The parents of Ariarne Titmus have defended her coach, Dean Boxall, after his wild gold medal celebration at the Tokyo Olympics.
It became instantly iconic across Australia but was not as well received in America, with claims that Boxall was overly aggressive and overshadowing his swimmer's triumphant moment; among other more serious speculation.
Titmus' mother, Robyn, said that she "loved" Boxall.
"Dean's a very genuinely passionate, committed guy," Mrs Titmus told Nine's TODAY on Tuesday.
"He's an ex-swimmer himself and he loves everyone in the squad. He dedicates his time across all of his swimmers. His wife, Andrea, two boys, they've sacrificed a lot while he's been away travelling. There's so much behind this and an extension of people that contribute.
"He had a plan, the two of them sat down, they talked about it. We love him to bits, we love his family. And there is that connection there and it's unconditional."
In 2019, Boxall was accused of running a militaristic, win at all costs swim program at the St Peters Western club in Brisbane. Boxall has not responded to those claims, which included allegations of fat-shaming and bullying, but they have been denied by the club.
Ariarne Titmus, who had just beaten Ledecky to the 400m freestyle world title when the allegations were aired, strongly defended her coach.
"Thank you to my super coach Dean Boxall, my rock!" Titmus wrote on Instagram.
"You not only create the best swimming program that enables me to race the world's best athletes with confidence, but you guide and coach me in a way that mentally prepared me for the pressures of representing our country.
"I walk into training every day with a smile due to the unity and environment you have created within our swimming club. Let's keep working hard as we prepare for the ultimate next year (the Tokyo Olympics, later postponed to 2021)."
Robyn Titmus said that there was a genuine bond between Boxall and her champion daughter, who was determined to win Olympic gold for her coach.
"'I know the experience if great but at the end of the day, I'm here to do a job and to do it for my coach as well as myself'," Titmus said of the Olympics, according to her mother, who was rapt to see Ariarne and Boxall enjoy the spoils of their hard work.
"That was very special, for the two of them to embrace after the race and particularly with the ceremony," Robyn Titmus said.
"I know Dean was very emotional, she (Ariarne) said, 'I really couldn't look at him, I had to keep it together'. So it was wonderful to see it come off for them both."
Boxall told reporters at the pool of his celebration: "I think I went outside my body. I just lost it.
"She's pretty grounded. You can see - I think I was more emotional than her. She was basically saying, 'You need to settle down'."
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