They've nicknamed her “the Iron Lady,” and on Saturday night, Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu proved them right - she shattered the world record in the women's 400 meter individual medley (set in London by Ye Shiwen of China during the 2012 games) with 2 seconds to spare.
But before she had even climbed out of the water, something the NBC commentator Dan Hicks said sparked outrage on social media. The camera panned to Shane Tusup, Hosszu's coach and husband, and Hicks made this comment:
“There’s the man responsible for turning his wife into an entirely new swimmer…”
Hicks was likely referencing the fact that, after failing to medal in London in 2012, Hosszu asked Tusup to coach her - and within months, she reemerged on the international scene a very different swimmer.
But the internet went crazy anyway:
And Hosszu's husband quickly gained his own following once people saw how he responded when his wife hit the water:
The women in particular thought it was great:
But some say that there may be a dark side to Tusup's intensity:
Olympic medalist Jessica Hardy trained with Hosszu in California, and she claimed that, at times, the line between “contentious coach/swimmer relationship” and marriage relationship were blurred:
“I’ve seen a lot of inappropriate and not-okay behavior in Shane. I’ve seen coaches exhibit that kind of behavior in training, but this is another level. It’s scary.”
But Tusup says that the choice will always belong to Hosszu: “I always say if you find a coach who can make you a step or two better, or if what we’re doing is not working and you think there’s something you need to change, you need to tell me because then I’ll step back."