Fit, strong and beating the world - Australia's elite swimmers appear the ultimate ideal of how we want our sporting heroes to be.
Beneath the surface however, all is not well in the lanes of pools across the country.
Grant Hackett's latest public meltdown this week has once again shone the spotlight on the difficulty many ex-swimmers face when they've hung up the goggles and cap.
As the 36-year-old Olympian went into hiding, believed to be in a Gold Coast hotel, following his arrest earlier this week following a disturbance at his father's home, several of his former teammates have come forward to reveal their own struggles outside of the pool.
Hackett's family did not speak to the media on Friday and the swimmer remained out of touch as former teammates related their own dark experiences out of the pool.
Fellow Olympic champions Libby Trickett and Stephanie Rice have openly admitted to hard days when their sporting careers were done.
"When you take away the vehicle in which you receive this recognition, it definitely takes a huge hit on your self worth," Rice posted on Instagram.
Trickett, a four-time Olympic gold medallist, said despite managing her retirement better second time around after a comeback for the 2012 London Games, it was still a struggle.
"You don't have the massive highs from the sport, which I still miss and probably will miss forever," she told RSN Radio.
"The key thing for me has been accepting that and embracing the little highs you have every day."
Jade Edmistone - once the fastest breaststroker in the world - revealed in a column for Fairfax Media on Friday she nearly took her own life in 2014.
Some are now suggesting it might be the sport itself which is contributing to the woes ex-swimmers feel.
Prominent athlete mentor Michael Blucher said a medical condition called oxidative stress has been theorised as potential physiological issue for elite long-distance swimmers.
"There's evidence to suggest that over a period of time when you're in the water exercising that hard, for that length of time, for that many days a week, there's what's called a peroxidation of blood cells," Mr Blucher told AAP.
"We call it oxidative stress, which leaves you with a deficiency of omega 3. That's what essentially helps the brain function normally.
"How strong a phenomenon it is? How common it is? We don't know, but that's one theory that I know is bandied around by people."
Former Olympic team swimming coach Brian Sutton believes swimmers are victims of their own success.
"We need to realise that these athletes are actually addicted to dopamine, which is the achievement drug that the brain releases," Mr Sutton told the Nine Network.
"We need to wean them off swimming and ... redefine what success is, because success in the pool is a lot different to success in life."
Hackett kept a low profile on Friday after a turbulent two days.
After being released without charge from the Southport watch house on Wednesday, the three-time Olympic champion was reported missing by his father on Thursday afternoon. Hackett made contact on Thursday evening to confirm he was "alive and sober" but didn't reveal his whereabouts to authorities or his family.
"He's actually hiding because he's very, very embarrassed about all this," Hackett's father Nev said on Thursday, before adding he doesn't need to know where his son is, just that he is safe.