Aussie Swimmer Snipes At U.S. After World Championships: ‘So Much Sweeter Beating America’

She accused the Americans of being "sore losers."
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 20: Swimmer Cate Campbell speaks during a media opportunity during the Australian Paris 2024 Olympic Games Team Processing Session at Deloitte Offices Riverside Centre on June 20, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Australian swimmer Cate Campbell trashed the United States after last week’s World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, saying that not hearing the American national anthem on the first day of competition made her “happy.”

Campbell, who did not even compete in Fukuoka after sitting out the trials in Melbourne in mid-June, took several swipes at the United States in an interview that aired on Australia’s Channel 9. She claimed that the American swimmers were “sore losers” and said that even though China bested both the U.S. and Australia in the total gold medal count, she was just happy to see the Americans take a back seat.

“Australia coming out on top of the world is one thing, but it is just so much sweeter beating America. The first night of competition, we did not have to hear ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ ring out through the stadium. I cannot tell you how happy that made me,” Campbell said. “If I hear that song again it will be too soon. Bring on Paris (2024 Olympics). That’s all I have to say to the U.S. Stop being sore losers.”

Campbell went on to complain about another U.S. team tradition — a cowbell that they ring as team members walk out for their events.

“The U.S. have this internal cowbell they ring. As someone leaves to go to the competition pool, they ring out, ‘USA, USA,'” she said. “I have never wanted to punch someone more and steal the cowbell. I really hope someone did.”

American Olympian Lilly King (breaststroke) fired back at Campbell in a tweet, saying, “Sorry we aren’t so uptight we can’t cheer for our teammates as they walkout for events. See you in Paris.”

The 2023 World Aquatics Championships marked the first time since 2001 that the United States did not top the gold medal count: China finished with 20, Australia with 15, and the United States with seven. The U.S. won the overall medal count, however, with 44 (seven gold, 22 silver, 15 bronze) — China finished with 40 medals (20 gold, eight silver, 12 bronze), and Australia finished third with 30 medals (15 gold, nine silver, six bronze) in total.

As for the Americans being sore losers, if veteran world champion Michael Phelps is any indication, Campbell has it all wrong.

Phelps, who sat in the commentators’ booth during the event, was on a live mic when one of his own personal world records was shattered by 21-year-old French swimming champion Leon Marchand.


In addition to cheering for the younger swimmer — who bested his 400 Individual Medley world record by more than a full second — Phelps was on hand to present Marchand with his gold medal and congratulate him in person.


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