2020 Tokyo Olympics: World-Record Hopeful Swimmer Says Wardrobe Malfunction Cost Him the Attempt

by Clayton Edwards

The Olympics represent the peak of athleticism. Every four years, the best athletes in the world gather in one city compete. They spend years training their bodies and minds to be up to the task at hand. However, there are times when all the training in the world doesn’t prepare an athlete for what the universe throws at them before a competition. For instance, an Olympic wardrobe malfunction cost one swimmer his shot at a world record.

Hungarian swimmer Kristof Milak didn’t show up in Tokyo to compete for a gold medal. His eyes were set higher than that. He wanted to break the world record in the 200-meter butterfly. However, a wardrobe malfunction before the Olympic event blew his focus. As a result, he came up just short of his goal. About that, he told the BBC, “I wasn’t swimming for the medal I was swimming for the time.”

Luckily, the wardrobe malfunction didn’t happen during the Olympic competition. Instead, it happed about ten minutes before Milak was set to get in the water. About that, he told the outlet, “They split 10 minutes before I entered the pool and, in that moment, I knew the world record was gone. I lost my focus.” He switched into fresh trunks before the event began. However, he said that wasn’t enough. “It was a problem for me. I have a routine, a rhythm, a focus. This broke my focus and that problem impacted my time.”

Kristof Milak Swam Into Olympic History Despite Wardrobe Malfunction

Kristof Milak didn’t let his wardrobe malfunction get in the way of an Olympic victory, though. He took home the gold medal for the 200-meter butterfly. In fact, he finished four meters and two seconds ahead of his closest competition.  At the same time, he broke Michael Phelps’ Olympic record for the event. His final time was 1:51:25. So, even without his head fully in the game, he blew the competition out of the water.

Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time that Milak has broken Michael Phelps’ record in this event. In fact, he is the current world record holder. Before him, Phelps held the record. The Hungarian swimmer ticked that goal off of his list in 2019. The world record time is currently 1:50:73. So, he wasn’t far off, even with the Olympic wardrobe malfunction.

So, Kristof Milak went into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a world record holder. Additionally, he went in with a different mindset. He wasn’t competing against anyone else. At the same time, he wasn’t competing for the gold. Instead, he was competing against himself. “I said earlier I wanted a personal best and my personal best is a world record.”

Milak isn’t keeping a souvenir from his gold medal-winning Olympic wardrobe malfunction. He told the Associated Press “I still have them, but it’s just a matter of time.”