RETRACTION: Screw Discipline, Embrace Partying

We’ve written about the subject of discipline on a traveling team before and, from the sound of our articles, you’d think we were pretty conservative travelers. You’d think that all the teams we’ve been on have advocated going to bed at ten p.m. the night after competitions are over. You’d think we were boring. This is not so.

We thoroughly advocate partying. Swimming is hard. Swimming requires not just some, but all Friday nights to be spent at home on the sofa, contemplating Saturday morning’s training session. More often that not, it requires foregoing Saturday night festivities as well. Swimming means that you can’t stay up at watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report because they’re on at eleven and you have to get up at five. Sometimes, being a swimmers sucks. So when you can, you should live it up.

Michael Klim decided that it was time to stay up a little past his bedtime after the World Swimming Championships in Melbourne this year. Timed Finals covered the details of the party he hosted, as well as his means of getting around an Australian team function and the punishment that followed, so I needn’t relay the details here. The short version is that Klim decided to get the world’s best swimmers together at a local nightclub so that they could celebrate having taken part in one of the premier events of their swimming careers. In doing so, he (apparently) told Australian officials that it was a family matter that prevented him from attending an Australian team dinner, taking place on the same evening.

I am not sure what the Australian management’s policy is in regards to parties, but I know what it was like between 1998 and 2004. Those guys weren’t allowed to do anything without the consent of their coaches. Attending a party was enough to be dismissed from the Australian team indefinitely. Hosting one would have you brought before the Prime Minister. This, may I add, was a rather different culture to that of the German team during the same period of time who apparently advocated that their swimmers drink red wine. Often.

And now for Swimwatch’s first poll. Since our email address is, it would be stupid of us not to embrace voting every once and a while:

There are reports that Klim lied to his team in order to be free to host his party. While swimmers shouldn’t lie to their coaches, they shouldn’t be put in the type of position where they’re required to. The three best coaches I’ve ever known were in complete support of what we called “after match functions”; the only stipulation they put on our post-swimming festivities was that we not hurt or embarrass ourselves. With these two criteria in mind, it was still very easy to have a great time.

So now it’s your turn. Swimwatch wants to know about the best and worst swimming parties you’ve ever attended. Or heard about. We’ll add our input in the comments, too. Where did they take place? Why were they so good? Why so bad? Do you have photographs? Are those photographs on Flickr? Can we see? Add your anecdotes in the comments. The best story gets a Swimwatch premium membership. No; seriously.