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Olympic Gold Medallist Mack Horton Has Become The Lightning Rod For Asian Hostilities, Dr Joshua M. Roose

Over the weekend, he won an Olympic Gold, took a swipe at a Chinese swimmer who tested positive for a banned substance. And now Mack Horton is at the centre of a monster social media storm, the root of which is hostilities within and against the largest nation on earth. Joshua M Roose explains.

As I have been sitting and analysing the outpouring of anger and hostility on the official Facebook page of gold medalist Mack Horton, I have had to ask myself: how is it, that in the space of less than 12 hours, a young man aged just 20, who lives just a suburb away and is enrolled in the university I work for, can go from relative obscurity to winning a gold medal at the Rio Olympics and being placed, temporarily, at the centre of geostrategic hostilities and nationalisms in the Asian region?

Like most Australians, I sat cheering for the lanky young man from Melbourne. I don’t follow the lead-up swim meets but I am an enthusiastic follower of Australian Olympic efforts.

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