Shane Tusup, the husband and coach of Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu, made headlines around the world for his wild celebration of his wife’s 400m individual medley win.
Hosszu won gold in the final and broke the world record set by China’s Ye Shiwen in London by more than two seconds.
The 27-year-old swimmer who calls herself the “Iron Lady,” will compete in the 100m back tonight.
Here’s what you need to know about her husband Tusup and the recent conversation surrounding his style of coaching:
1. Tusup’s Animated Reaction While Watching His Wife Compete Has Gone Viral
The couple first met as freshmen at U.S.C., where Tusup was on the men’s swim team. Hosszu was a psychology major who served as a women’s swim team captain. They married in 2013, and now Tusup serves as Hosszu’s coach.
This week, she shattered the record for the 400m individual medley during the finals with a time of 4:26.36, beating the previous record of 4:28.43.
Hosszu just missed beating the world record in the preliminary round, which appeared to be a big let down for her husband and coach.
NBC’s official Olympics Twitter account sent out a tweet of him excitedly watching her preliminary saying, “find someone who loves you the way Katinka Hosszu’s husband loves her.”
2. An NBC Announcer Spoke of How ‘Harsh’ Tusup Can Be
As euphoric as Tusup’s celebration was of Hosszu’s win, there have been rumors that he can be too extreme. Leading some to question his behavior.
NBC announcer Dan Hicks said, “There’s the guy responsible for turning Katinka Hosszú, his wife, into a whole different swimmer,” following her gold medal win. Later on, one of the announcers alluded to another side of Tusup: “The influence he’s had on her … it can be very, very harsh. In fact, it’s been a little disturbing to other swimmers who’ve observed it. And Hosszú admits that.”
3. Hosszu Has Said He Can Be ‘Pretty Hard’ As a Coach
Hosszu described her relationship with Tusup as “pretty complicated,” in an article by the New York Times.
“He’s pretty hard as a coach,” Hosszu told the paper, “but at home he’s super sweet and loving and really funny. So we can laugh a lot.
She went on to tell the publication that she is the one who is more “laid back.”
“Because he’s so emotional and he really wants us to get the goals we set for ourselves, that’s probably why he’s able to be that way.”
She told the New York Times they motivate one another:
We always try to push each other, I think, and we really try to – I’m trying to think how to say this – ignore everything else for the goals. So if we get in a fight, we know why or try to figure out why, so if he says something during practice and I know he’s speaking as a coach, I won’t be offended. I probably would be offended if he would talk to me like that as a husband.
Hosszu also explained that his presence makes her a more competitive, and confident athlete.
“Since I started working with Shane, I have a lot more confidence,” Hosszu told the paper. “It’s crazy to think I still need Shane telling me: ‘Yes, you are great. Yes, you can do that.’”
4. Tusup’s Behavior Has Raised the Eyebrows of Some Close to the Couple
Some have raised questions about the appropriateness of Tusup’s behavior, according to the New York Times.
Jessica Hardy, an Olympic medalist who formerly trained with Hosszu, told the Times, “I’ve seen a lot of inappropriate and not-O.K. behavior in Shane.”
Hardy, who experienced abusive behavior first-hand as a child, described Tusup’s behavior as ‘scary,’ in the publication.
“I’ve seen coaches exhibit that kind of behavior in training, but this is another level. It’s scary.”
According to the article, one of Hosszu’s former coaches, Dave Salo, raised some questions about the effectiveness of his actions.
“I think the biggest issue with her is her husband,” he told the New York Times. “I think you have to look at her motivation. Is it fear or confidence that is driving her?”
5. Tusup Defended His Actions to the New York Times, Saying He Gets a ‘Bad Rep’
Tusup defended his behavior to the New York Times, saying “I get a bad rep in the US because these parents in the stands, they’re going, ‘He’s such a jerk; he yells at her when she doesn’t swim fast.’
“No, the hard part of swimming is that there’s a lot of times you just settle for OK, and we agreed that the goal was never to settle for OK, that we’re going to keep pushing, even if we don’t get it, to be great, to be amazing, to be legendary.”
He also explained to the paper that he has offered to step down if his wife thinks she can find more success with another coach.
“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, that coach will step in, and we’ll be happy,” Tusup said. “She has that offer to this day.”