot at USC, emerging with a new competitive strategy, and with Tusup as her new trainer. As the Times put it, “she buried her old self and hatched the competitor who became known as the Iron Lady.” It’s true that Tusup is tied closely to Hosszu’s success—not only as her coach, but as her main pillar of emotional support.
It is not true, as the NBC commentator put it, that he is responsible for her stunning performance. Hosszu is responsible for her victory, and it’s dangerous to perpetuate the idea—in her head, and in the heads of others—that he is essential to her ability to win. As Tusup himself told the Times: “I always say if you find a coach who can make you a step or two better, or if what we’re doing is not working and you think there’s something you need to change, you need to tell me because then I’ll step back, that coach will step in, and we’ll be happy,” Tusup said, adding, “She has that offer to this day.” The Times writes that Hosszu “buried her old self,” as if to imply that she didn’t possess the makings of greatness all along. Tusup may have helped her shine, but if Hosszu does eventually decide that she’d prefer a different coach, I hope remembers that there was only one person, one Iron Lady, in the pool when that record was set, and that no one else can take credit for it. h/t jezebel
Everyone seemed to enjoy watching the women’s 2free except this guy. Calm down man. pic.twitter.com/MyS9x5a9Gt
— Josh Prenot (@JoshPrenot) December 13, 2015
Tusup’s poolside behavior hasn’t done much to quiet his reputation as an overly aggressive hothead, either.