Magnussen admits Olympic mistakes22 October 2012
SWIMMING: James Magnussen admits he made mistakes and could have carried himself better during the London Olympics but says his failure to win a gold medal has made him stronger.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the Games, Magnussen said there were many things he would do differently outside the pool in hindsight after claiming silver in the 100m freestyle final and missing a medal altogether in the sprint relay.
In an interview on the Nine Network's Wide World of Sports, the 20-year-old was also asked about the controversy surrounding he and his 4x100m freestyle relay teammates amid claims of misbehaviour at their training camp in Manchester and suggestions of bullying and favouritism.
Reluctant to comment too much with an independent review into the campaign underway, Magnussen said he and his teammates were simply trying to bond but admitted "mistakes were made".
"I think one thing people need to understand is as a relay team we're often from different parts of Australia, different states, and for the best part of the year we're (rival) competitors," Magnussen said.
"So it is important for us to try and get a sense of team and try and bond.
"Obviously there were some mistakes made. As to the full events that occurred on that night, there's a review by Swimming Australia, all of that will come out.
"... But we learned things at those Olympics. I learned things and there are things I'd do differently looking back on it."
Magnussen said he was largely happy with his behaviour at the Games but believed he took a naive approach into the biggest event of his career.
He admitted his actions during the failed relay - when Magnussen sat slumped in his chair while his teammates were still racing - were not a great look but put it down to shock.
The world champion sprint team of Magnussen, James Roberts, Eamon Sullivan and Matt Targett were heavy favourites to claim gold but finished fourth.
"At the time, my world had just changed in a heartbeat in front of the whole world and it was a whirlwind inside my head," he said of his disappointing opening leg swim.
"I can barely remember the swim itself let alone what happened after.
"The first thing I remember doing is seeing my coach and sitting down saying 'what just happened?'
"As far as it being a bad look, it may have been and if I had my time again I'd do it differently but hindsight is a wonderful thing."
Magnussen has returned to training as preparations commence for next year's world championships in Barcelona.
He said he and coach Brant Best would take lessons learned from the London campaign on the long road to Rio 2016, including enlisting the services of a sports psychologist.
"As a result of that failure - well I say failure but I still got a silver medal which I'm very proud of - but as a result of what happened in the Olympics my coach and I are ready for anything now."