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July 18, 2024
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Olympic Silver Medalist Erica Sullivan’s Fourth Annual Oscars Thread (And Our Thoughts)


On Tuesday morning, nominations for the 96th Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) were released. By default, this also meant Tokyo Olympic silver medalist and University of Texas swimmer Erica Sullivan coming out with her annual Oscars X (formerly known as Twitter) thread, where she pairs each film nominated for the “Best Picture” Oscar category with a type of individual in the swimming community. This year is her fourth year making this thread, though she said that this year’s thread would likely be her last one.

This year’s Academy Awards will take place on Mar. 10 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” leads the way with 13 total nominations, while Yorgos Lathimos’s “Poor Things” has 11.

So without further ado, here are all of Sullivan’s tales, as well as some of our reactions to them:

“American Fiction” by Cord Jefferson: “This is the super smart person on the team. Good at swimming but will definitely commit to an Ivy bc of the academics.”

  • SwimSwam’s take: I could also see this being someone who goes on the college swimming-to-SwimSwam writer track. Because we’ve got plenty of those here.

“Anatomy of a Fall” by Justine Triet: “This is the person who’s so quiet on the team that they could get away murder. Everyone is suspicious of them though.”

  • SwimSwam’s take: This one is pretty obvious. Also, I feel like connecting any of the characters from this film back to swimming would be pretty bad so I won’t do that.

“Barbie” by Great Gerwig: This is for the college split programs who have a killer women’s program. Don’t worry men, you’re kenough 🫶”

  • SwimSwam’s take: Virginia is the obvious example here, but Sullivan’s own Texas squad has been headed down that direction recently as well. Who’s the “Ken” of the Longhorns though (as in top male swimmer at a college where the women have seen more recent success)? Will Modglin or Luke Hobson?

“The Holdovers” by Alexander Payne: “These are the coaches who are stuck staying with their swimmers for weeks at a time during training camps. You can tell they’re losing their minds and the swimmers keep pushing the buttons.”

  • SwimSwam’s take: I wonder if this is how those Team USA coaches felt at the 2023 pre-world training camp in Singapore last summer.

“Killers of the Flower Moon” by Martin Scorsese: “This is the big club team who takes pool space from smaller clubs. Pools are a commodity. They’re renting all the time up!”

  • SwimSwam’s take: Not much to say about this one.

“Maestro” by Bradley Cooper: “This is definitely the band kid who quits swim as soon as morning practice and band practice overlap. They are usually a little gay.”

  • SwimSwam’s take: I tweeted this already, but I feel like Sullivan labeling “Maestro” and Todd Field‘s “Tár” last year both as “the gay swimmer” is saying something.

“Oppenheimer” by Christopher Nolan: “This person is dropping bombs everyday at practice. They are going so fast. Coaches do get nervous as to whether they will perform that well at the meet.”

  • SwimSwam’s take: So basically this is Gretchen Walsh minus the meet performance concerns. Instead, Todd DeSorbo gets nervous about whether she’ll make the NCAAs pool explode this March with a 19-point relay split.

“Past Lives” by Celine Song: “This is for the swimmers who had a fire romance at some away meet when they were younger. They never live in the same city so you’re left to wonder what could’ve been.”

  • SwimSwam’s take: This makes a lot of sense given how much traveling is involved in this sport.

“Poor Things” by Yorgos Lathimos: “I feel like this for the swimmers who started swimming club at such a young age. Like so young that they’re in 6 and under. The journey of swim is a long one but they grow for the better.”

  • SwimSwam’s take: I agree, but add that they are an age group sensation who is on the World Championships team at age 13 with a bunch of adults.

“The Zone of Interest” by Jonathan Glazer: “Not gonna lie, I have no idea what to do for this one. It was a horribly messed up movie about the holocaust so imma just say go watch it!”

Sullivan may done with Oscars threads for now, but she’s not done with the film world just yet. She’s currently pursuing a film major at Texas and told SwimSwam in June 2022 that one of her goals was to have the film studio A24 fund one of her films.





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