Controversial swimmer Nick D’Arcy has qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games – but the celebrations were a little bit tamer this time around, The Public Apology can report.
D’Arcy has struggled in the four years since he was named in the 2008 Australian Olympic squad. Back then, the swimmer was charged with assaulting former Commonwealth Games triple gold medalist Simon Cowley on the very night he qualified for Beijing. He eventually pled guilty to one charge of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, while the victim suffered multiple fractures to his jaw, eye socket, hard palate, cheek bone and nose.
As is often the case with these things, alcohol played a defining role in D’Arcy’s downfall. The Australian team had been celebrating at notorious Sydney scenester haunt Cargo Bar before graduating to nearby Loft Bar, where D’Arcy taunted golden boy Eamon Sullivan for refusing a drink. Cowley stepped in and offered a gentle, fatherly slap across D’Arcy face, which threw the youngster into a fit of violent, booze-fueled rage.
Four years on and D’Arcy has again qualified for the Olympic Games. But what, if anything, has changed? The Public Apology spoke exclusively with D’Arcy as to his exact whereabouts on the night of 18 March – and why he won’t be bashing blokes for no reason any time soon.
The Public Apology: “Nick, it’s fair to say that you probably weren’t slamming tequila shots, racking lines and buying “dancer dollars” at Men’s Gallery last Thursday night. So where did you kick things off that night?”
Nick D’Arcy: “Well I don’t know what you get up to on the weekend, Dave, but I just thought with all the intense media attention I’ve copped over the years that I’d take it easy this time around. Plus the King St Wharf bar scene has turned to shit in the four years since I’ve been there. It’s totes full of douchebag suits from KPMG and assorted Big Four banks trying to outdo each other in purchasing expensive rounds of 15-year-old double malt whisky, while basking in sexually charged – but ultimately futile – conversation about ‘the things I’d do to that chick in the pink dress’. ”
TPA: “That’s a nice analysis of the Sydney bar scene, Nick. But back to my question, where did you commence your celebrations last Thursday night. You’re not telling me that you simply went home to catch the My Kitchen Rules/Grey’s Anatomy double header?”
D’Arcy: “No, no, I’m not some sad fuck! You might be surprised by this, but I’ve managed to procure a girlfriend over the past four years.”
TPA: [muffled laughter]
D’Arcy: “Yeah, I know, pretty amazing right, with all the shit publicity I’ve copped over the past few years?! Not to mention that pesky little failed drug test in 2009 and my recent filing for bankruptcy. But yeah, she and I met up after the race and went for a soy chai at a cute little cafe in Evandale. After that I headed out to have a sedate dinner with my parents, who have been – as you’d expect from parents – long time supporters of mine.”
TPA: “And at which fine Adelaide establishment did the D’Arcy’s dine?”
D’Arcy: “We went to Redsalt, which is part of Adelaide’s new Crowne Plaza hotel. My family and I were treated to some of the freshest, in-season produce by chef Bradd John, whose reputation precedes him. The sage gnocchi that I ordered was perfectly flavour-matched with porchetta, braised fennel, capers, anchovies and lemon. In it, I sensed nuances of both France and Italy.”
TPA: [applauding] “Bravo, Nick D’Arcy. You clearly have a formidable palette and a wonderful sense of food history. But all that wank aside, may I ask whether the dinner was a dry affair? I know from personal experience that Redsalt is a strictly on-licence establishment; and being in Adelaide, I can only imagine the wine list would have featured some of the most desirable South Australian drops from the Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and the Barossa? Were you tempted to order a Setanta Black Sanglain Adelaide Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, for example?”
D’Arcy: “No, no. Look don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing better than a full-bodied South Australian Cabernet. But I settled for a bottle of Evian sparkling water, which allowed me to enjoy my full-flavoured dish without compromising its integrity. See, I’m a changed man!”
TPA: “Some reports have said you were ejected from an insalubrious Adelaide nightclub later that evening. Is this just another case of journalists making up rubbish, or were you indeed out at 3a.m. as some have suggested?”
D’Arcy: “That’s rubbish. Absolutely fabricated, unfettered garbage. And I’d expect nothing less from The Public Apology, which has for years [Ed: this publication was launched in mid-2011] run a smear campaign against the D’Arcy name. Sure, I was ‘seen’ outside a nightclub last Thursday at 3a.m., but that’s only because I was heading to training and thought I’d do a bit of sight-seeing on the way. Some paparazzi saw me outside the nightclub and concocted a litany of lies. But I was obviously on my way to an early morning training session. I mean, fuck me – I was even wearing my speedos!”
TPA: “Ok, Nick, we believe you. So let’s fast foward to the London Olympics, assuming you don’t get yourself in more damage – be it financial or criminal – before then. After all this time, all these hurdles, will you be satisfied with anything less than a gold medal?”
D’Arcy: “Mate, I’ve worked my arse off to get here and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be disappointed with anything less than gold. But what I really crave is the approval of the Australian people. For example, I’d love it if my name wasn’t constantly prefaced with ‘the embattled/controversial swimmer’ in News Limited articles. It’d be great if following these Games I was, for example, ‘gold medalist Nick D’Arcy’, or ‘Australia’s boy wonder Nick D’Arcy’. Yeah, I really like the sound of the last one, actually.”
TPA: “And assuming all goes to plan, do you think Australians will ever forgive you for that fateful night four years ago?”
D’Arcy: “Mate, I fucking hope so. I’ve been really good lately, staying off the booze and avoiding getting into fights. But Australians have a long memory and some cunts just love cutting down tall poppies. I’ve actually been trying to re-edit my Wiki page for the past four years, but dickheads keep putting all my controversial shit back in there. I swear, some fucker has got a massive vendetta against me. Actually, looking at the writing style, it kind of reminds me of the way you write. Have you been hacking my Wiki page?! You little cunt!!!!”
TPA: “Fuck no bro, I’ve got better things to do. But we must never hide from the truth Nick; rather, we must grow to accept it and live with it. I wish you all the best in London and I hope – good fucking God I pray – that you stay off the cans over there long enough to win yourself a gold medal, and the redemption you crave so much.”
D’Arcy: “Cheers mate, appreciate it. I’ll do my best.”
By Dave Edwards