TOKYO (AP) — Ariarne Titmus was thrilled with her victory over Katie Ledecky.
The Terminator’s coach was even more excited.
In the stands at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Dean Boxall yanked off his mandatory mask, let out a scream that echoed through the largely empty arena, pumped his fists, and thrust his hips in moves reminiscent of Mick Jagger. He grabbed at a glass railing like he wanted to rip it apart.
Boxall’s emotional display became an instant hit on social media, where one admirer tweeted it was “the best reaction of all time.” The Australian Olympic team tweeted a GIF that said the coach’s reaction “sums it up perfectly.”
“I’ve seen little snippets of it. That’s just like Dean. He’s very passionate … he becomes very animated,” Titmus said. “I think that this is just as much for him as it is for me. He’s sacrificed a lot of his family life, his kids, his wife and his job. He puts 100% into being a swimming coach and I would not be here without him.”
Titmus, who has been nicknamed the “Terminator,” handed Ledecky her first Olympic loss in an individual race by rallying over the final two laps to win the 400-meter freestyle Monday.
Boxall was more reserved during the medal ceremony, breaking down in tears as Titmus received her gold.
“He was crying and I was trying to contain the emotions,” she said, “but it’s good to see how much it means to him too.”
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