A video that captured Australian swimmer Cate Campbell boasting about her triumph over the U.S. team at the 2023 World Championships in Japan has sparked a firestorm of reactions. The clip, where Campbell declares, “Such, such, sore losers,” referring to the U.S. team, went viral, drawing attention from sports enthusiasts, social media, and even Olympic legend Michael Phelps.

In the controversial video, Campbell expressed sheer delight in defeating the U.S. team. “Australia coming out on top is one thing, but it is just so much sweeter beating America. There were a couple of nights, particularly the first night of competition, where we did not have to hear the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ ring out through the stadium and I cannot tell you how happy that made me,” Campbell said. She boldly added, “If I never hear that song again it will be too soon. Bring on Paris, that’s all I have to say. U.S., stop being sore losers.”

The Australian team had an impressive run at the championships, securing 15 gold medals, significantly outperforming Team USA, who garnered eight fewer golds.

The statement did not sit well with many, including Phelps, who criticized Campbell for her lack of respect. “If somebody said that to me, I would lose it,” Phelps commented. “I would make them eat every word they just said about me. Cause people have done it. Chad le Clos, [Ian] Thorpe. You guys have all talked sh-t about me and I had the last laugh.”

Ironically, Campbell’s path took a dramatic turn when she failed to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. She finished seventh in the 50m freestyle at the Australian Swimming Trials, a result that visibly devastated her. After the trials, an emotional Campbell shared with Channel 9, “It’s bitter-sweet. I had hoped for the fairytale ending and it’s what I had worked for and what I felt I was capable of, and unfortunately my body just said, ‘No.’”

With this, Campbell also announced the end of her competitive swimming career, reflecting on her journey. “Swimming is one of the most grueling sports out there and I have been at it a very, very long time,” she remarked. “This is the end and it’s a perfect way to exit the pool. I would have loved that fairytale ending more than anything else, but I can now sit back and reflect on a wonderful career, I can leave the sport with my head held really high.”

As the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris approach, fans and athletes alike will miss the rivalry that once spurred such controversial but competitive spirit. Meanwhile, stars like Simone Biles, who has overcome her own battles, will continue to inspire millions on the global stage, embodying resilience and advocating for crucial issues like mental health.



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