Star Olympian James ‘The Missile’ Magnussen is GLAD he missed out on gold at the London Olympics: ‘everyone was pumping my wheels’
- Former Olympian is ‘appreciative’ he didn’t win a gold medal at 2012 Games
- Swimmer James Magnussen said he was heading down a ‘less desirable path’
- Now 31, the 100m freestyle sprinter has turned his attention to a radio career
James Magnussen – Australia’s much-hyped swimmer at the time – was the unbackable favourite going into the 100 metre freestyle final at the 2012 London Olympics.
In a huge upset, he lost to American Nathan Adrian by the narrowest of margins, finishing with a silver medal around his neck.
The margin was an agonising 0.01 seconds, with the Port Macquarie raised sprinter from the NSW north coast left pondering what might have been.
Given the huge media and public swell of support, and personal expectation for gold, you’d expect Magnussen would have been crushed.
Devastated. Or inconsolable.
A decade later, he is anything but upset.
James Magnussen (pictured left) with his silver medal from the men’s 100m freestyle at the London Olympics in 2012
Magnussen (pictured, in 2020) now believes winning gold at the 2012 Games would have sent him down a ‘less desirable path’
In a stunning revelation, he said he is ‘appreciative’ he didn’t win gold in an interview this week.
‘I had all this publicity, all this press and everyone was pumping my wheels,’ Magnussen said on SEN Radio.
‘It affected me in a negative way and I look back and I was headed down a path that would have been less than desirable.
‘I’m appreciative of what that moment (missing out on gold) did for me and the path it set me on.’
Despite not realising his Olympic dream, Magnussen went on to have a distinguished career in the pool.
He bounced back in 2013 to defend his world championships crown and won his first Commonwealth Games gold medal in Glasgow the following year.
Following his disappointment at the London Olympics, Magnussen bounced back to win the 100m freestyle at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Spain (pictured)
Magnussen, 31, has since shifted into radio with SEN in Sydney – and his array of sporting knowledge has been impressive on the airwaves
Magnussen went onto state he has ‘no regrets’ about his career and used the shock defeat in London to motivate him in other life pursuits.
‘I look back on it and I ticked off everything in the swimming world except for that Olympic gold,’ he said.
‘Not everyone gets a fairytale but all in all, I’m very appreciative. ‘Everything happens for a reason, and I think I needed that.’
In recent months, Magnussen has been a regular on SEN Radio, as he transitions to life without swimming goggles.
His array of sporting knowledge has been impressive, particularly when it comes to rugby league.