With just 39 days to go until the most Zika infected Olympics of all time – Rio 2016 is underway. With just under 6 weeks to go we continue to celebrate the forgotten Olympians.
Giving those who have unfairly disappeared from the memory of the person on the street a chance to be remembered by the two other people aside from our mate Frank that reads this website.
Thank goodness it’s only 6 more too, as the inspiration would have ran out soon after that.
This week it is an athlete who put in more hard yards than most, and came up just short of Gold. The second prize is a silver medal and an induction into the Crap Fantale Hall of Fame.
The 1500 m Men’s Swimming was once one of the premium evens of the Olympics, because in all honesty in true Australian style when it comes to the Olympics, we only gave a shit because it was always a guaranteed gold. Name this year’s 1500m mens compeditor. Just like trying to name a Keith Urban song, a decent Nicole Kidman movie or your favourite Channel Nein cricket commentator.
But it wasn’t always like that, and Glen Housman was a pioneer in the long distance swimming before Kieran Perkins swept in, took Olympic Gold and all the limelight.
The Rockhampton born swimmer was a prodigious talent, and was the leading 1500 metre swimmer on the verge of greatness. He won the 1500m at Pan Pacs in Tokyo in 1989, and in December that year was on the verge of breaking the 15 minute mark for the 1500m event, which at that stage was a major milestone. And when we say on the verge, he actually did break it at the Commonwealth trials for the Auckland games, but due to a technical issue at the pool in Adelaide the electronic scoreboard, from which all world records are taken from forgot to stop. According to the quality article from Your Swim Log the Timekeepers clocked Housman at 14:53:59, not only good enough to smash the 15 minute barrier, but also good enough for the world record at the time.
But due to the electronic scoreboard issue, it was not allowed, a major moment for Housman had passed. He did go on to win gold at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, but lost time in 1991 through illness and in that time Kieran Perkins emerged, captured the nation’s imagination with breaking the 15minute mark, with a new world record, and followed that up with Olympic Gold at Barcelona in 1992. The legend was created and anyone else were fighting for Silver and below.
Silver was exactly what Glen Housman won in Barcelona, so it shouldn’t be forgotten that he won something, and indeed ended up breaking the 15 minute mark at 14:55:29 in the final, it was unfortunately 12 seconds slower than the new Olympic record set by Perkins.
Housman went on to win more gold at Pan Pacifics and the 1996 Olympic games as part of a relay squad, but unfortunately had to settle for personal silver at the Olympic. And a worthy nomination into our Hall of Fame for Forgotten Olympians.