A little international shit talking is something that isn’t particularly prevalent in the Olympic Games. I don’t know whether it’s out of respect, language barriers, or extreme focus, but I, for one, would be quite happy with an all out pool brawl.
The closest thing we’ve come to that is the grudge between Australian swimmer Mackenzie ‘Mack’ Horton and Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.
The 20-year-old Horton bested Yang, one of swimming’s most polarizing figures, in the 400-metre freestyle to win gold. Before the race, Horton took a not-so-subtle shot at Yang by telling journalists: “I don’t have time for drug cheats.”
Yang was slapped with a year-long ban back in 2014 for testing positive for a banned substance, news that was only provided to the Chinese public recently.
According to CNN, the gold-medaling Horton revealed to media how the pre-race swim between Horton and Yang turned antagonizing.
“It got played up a bit, but he splashed me to say ‘Hi’ and I ignored him,” Horton added. “He wasn’t happy about that so he kept splashing me, and I just go in and did my thing.”
After the race, Horton admitted that his antics were solely intended to rattle Yang’s cage. Savage.