By: Oliver Chen
Sometimes when we’re passionate about a competitive talent of ours, our enthusiasm is mistaken for the desire to pursue fame. And although in some instances, people do use their skills for the recognition, this is not the case for swimming world record-holder Ariarne Titmus.
Last Saturday, during the woman’s 400-meter freestyle final at the swimming world championships in Budapest, the record holder, and Olympic champ, was fast asleep on the other side of the globe. Even when presented with the prospect of going against her rival, 15-time world champion Kate Ledecky— whom she beat for the 400m world record at the Australian swimming trials— Ariarne chose to stay home.
When asked why she wouldn’t be at the meet, Titmus responded, “I just really wanted to think about the long term. And I really don’t care — it doesn’t bother me that I’m not going to be in the headlines or the media or the spotlight when the world championships are on. That’s not why I swim. I swim because I love it and I want to perform on the biggest stage, which for me is the Olympic Games.”
Although this may prove to be a bit of a disappointment to some who were looking forward to another showdown between Titmus and Ledecky for first, what’s important is that it displays Titmus’ genuine love and enthusiasm for her sport.