Olympics 2016: Swim commentator defends sexist remarks
NBC Olympics swimming commentator Dan Hicks wound up in some hot water — figurative hot water, that is — for some statements he made Sunday regarding Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszú and her husband and coach, Shane Tusup, and is now regretting and further explaining his remarks.
As Tusup cheered and beat his chest following Hosszú’s gold medal race in the 400-meter individual medley — during which she smashed the standing world record — Hicks referred to him as “the guy responsible” for her current success. Online response was strong, with many calling Hicks sexist for crediting Tusup for Hosszú’s win.
Hicks responded in kind, regretting his phrasing while explaining some of the background.
“With live TV, there are often times you look back and wished you had said things differently,” he said to the AP. “It is impossible to tell Katinka’s story accurately without giving appropriate credit to Shane, and that’s what I was trying to do.”
Hosszú tapped her husband to train her following her disappointing performance at the 2012 Olympics in London, but their relationship is notoriously volatile. “It can be very, very harsh,” he said of Tusup’s training tactics during Saturday’s coverage. “In fact, it’s been a little disturbing to some of the other swimmers who have observed it.”
American swimmer and Hosszú’s training mate Jessica Hardy described the pair in a New York Times profile on them, published last week. “I’ve seen a lot of inappropriate and not-O.K. behavior in Shane,” she said. “I’ve seen coaches exhibit that kind of behavior in training, but this is another level. It’s scary.”
“It was an amazing experience to share this moment with someone who I love,” Hosszú said in Rio. According to the AP, she also has acknowledged their interactions at the pool, but says things are much warmer when their relationship shifts from coach-swimmer to husband-wife.
Hosszú, known as swimming’s Iron Lady, will compete in four more events, including two on Monday.