London 2012: 10 Things You Need to Know About Australian Swimmer James Magnussen
James Magnussen enters the 2012 London Olympics as the man to catch in the pool.
The Australian swimming superstar will no doubt feature in headlines right across the world and a dominant performance at the Olympics would surely see him ranked as one of the top male swimmers in the world in the eyes of the general public.
To many, he already is one of the greatest swimmers; to others, he is simply another name next to another fast time.
So, who is James Magnussen and what is all the fuss about? Well here's 10 things that you must know about James Magnussen in preparation for the London Olympics so that you can be right on the pulse when what many see as just another swimmer becomes an international superstar.
1. He's Australia's Top Swimmer
James Magnussen will compete for Australia in the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter freestyle and the 400-meter freestyle relay in the London Olympics, and there's no doubt that he is Australia's top chance at a gold medal.
Magnussen has already set some blistering times this year, and has risen to stardom in recent years as the man most likely to take down American ace Michael Phelps.
We'll get to that in a minute.
2. He's One of the Fastest Men in the World
As far as blistering times go, James Magnussen has rocked the swimming world already in 2012 and enters the Olympics with the fastest 100-meter time in the world and in the top five for the 50-meter.
There is no doubt that the Australian superstar can go very, very fast at the London Olympics.
3. He's Talented at Many Sports
Growing up, James Magnussen was just like most Australian youngsters—relatively talented at multiple sports.
For Magnussen, it was rugby league and with his imposing figure and core strength, it's not surprising why. Yet the disappointment of losing an under-16's grand final in the final seconds led the swimming sensation to give up the footy field for the pool.
And he's never looked back.
4. He's Only 21 Years Old
Oh yeah, and he's only 21.
Which in all likelihood—depending on injuries and the like—James Magnussen should definitely still be competing at the 2020 Olympic Games and potentially even the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Magnussen could well be a household name for many years to come.
5. He's Incredibly Attractive
Or so I've been told by my girlfriend on many, many, many, many occasions.
Yet I am comforted by one thing...
6. He's Taken (Sorry Ladies...)
That he is a taken man.
James Magnussen is currently in a relationship with 18-year-old Andrea Patrulescu, which makes me feel a little bit better.
7. He's Somewhat of a Swimming Giant
James Magnussen is a huge man—I mean, look at that photo.
Okay, so it's not exactly to scale, but he still is a very imposing figure, measuring in 6'5''—ranking him as one of the tallest men in the pool.
8. He's Competing at His First Olympics
For all the hype and sensationalism and expectancy surrounding James Magnussen, he is yet to compete an at Olympic Games and London will be his first Olympiad.
Magnussen's notoriety only began to rise when he won the 100-meter freestyle at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai. Magnussen took home three medals from that meet and has become one of the top chances at Olympic fame ever since.
9. He's Already Got Plenty of Records and Medals Next to His Name
As mentioned previously, James Magnussen is yet to compete at an Olympic Games, but that's not to say that he hasn't chalked up records and medals for himself—the 21-year-old already has a plethora of results to brag about.
Along with his two gold medals and a silver medal at the 2011 World Championships, Magnussen also has three national titles to his name and the fourth-fastest time in the 100-meter freestyle in history.
Not bad for only two years.
10. He's Looking for a Showdown with Michael Phelps
James Magnussen—above all else—wants a shot at American swim king Michael Phelps to prove that he is the superior swimmer of the two.
Magnussen stated recently that:
"The ultimate race for me would be if Phelps led off the relay for America and I could lead off for Australia. I would revel in that chance; he's someone that I have looked up to, but when I get on the blocks, there is no love lost for anyone that I race against.
If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best—I want the chance to race him at the Olympics..."
Now that truly would be a race to remember.