Review critical of Australian swimming's 'toxic culture'
OLYMPICS:The review into Australia’s swimming team at the London Olympics has uncovered a “toxic culture” that was not reined in by team leadership.
In a stinging report, culture and leadership consultant Dr Pippa Grange said the London Olympics represented almost the perfect storm of factors leading to a poor team culture, poor results and instances of bullying among team members.
Grange wrote that a focus on individualised training regimes and not team training leading into the Games led to a lack of bonding among athletes.
This lack of team identity was exacerbated by a lack of leadership within the team and external factors such as media pressure, Grange added.
Grange wrote the end result was a “lonely” Olympics for many athletes who simply put their head down and got on with the job, while other athletes experienced issues with prescription drugs, alcohol and bullying.
“The findings of this review were that cultural factors did play a significant role in the unpleasant experience that many Australian swimmers, coaches and staff had at the London Olympics in 2012,” read the report.
“Swimmers seemed to have missed the power of a shared experience, and critically, of friendship. In simplest terms this meant it was a lot less enjoyable than they expected. . . Standards, discipline and accountabilities . . . were too loose.”