Monday, April 30, 2007

"Blogger Trevr" on stage with the Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble

Trevor Algatt is both a SCAQ swimmer and an actor. This past weekend I saw him in a very powerful play and I was going to write a review, but the pros say it better than I can...

"... This impressive Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble project, drawn from interviews with Iraq war veterans and their families, depicts the personal toll of wartime with visceral intensity, and director Tom Burmester's stalwart ensemble displays an imposing commitment that generally offsets theater-by-committee inequities of tone and structure. ..." Los Angeles Times: [Link]

"... The play manages to convey the tragedy of war without being outright anti-war; it does not try to convince the audience what is right or wrong about the war in Iraq. There is even debate between a few of the characters in which they all have very different opinions about the United States’ involvement in the war. the Daily Bruin: [Link]

"... Developed from the true stories of four severely wounded American soldiers beginning their rehabilitations in the recently maligned Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Wounded does an able job of depicting the awesome burden the soldiers face in assimilating with family and society, but more importantly, with themselves. ..." From Splash: [Link]

The numerous split scenes with overlapping dialogue in the piece are handled effectively by director Tom Burmester, and Francois-Pierre Couture’s scenic design is minimalist, emphasizing the characters’ physicality and their psychological struggles. The entire ensemble delivers strong performances that remind us it’s a “long road to healing.” The L.A. Weekly Calender: [Link]

Theater info with days and times - also a trailer: [link]

Here is a great sprint workout

Sprint 3,350 Yards - Designed by Jamie Magin -4/26/07 Santa Monica. I got this workout from the SCAQ website: [Link]

Warm Up (900 yards total yards)
  • 300 free
This part of the warm-up is repeated four-times through:
  • 50 kick @ 1:00
  • 50 stroke @ :50
  • 50 free @ :40
Transition (450 yards):

This part of the transition is repeated six-times through:
  • 25 dolphin on back @ :35 seconds / 50 free @ :35 seconds
Main Set (2000 yards):

This part of the transition is repeated five-times through:
  • 3 x 50 free @ :40/:45/:50
  • 2 x 75 free @ :55/1:00
  • 1 x 100 free @ 1:05

Cynthia "Sippy" Woodhead

I watched Sippy Woodhead swim yesterday at workout. She swims similar to Laure Manaudou and she makes swimming look effortless. She utilized no glide-phase to her stroke unlike what you see in a Grant Hackett or Ian Thorpe. Instead her arms paddled "kayak-style" like Janet Evans, or my favorite swimmer, Laure Manaudou .

But who is Sippy Woodhead? Here is an article about her and how the 1980 boycott effected her swimming career. French politicians should read this article too. [Link]

"Hello Mr. Pot, my name is Mr. Kettle and I think your bottom is black"

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has announced its 2007 group of inductees and Amy Van Dyken is going to be an honoree. (She is the first American woman to garner four gold medals at a single Olympics.)

I posted this blog-post about Amy Van Dyken and Inge de Bruijn about a month or so ago. With this sort of rhetoric and behavior I am bewildered as to why she is an honoree at this time:

From Swim info: “… Amy Van Dyken gracelessly evoked the question; [of Inge de Bruijn taking steroids], when she spit [a mouthful of water] into De Bruijn’s lane before the semifinals of the 50 free and commented after Inky set a world record: 'If I were a man, I could swim that fast.' …” [Whoa, how crass, huh?]

Inge or Inky had no steroid bulk whatsoever and she never tested positive at any Olympics including Athens 2004 where testing was both thorough and extensive.

How ironic that it was Barry Bonds and Amy Van Dyken who testified before the grand jury in the Victor Conte/Balco steroid distribution scandal but Inky has never been summons or penalized.

From “…Through Romanowski, Conte also gained access to athletes from other sports, such as six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken, who once described herself as “the Bill Romanowski of the swimming world,” and 1996 Olympic gold-medal-winning sprinter Chryste Gaines of San Leandro, a Stanford graduate who last year was charged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency with a BALCO- related doping offense. …"

Sunday, April 29, 2007

French Presidential Candidate Nicolas Sarkozy opposes a French Boycott - He is leading in the polls

The French have a human rights argument with the Sudan. In fact everybody has an argument with the Sudan except China which has invested 10 billion dollars in their oil wells. They are also selling them weapons.

Though Sarkozy's campaign posters lack the artistic merit one would usually associate with sublime French poster art, Nicolas Sarkozy is leading the polls so far as the next French President.

If Sarkozy wins, Manaudou swims! (That should be his slogan or in French it should be, "Victoires de Nicolas Sarkozy, bains de Laure Manaudou." (I hope I said that right?) If Sarkozy does lose and Segolene Royal wins I hope, Maly, our French friend who visits us now and then is right in that France will swim anyway. [Link]

SCAQ and blog friends casting call

I will be at the the UCLA Short Course Yards Meet this weekend; (see the meet link for details), and I would like to do another video because I had so much fun doing the last one. I will film as many races as I can in between my own races and warm-ups and it would be great if you all could bring your own cameras, still or video, as well so I can post them to this blog.

It is to late to send in an entry form but they will allow deck entries. Now doesn't this pool look yummy?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Is Janet Evans roaring like a lion or just taking a deep breath?

I wish I could ask her. I have never seen somebody do that during a start dive. The worst start-dive I ever did was at a fund raising meet at LMU. Right when I jumped off the block I wondered in mid-air if I had taken a breath before the bell went off. I got these images from the IOC website: [Link]

Friday, April 27, 2007

2007 SPMA Regionals Movie

Here are some swims from the 2007 SPMA Regionals swim meet. I am not happy with the compression quality of these "video sharing sites" so I am going to post a much cleaner, more clear version to one of my own sites in the next day or two. For now, this is a sample of how the day went. Enjoy. :-)

Ithe IOC website has a multimedia gallery

Michael Gross from Germany in the 100m butterfly at the Games of the XXIV Olympiad. (That one was in Seoul, Korea.) The photography at the gallery is impressive. They claim they have films but I can't get them to work. [Link]

The IOC is considering a "Youth Olympic Games"

The executive board of the International Olympic Committee agreed in principle to consider ratifying a new Youth Olympic Games so as to impress on the younger generation how important sports are to character, discipline and values. I am surprised that obesity, diabetes, video games, collapsing sports revenue in such sports as tennis and ice skating were not mentioned.
  • The Format The Summer and Winter Youth Games would alternate every four years, the Summer events would be staged in the years of the Olympic Winter Games and vice versa. The first edition of Summer YOG is envisaged for 2010. Estimates around participant numbers range from 3,000 for the Summer YOG and 1,000 for the winter counterpart. The organisational effort for a city to host the YOG would be significantly lower for the Olympic Games. However the details of the concept still need to be defined in close cooperation with the members of the Olympic Movement. Experience can be gathered from events like the European and Australian Youth Olympic Festivals.

Michael Phelps interviewed on the Tonight Show last week

He swims 2-5 hours a day and lifts weights. His lightest day is the equivalent of my hardest day.

Quotes from great swimmers

Dawn Fraser was the only female swimmer I could find. There were no quotes from Janet Evans, Natalie Coughlin et al. What a shame too.

These quotes don't offer much in the way of wisdom but it gives you a sense about how they view themselves and competition.

Michael Phelps quotations page: Link
Ian Thorpe quotations page: Link
Mark Spitz quotations page: Link
Dawn Fraser quotations page: Link

Here is my favorite quote from Johnny Weissmuller, the first person to break a minute in the 100 meter free and later made a fortune playing Tarzan in the movies:

"Throughout my career I swam for form. Speed came as a result of it."
Johnny Weissmuller

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Social networks are betting on French Presidental candidate Nicolas Sarkozy

Social networking sites in England; (Read as Gambling sites), are betting that Nicolas Sarkozy will be the next President of France. [Link]

I mention politics here because France had a Presidential candidate named Bayou who discussed boycotting the Beijing Olympics over China's involvement in the Sudan crisis. (China is selling weapons in the region and drilling for oil there as well.)

The final two candidates are Nicolas Sarkozy on the right and current President, Segolene Royal, on the left. Though Bayou didn't make the final cut as a candidate, he has thrown his support behind Socialist candidate, Segolene Royal, who has not ruled out an Olympic boycott. Her opponent Nicolas Sarkozy has. [Link]

Here is hoping that whoever is voted President of France a boycott of the Olympics will not take place and we will see Laure Manaudou race both Natalie Coughlin and Kate Ziegler in Beijing.

The SPMA Regionals movie is on still schedule for Saturday morning

I finished the title for the SPMA video tonight in After Effects. The title gets rippled by droplets that splash down upon it before fading out. All that which is left to do is the "bumper," or ending panel, and this video is DONE! The sound track will be the song Such Great Heights by the Postal Service and it really works well with the swimming therein.

I have learned so much about taking hand-held footage shot by idiots like me and making it watchable. The trick in filming swimming is varied viewpoints, establishing shots, and of course using a tripod. Right now I am looking for the best video sharing site to host it rather than what will get the blog the most hits. Obviously You Tube is the biggest but at times it is compression makes the videos unwatchable. I want the clarity to be as best as it can be so I am trolling sites like Guba, Revver, Bolt, and a site called Daily Motion which looks really promising. (Some of these services don't work with this blog. I will post which ones don't.)

Phelps inspired by Beijing's 'Water Cube"

I really do not like the architectural design for this aquatics facility. It's called the Water Cube and this will be the venue for all things aquatic for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Phelps and Katie Hoff gush:
  • We went and saw it yesterday and it's definitely pretty cool," Phelps said during a visit to Shanghai on Thursday. "I think it's going to paint a picture for Katie and me in our my minds too, to really help us prepare for next year and get us more and more excited," he said. Covered in futuristic bubble wrap, the box-like National Aquatics Center, or "Water Cube," is one of the most striking of the venues going up for the Summer Games, at which Phelps is expected to dominate the swimming competition. [Link]
What mystifies me is that Katie Hoff is there, Michael Phelps, and Grant Hackett too with all of the above talent "pimping" the Water Cube, and Chinese swimmers. Why are they doing this? Why is there such a marketing effort as part of this aquatics facility build?

Here is a article that I feel might explain why. This paper is written in India; a country some believe has a national rivalry with China, so the article could be biased. [Link]

Here is an article that touts how marvelous the transparent plastic used to build this aquatics facility is. [Link]

Is it me or do sirens go off in your head about this pool when you read words like: semi-transparent plastic, chlorine, and direct sunlight. It sounds to me like it could become a mold and petrochemical nightmare.

Here is a link to the pool they should have emulated: The Munich Olympic Pool [Link]

FINA will not ratify Libby Lenton's world record in the 100 free

Libby Lenton's world record in the 100 free set while racing against Michael Phelps in the Mutual of Omaha's Duel in the Pool meet; (Featured above), won't be ratified because a mixed relay is not sanctioned by FINA. Snippet from Swimming World:
  • MELBOURNE, Australia, April 26. ACCORDING to reports from Swimming Australia, FINA has decided that Libby Lenton's 52.99 clocked as the lead leg of Australia's mixed 400 meter freestyle relay at the Duel in the Pool earlier this month will not be ratified. Therefore, the 53.30 set by Germany's Britta Steffen last summer still stands as the top mark.
  • According to the Swimming Australia release FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu contacted Swimming Australia Limited CEO Glenn Tasker with the news and quoted FINA rules GR [Link]

Doug Kajiwara

Erratum: SCAQer Doug Kajiwara won every event he was in; he ribboned in none, and I spelled his name wrong in a post below. Doh! I realized it this morning when I was going over the SPMA Regionals results. (He was to polite enough not to tell me this at workout yesterday but I am glad I discovered it.) It is corrected now.

Spma Regionals results have been posted online

My worst event is the only one I ribboned in; how ironic. What I am pleased about is that in the 50 free I went out in a 28.48 and came back in a 59.83. That is only a 2.87 seconds difference considering the second 50 had no dive. [Link]

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The SPMA Regionals movie with SCAQ swimmers goes live on Saturday

I am almost done. I am going to make a title graphic in After Effects to open it and a bumper for the end. The running time will be around 4 minutes or so. Filming this meet was primarily done on a whim but now I am inspired.

The next meet I film will be done differently. I saw a tutorial at the the Make Magazine blog on how to make an underwater housing for a movie camera for under $70. It does not look to hard since the materials are primarily "weapons grade" PVC, blast resistant acrylic, rubber gaskets and industrial strength clamps. The problem making something like this is that the price is cheap if your time is cheap. [Link]

The Canuck Swimmer has entered the building

Look how he approaches not just the wall but what he is thinking about about once he leaves the wall. Snippet:
  • At last night’s practice Brad gave me some more coaching on my turns and we saw my time from flag-to-flag (the five meters before and after the turn) drop from 6.1 seconds to a more palatable 5.6 seconds merely by better form in commencing the turn. Of course there are still lots of problems to work on.
The Canuckswimmer has a [link] now in the right hand side of this page.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

NIH Study: Bone density/growth and swimming

Swimming produces more bone growth than running. The study was conducted by the National Institute of Health using rats as the testing subjects. More evidence that gravity is not necessarily your friend for prolonged workouts. Snippet:
  • Exercise had a minimal effect on bone growth in the run-trained animals but did stimulate development in the swim-trained animals. The humerus of the SWIM was significantly heavier, wider and had a greater BMC when compared with those of the RUN and CON rats. The results of this study indicate that the muscular forces applied by the swim training protocol produced greater bone adaptations than the forces applied by a running protocol of equal duration and intensity. [Link]

The SPMA Regionals video with Team SCAQ is coming along nicely!

It seems like for every minute of footage I shoot I seem to spend an hour-and-a-half or so on obsessing about each minute of the final presentation. I have learned a lot about filming swimming from this video; you either want to be filming the race from under water or from about six-feet above the water while at a 3/4 viewpoint.

Additionally, use as many cameras as possible and film everything. It turns out that the even the most boring things can be the most interesting things to watch. Like a swimmer putting on their goggles or viewing a pleasant conversation you can't hear.

Obviously a tripod is vital but; like a snail-brain, I didn't use the one had despite having brought it! Nonetheless, this video is really going to be a lot of fun to watch and I am having a lot of fun making it.

The 17th Man has reentered the building

I like Joel's blog because he posts aggressive swim workouts he did the night before along with his interval times. (His warm up intervals are my main set goals.) He also posts amazing photos of pools and swimmers. I lost his link when I updated Blogger to this new template but the 17th Man is in the building his site is back now in the links list so please go visit: [Link]

Trailer: Michael Phelps' Personal Best - Butterfly

Another example of how swimming should be photographed.

The New York Times did an article on Parry O'Brien

Here is a snippet from the NYT listing just some of his accomplishments:

"... O’Brien’s success with his new style was stunning. In 1954, two days after Roger Bannister was the first to run the mile in less than four minutes, O’Brien became the first to put the shot 60 feet. That came in the middle of a victory streak of 116 meets.

From 1953 to 1966, he broke the world record 17 times, starting with 59 feet ¾ inch and raising it to 63-3. He won 17 American titles in the shot-put and one in the discus.

In the Olympics, he won gold medals in 1952 and 1956 and a silver medal in 1960. In 1964, after he carried the American flag in the opening ceremony, he finished fourth.

In 1959, he won the Sullivan Award as the United States’ outstanding amateur athlete. He was elected to the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1974 and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984. ..."

From the New York times: [Link]
From Swimming World Magazine: [Link]
From NPR from August 2004: [Link]

This girl can swim faster than you!

I can't believe that Australian Olympian, Leisel Jones, dressed up like this. I mean if you are going to dress like a mermaid, don't have Paris Hilton as your stylist. Pick somebody like Sally Sharpe who designed the mermaid suit in movie Aquamarine

Inside triathlon has an article on open water swimming

Anytime I see an article that begins with: "The Secrets of...", I grab on to my wallet and my common sense for dear life. Though it has a lousy title most of the information is very good. I do disagree with the "draft off another swimmer" concept. Having placed very well at the Alcatraz Sharkfest swims I can tell you that drafting is dangerous.

Ocean water, albeit a lake or a sea, is usually murky. By drafting you have the potential to swim your nose or throat into a vicious kick if the swimmer in front of you stops to spot and then kicks to regain momentum. Also, does the swimmer in front know where he/she is going? Drafting works well in a pool but not a ocean race.

Secrets of Open Water Swimming by Coach Jared Burg [Link]

My swim club has Open Water Clinics coming up. Check this page often for either free clinics, open water, or otherwise [Link]

Monday, April 23, 2007

His name is Griffy

Mike Freshley swim quotes

Mike Freshley is a 65-year-old age grouper and he can do a 50 fly in 27 seconds? I can't. Here are some quotes of his:

"Before 50, swimming is optional," he says. "After 50, it's mandatory."

"Show me a 70-year-old swimmer and he looks like 50, he maintains, but a 70-year-old runner, he looks like 90."

Natalie Coughlin piercing the water like a missle

This is an amazing dive sequence of Natalie Coughlin mid-air doing a perfect streamline within a fraction of a second. This is ballet at it's finest. It must have taken her years to get a reaction time that fast to assimilate a pose that graceful in summarily the blink of an eye. Just look at her feet placement too. She just compresses into a pencil.

This site is located in Brazil and it is worth a look a serious look through. [Link]

French election: Bayrou's loss means Manadou swims

Though a "snappy" dresser, Francois Bayrou pissed me off with his comments that he would like to see France boycott the Beijing Olympics over China's economic involvement with the Sudan and Dafur. These disputes should be handled at the U.N. or other political venues rather than the Olympics; but his loss is our gain. We will now likely see a rematch between Kate Ziegler and Laure Manaudou in the 400m and 1500m.

Here is a cool cultural photo of a long line of French political posters side my side in what appears to be a park in France. I like Ségolène Royal's poster best. The red bars with the B&W photo makes the eye vibrate. Also, it does not hurt that she is both attractive and the current President. I am surprised that none of the candidates used the colors of the French flag in their posters. [Link]

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Regionals 3rd day: I broke a minute

I went a high 59 for the 100 free. I am elated and feel like I can do anything. Erik gave me amazing advice but like an idiot I only followed 50% of it. If I would have followed the rest of his advice, I would have done a 57 or 58 easily.

I decided it would be a really brilliant idea not to breathe for the first lap-and-a-half. By the second 50; to steal a quote form Todd, it felt like I was swimming with a piano on my back with Liberace playing a duet with Fats Domino.

Todd beat beat me in both the 50 and the 100 free but we will rematch at UCLA.

I see fast people and they don't even know that they are fast...

Cole Sear: "Swimming around like regular people. They don't see each others' times. They only see their own times. They don't know they're fast."

Malcolm Crowe "At Regionals, On TV?

Cole Sear: Everywhere! The Culver Plunge, Santa Monica College, LMU and VNSO!

SPMA Regionals 3rd day: Doug Kajiwara stormed just about every event he was in.

Erratum: Doug won every event he was in and I spelled his name wrong. Doh! It is corrected now.

Doug did well today, he either ribboned or medaled in every event he signed up for. I swim with Doug about 2-3 days a week and he is inspiring to pace off of. I am going to post a video of several swims that took place today here at the blog once I am done editing them all.

BTW, why does the water always look bluer when fast people are in it?

Sea creatures made of glass

In about a 1/2 hour or so I head off to the third day of SPMA Regionals. I am bringing the camera and I may post a video too. Again, I am hoping to break the one minute barrier in the 100 free for the second time in my life.

For now here is a very ornate gallery of sea creatures modeled in glass from the 1800's. Be sure to check out the glass octopus [Link]

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Some pictures of some of my teamates at the SPMA Regionals meet

Dan Leonard is hungry off the start and effective in the drink. Dan has a fast butterfly and a really strong catch. He swam a lot of events today but he actually had the gall to laugh in my face when I requested that he be my lap counter and a bell-ringer when it was time for me to do the 50 fly. I should have drawn a mustache on his photo. Click on the image to see a larger version.

I swim with Mike occasionally at Santa Monica College and every now and then at LMU. His heart is a like a steam engine and he is formidable in all the strokes. Here he is off the blocks in the 100 Breast and I believed he ribboned or medaled. Click on the image to see a larger version.

This is what your blogger looks like with a fresh sunburn, before a shave, and the sun in his eyes. Just before I took this photo Dan ordered me to pick up my pink ribbon for finishing sixth in my 50 fly. I had no idea I placed until he told me to acknowledge the three points I scored for the team. How ironic that the event I am the most inefficient in would be the only event that I would actually get a ribbon for. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Day Two SPMA Regionals: A very eventful day

UPDATE: William Patrick (Parry) O'Brien passed away at the SPMA Regional meet yesterday. As a witness to his passing I can say he is sorely missed.

William Patrick (Parry) O'Brien is an Olympian who competed in four consecutive summer Olympics. His event was the shot put where he won two consecutive gold medals in 1952 and 1956, a silver in 1960, and he placed fourth in 1964. As a result of his contribution to US Track and Field he was inducted to the US Olympic Hall of Fame.

But Parry loves swimming just as much.

In the middle-eighties here was a guy with stacks of trophies, gold medals and a silver who discovered Masters swimming and began swimming regularly. Clay Evans told me that during a meet at Santa Monica College in or around that decade he saw Parry standing in line to collect a 6th place, cheesy, SPMA, ribbon to add to his collection because swimming meant so much to him. Parry swims open water, swim meets, workouts, everything and everywhere.

Today during the 500 free Parry came out of a flip-turn in or around the 200 yard mark and lost consciousness. For what seemed like 20 minutes or so; (I want to emphasize that it seemed that long since time dilates during a tragedy), lifeguards were administering CPR to revive him without pause. Then the paramedics came, added an IV line and spent another 5-10 minutes doing the same compression pumps to his chest. Soon the defibrillator was brought out and it was nothing like what you see on TV where the patient jerks. It was much more graphic and unpleasant to see and it certainly looks like no fun to go through.

I don't know what happened after they took Parry to the hospital, the meet was stopped for perhaps 1-2 hours, but later resumed because Parry would have been pissed if it stopped.

My times were mixed: 26.87 for the 50 free, 35.99 for the 50 fly. Tomorrow I try and break a minute in the 100 free. I will post pictures once the shell shock wears off.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Timed Finals has re-entered the building and it's news feed is back in the right-hand links column

Michael Phelps owns the flipturn and the underwater aspects of any race he swims

Here is Phelps winning the 100 free at the "Duel in the Pool" meet. Not only does he win but he beats Eamon Sullivan and Cullen Jones. Note his position in the race when he gets to the wall then see where he is after the turn. He also looks up when sprinting.

"Just Add Water" has re-entered the building

I upgraded blogger and I lost a lot of stuff, such as the Timed Finals news feed and and my link to my very favorite open-water blog, Just Add Water. Well, it is back in the links column and I am still working on the Timed Finals news feed.

Gary Hall Jr. back with Speedo and will donate a portion of his bonuses to juvenile diabetes research

From Lane 9 news over at Swim World:
    In an effort to continue his fight against diabetes, an illness Hall was diagnosed with in 1999, Speedo will donate an additional 10 percent of all Speedo performance bonuses earned by Hall to the Gary Hall Jr., Foundation for Diabetes. [Link]
To me this illustrates character, responsibility and empathy. Here is a press release form the International Sports Movement:
    LOS ANGELES April 17, 2007) - SPEEDO®, the top-selling swimwear brand in the world, today announced the signing of 32-year-old swim star and Olympic veteran Gary Hall, Jr. to a multi-year contract through 2010. A ten-time Olympic medalist, Hall represented the U.S. in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games and is projected to be a serious medal contender at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in his specialty, the 50m freestyle. If he wins gold in Beijing, Hall would become the first-ever Olympian to do so in the same event three times. [Link]

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I have some good news and I have some bad news!

The bad news is that I screwed up the coding on this blog and I have temporarily lost my news feed to Timed Finals. The good news is that is that if you scroll down you will see some swim videos in the right hand navigation that if you click on will magically appear at the top of this blog for viewing. I am still working on key words so I can keep them varied. So, each time you come you can see new swim videos from around the planet.

Psychology Today: The Art of Trash Talk

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics Gary Hall Jr. proclaimed in a CNNSI blog that the USA relay team was going to, "smash the Australians like guitars." Well, it didn't work out that way. Above is a picture of Gary Hall just before he won a gold medal in Athens.

Here is what Psychology Today says about "trash talk":

"... But does it work? Jonathan Katz, a New York City-based clinical sports psychologist, is doubtful. He believes that thinking up put-downs can actually impair an athlete's performance. "Some players feel they can intimidate other players by getting into their heads," says Katz, who has worked with the New Jersey Nets and several college basketball teams. "But many athletes are putting time and energy into something that distracts them from playing their best. Playing well is the most intimidating factor. ..." [Link]

From "": Swimming Research Center in Amsterdam

This site has a blog , propulsion theory formulas, abstracts with math formulas; (yawn), and lots of training information with graphics and charts. Best of all is a video of Inge de Bruijn: [Link]

I got the link from You can have them send you swim updates if you want, but for now Here is their synopsis:

"... The object of study of the Swimming Research Center Amsterdam is competitive swimming and how to improve a competitive swimmer.What aspects determine performance in swimming? How does the swimmer adapt to training?How is propulsion generated? Can drag be influenced by technique?What is the optimal training program? Rather than looking at any of these aspects separately, the major mission of the Swimming Research Center Amsterdam is to reveal the relationships between metabolic, morphological, mechanical and coordinative aspects of swimming. ..."

Duel in the pool is going to be on TV this weekend

I am probably going to miss it since I have a two day meet this weekend and I don't own a Tivo. Well, there is always YouTube. Here is a link to the "Duel in the Pool" website where is has video interviews and swimming videos too: [Link]

Here is a USA Swimming press release with days and times: [Link]

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I am in "slo-mode" today but this indeed is how swimming should be filmed

Here is Mark Foster, a sprinter from England who should have been on the 2004 British Olympic team. Here is a British wiki on him:
  • Mark Foster (born May 12, 1970 in Billericay, Essex, England) is a former British swimmer, specialising in butterfly and freestyle at 50 metres.
  • He is a specialist short course (25 metre pool) swimmer. In terms of medals and longevity (1986-2006), Foster is amongst the most successful British swimmers of all-time.
  • ...
  • In 2004, Foster was to face the disappointment of not being selected for the Olympic Games. At the British Olympic Trials, he won the 50 free in 22.49 seconds, well under the Olympic qualifying standard but seven hundredths of a second below the standard National Team Director Bill Sweetenham had set for inclusion in the British Olympic Team. Foster has openly criticised Sweetenham's management style and has trained outwith the British team's auspices.
I love this video since it is so detailed. It shows a close up on hand entry, rotation and his streamline. This is show swimming should be filmed

Grant Hackett in Slow Motion

Note that he only kicks when he is about to breathe. I do that and I hate myself for it. I feel I should always be kicking in some symmetrical fashion. I am going to try and implement a Laure Manaudou two-beat kick instead of my current "tom-tom shuffle".

I found this video on a swimming blog called SwimmingScience. There is a critique therein of Grant's stroke.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Selective cuts on Laure Manaudou's technique

I think Laure could have beaten Kate Ziegler in the 1500 at World Championships if her race load hadn't of been so diversified.

USA Swimming is promoting swim lessons

Here is a creepy Center for Disease Control (CDC) water related fact sheet:
  • In 2003, there were 3,306 unintentional fatal drownings in the United States, averaging nine people per day. This figure does not include drownings in boating-related incidents (CDC 2005).

  • For every child 14 years and younger who dies from drowning, five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. More than half of these children require hospitalization (CDC 2005). Nonfatal drownings can cause brain damage that result in long-term disabilities ranging from memory problems and learning disabilities to the permanent loss of basic functioning (i.e., permanent vegetative state). [Link]
The best way to prevent drownings is through constant supervision and swim training. If you have kids, get them lessons. If you are in the Los Angeles area, my swim club offers lessons for kids and adults. Here is the phone number: (310) 390-5700, ask for Aqua Pro swim lessons for kids or swim lessons for adults.

Important side note: a lot of drownings occur when kids try to save a friend or family member who is drowning. It is very easy to become a victim yourself when attempting a rescue for when a rescuer approaches a victim without a flotation device, the victim grabs onto the rescuer like they are a stairway to just one more breath of air. Consequently the rescuer or both are pulled underwater and subdued. This happened twice last month in icy waters back east.

Glenn Mills won a gold medal in 1984 and he has a great site

When I took up masters swimming about three years ago this site taught me how to do a modern flip turn. It is a great site for visual demos and such. Recently it taught me how to do the new breaststroke turn and has giving me several ways to train better. The site has flash movies, technique articles, message boards, drills, and great commentary. You can also sign up for weekly mailings.

Here is a sample of his step-by-step coaching of this flip turn drill.

How To Do It:
1. Submerge yourself under water, pretty deep. What you're about to do will most likely cause your legs to float up to the surface, so you want to be deep enough to keep all of your body under.

2. Push off the wall with enough force to give you some momentum. If you push off too softly, you won't feel the the full effect of the sensation you're going for.

3. The INSTANT your toes leave the wall, tuck and send your chin down JUST a bit and allow the water to throw you around. Don't fight the water pressure, or try to help. Feel the water pushing your body down, and allow your hips to keep moving in a straight line toward the other end.

4. To incorporate this feeling into your turns, make sure you don't do the usual down-up-down-and-around approach to the wall. Rather, submerge or dive slightly before you reach the wall, and follow your final stroke down and around with your eyes. The water pressure will throw your head down, and get you into a nice tight tuck.

There is a flash video too of this flip turn drill. Take this site seriously. [Link]

Sunday, April 15, 2007

TYR Music Video featuring 'Such Great Heights' by the 'Postal Service

Either TYR or a fan has uploaded a whole bunch of TYR promotional videos to You Tube and they are a lot of fun. Here is a page worth of them. [Link]

From Europe, a No-Chlorine Backyard Pool

The New York Times has an article about self-cleaning pools for the backyard that use no chlorine. Invented in Europe these pools meet strict EU water quality standards. From the article:
  • The pools have skimmers and pumps that circulate the water through the regeneration zone and draw it across a wall of rocks, loose gravel or tiles, to which friendly bacteria attach, serving as an additional biological filter. Unlike artificial ponds, which tend to be as murky with groundwater runoff and sediment from soil erosion as the natural ponds they’re modeled on, in a natural pool the water is clear enough to see through to the bottom. [Link]

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Chicago over L.A.: Chicago gets to bid for 2016 Olympics

I actually felt that L.A. didn't deserve the right to bid for the 2016 Olympics. I know it sounds odd but this city is not worthy of the Olympics. Los Angeles has the all the sports facilities to host the Olympics but we certainly are not the best city in America and it is my feeling that only the best city in America should host the Olympics.

L.A. has no viable rapid transit system because we are so large. The middle class has been erased; (The average cost per house in L.A. County is $500,000 but the average income in the city of Los Angeles is $20,000 per capita, and $39,000 for households). Only 44% of high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District graduate in four years time, the LAPD is ordered what laws it can selectively enforce, and none of what I am saying is a lie or hyperbole. I think only the best city in America should get the Olympics and Los Angeles is not the best city. GO CHICAGO!

Here is a link to the Chicago gets to bid over L.A. article: [Link]

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sea Creatures made from plastic water bottles

In Miwa Koizumi's own words:
  • "... I love the idea of using liquid containers to make water animals. Contained/containing, trash/not-trash, like the jelly-fish or anemone: Living/non-living
  • And I wanted some pets..."
  • "... I use a combination of heat guns, soldering irons and different cutting utensils to make these PETs. I wanted to work with glass but this is more fun. I have as much material as I want just by fishing in the garbage. ..." [Link]

Swim photography

Ogged shared a link with us all to some very rich underwater swim photography by Grant Steinfeld. [Link] Here is a link to his blog, Aqua Hill, with some great insights on photographing swimmers: [Link]

The more I look at this the more it looks like a bullet being shot into ballistics gel.

Chlorine pools tied to more colds

Here is an MSNBC article sent to me by Trevr; (check out his blog link in the right-hand navigation), that states pool workers and swimmers are prone to more colds due to a mixture of chlorine, sweat, and urates. (Urates is a polite word for urine.) Makes sense, since mixing chlorine, sweat, and ammonia has to make for one heck of a caustic martini. Here is the story at MSNBC: [Link]

But there is a solution! Take the acid and the chlorine out of water completely and replace the chemicals with an ozone purification system. Ozone works amazingly well and produces water completely free of bacteria and viruses of any kind. Thus, the water will be safer for pool workers, swimmers and the ozone layer.

The image above comes from the European Space Agency from a GOME measurements of chlorine activation over the Arctic circle. Chlorine is bad "mojo" for both the ozone layer and our air quality so why are we using it when there is a better solution that is cleaner, safer, and has been in use on an industrial scale for the past 50 years?

Another byproduct of ozonated water is that the water has a clarity to it that chlorine or other chemicals can't match. Here are some links explaining how it works. The first link is to an ozone pool product site, the next two are independent news articles, [Air Tree] - [Water Tech Online] - [Daily Yomiuri Online]

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bubble test for my surfing cartoon

I am REALLY inspired to do my own surfing cartoon after seeing Kleeman and Mike so I began working last night in earnest. It has no title yet but it is coming along conceptionally. First thing I am doing is building the art. I want great water art, neat character designs, and really tight wave animations

So, after working in Flash and Photoshop for 8 hours at work, I came home and spent another 3 hours of trying to animate the perfect wave; all of them were just mediocre and I wasn't to happy. :-(

So, to finish the night with some sort of victory; I chose to work on a "bubbles-test" instead. The above static graphic is how they turned out. Sorry that the graphic is static. Blogger wouldn't let me upload the animation. In the Flash animation the bubbles go up and down at different intervals and they look really "plushie". These bubbles will be part of the whitewater.

I love the impressionistic rendition in the Kleeman and Mike cartoon but I am going to go with a completely different style so that mine isn't rip-off.

How swimming should be filmed for TV or cinema

Swim photography needs more Zen! The way races are filmed now is summarily just to see who touches first. In my opinion, if you are great enough to make it to a final, you should have a least three additional camera views such as the ones shown in this Canon commercial.

This blog endorses Phelps, Hoff, and Megan Jendrick

If you donate time or money to Special Olympics then you are so officially endorsed by this blog. Michael Phelps, Katie Hoff and Megan Jendrick in China to promote Special Olympics:
  • Earlier Thursday, Phelps and Hoff took part in a fashion show for garments being sold to benefit the Special Olympics, which Shanghai is hosting this October.
  • Asked about similarities between the regular Olympics and the games for the intellectually disabled, Phelps said they were closer than some would think.
  • "I think the Special Olympics and the Olympics are actually pretty similar. We all have dreams and we all have goals. And you have to work hard to accomplish your dreams and goals," he said. [Link]

Will Ferrell to Participate in “Swim With Mike” and you can too

Here is a SCAQ (Southern California Aquatics) email I got yesterday about the event:

Hello Tony,

SWIM with MIKE this Saturday! Last year there were six Olympic gold medal winners coaching these masters clinics! SCAQers, this is an incredible place to get instruction, so take advantage of this! USC’s McDonald’s Olympic Swim Stadium opens at 8AM, and swim clinics begin at 9AM. Swim With Mike is an annual event held to benefit the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund. SCAQ has been participating with this great, worthwhile event for many years. If you want to take advantage of a great event and clinics done cheaper than anywhere, then please support this event. For more information, please visit: and/or

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Clothes come alive when submerged

My favorite is the jelly fish and the clam. The imagery just makes me want to go swimming.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

If you surf, or get up early for swim workouts, this animation will make you very happy!

This cartoon is exuberant, funny, surprisingly human and it made me smile. Submitted for your approval, Kleeman and Mike Surf Cartoon: [Link] (Click on the hat to get it started.)

Los Angeles and the State of California really want the Olympics in 2016

Above is the LA Colosseum during the 1984 Olympic ceremonies. LA held the Olympics in 1932 as well so a third Olympics would be historical. Experts are picking Chicago but now Governor Arnold has gotten involved and has offered a quarter-billion reasons to pick L.A. and they all contain the name George Washington.

From the article:
  • The California State Senate today voted overwhelmingly in favor of AB300, previously approved 65-1 by the State Assembly, which authorizes $250 million as a guarantee to the operation of a 2016 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
  • City, State, and LA 2016 bid leaders continue to express complete confidence in the financial success of a Los Angeles 2016 Olympic Games. The USOC will announce their decision on Saturday, April 14.
From Reuters:
  • "Los Angeles has all the facilities the Olympics need," said Schwarzenegger. "It also has incredible tradition and a gold-medal record when it comes to hosting these great Summer Games."
From [Link]
From Reuters [Link]

On June 10th I escape from "the rock" for the fourth time, you can too in September!

On June 10th I will be in San Francisco to swim in the annual Alcatraz Sharfest swim for the fourth time. (That's me above.) Last year I finished 65th in the men's wet suit division, or "wuss" division as David Horning puts it, and I finished 87th out of 960 entrants overall. (I am bragging to compensate for how bad I suck in the pool.)

This Sharkfest swim is sold out but the South End Rowing Club of San Francisco has a race as well which will be held on September 15th. There are about 2 dozen spots left so if you want the adventure of a lifetime I recommend this swim. Click here for details [Link]

The South End Rowing Club was established in1873 when text messaging was called Morse code and the locomotive was the only way to fly. With all that history under it's belt, this club knows has to know the San Francisco Bay.