Friday, February 29, 2008

Which suit would you look better in?

These product shots were pulled from the TYR website and the Speedo website in that order. The TYR Tracer Light suits are featured in the left panel wheres the Speedo Lazr suits are featured in the panel on right.

TYR [Link] Speedo [Link]

This question is for the mademoiselles: These companies pay photographers a fair amount of money to make their merchandise look as good as they ethically can. Both companies chose to photograph these suits from a 3/4 view so as to make the model's invisible, flattering, physique look even more amazing. With that in mind, note the female version of the Speedo Lazr as compared to the Tracer Light. Then ask yourself: Would this suit make me look fat?

Now for the gentleman: The Speedo Lazr costs $550 as compared to the $320 TYR Tracer Light. That is a 60%-plus markup price! Consequently, how much faster would the Lazr have to be to justify its price and justify you looking disproportionate and/or silly?

The questions above are interchangeable for both men and woman. I think this suit will sell poorly and will only be worn by those swimmers where fractions of second could mean a scholarship or a salary.

I dedicate this post to Scott, the Canuck Swimmer

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jodie Henry will miss Beijing due to injury

The Australian: "... Henry said she would not be competing in the Olympic selection trials in Sydney in late March, ending her dream of defending her 100m freestyle title in Beijing in August.

Had the worst fears been realised, Henry also would have announced her retirement from the sport but thankfully, while she admitted she had given some thought to giving the sport away, she announced she would swim on.

But first she has to overcome the complicated muscle imbalance in her pelvic region that has made training at times an agony for her. ..."

Well that's no fun! I hate to say this but I suspect a couple more swimmers ill drop out as well.

'" on the new Speedo Lazr

Blogger Trevr sent me a link to a gallery which features 10-images of Natalie Coughlin, Michael Phelps and a bunch of computer models wearing the new Speedo Lazr. [Link]

One picture illustrates a "girdle-like" construct within the suit to keep your core tighter. Now, if FINA can let THAT be okay, then why not "tripwires" on the Aquashift? Lame!

The Lazr costs $550; the jammers are $290. It's unfortunate that no swimming publication; albeit online or in print, have the courage to test these types of suits in a side-by-side comparison to see which brand really offers the fastest suit technology or even what sort of time advantage does one offer over the others. What if the Speedo Lazr is the fastest suit in the world but only offers a 2-tenths-of-a-second improvement in a 100 LCM free? Is the suit worth $500 to you if it makes you look like a "trekkie." Also, highly paid "mercenaries" do not count. Michale Phelps could probably with a 200 fly wearing wool board shorts.

Car and Driver has their "Car of the Year" and they certainly do shootouts from time to time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

From '': Abdominal and Core Strength and Endurance Exercise List

Dn't bother buying a magazine with a solution for rock hard abs. collected all of them here.

They list a total of 13 of them. This is my favorite name for an abdominal exercise, it's called Alternating Supermans and you have to hum the theme or recite the opening monologue from the TV show while you do it or they won't work. (I just made that up but it really is called Alternating Supermans.)

Nonetheless, doesn't that sound nasty? Any abdominal exercise that has the word Superman in it has got to hurt. I have no plans to do any of these. I am convinced that the correct way you get "rock hard abs" is to become a vegan and swim 5 days a week. I will do the swimming part but I will only do the vegan part once a week. [Link]

Naked fisherman makes 12 hour swim to shore after trawler sinks

From The Age: "... He was spotted by search helicopters after 8am, after another fisherman on the trawler survived a remarkable 12-hour swim to shore yesterday, ending up on a beach suffering from exhaustion and dehydration.

"He grabbed my attention as he had lacerations up and down up his legs and scratches all over his [naked] body. [...] "His boat had overturned and he had hadn't seen his mates since 3.15am. ..." [Link]

One of the crew members was found 5-miles off the coast where they "clung to the esky." (I have no idea what that means.) I suspect that an experienced masters swimmer could have been able to swim 5 miles in 2-3 hours. I don't mean to be arrogant but being an accomplished swimmer can easily save your life in a stressful situation such as that. Even if it took the swimmer 6-hours instead of three; that is a heck of lot better than dog paddling for 12-hours.

Here is a link to a video at the Herald Sun: [Link]

More details at the World News Australia about the missing crew and how it happened here: [Link]

Wouldn't this be a great pool for some swim technique evaluation?

This pool exists at the 1000 Beach in Vancouver, Canada. [Link]

I did a post about building a pool with a glass bottom featuring Dara Torres in a very sloppy Photoshop rendition. I concluded that this would be the best way to observe a swimming race since all of the work takes place underwater. Here is another pool found on that I would pay "mad bank" to swim in. Put a video camera on a tripod and then see any and all mistakes you ever make when you swim across a pool. [Link]

I might swim in this pool and have somebody film me.

1000 year-old swimming pool: Welcome to Angkor Wat!

I have been fascinated with this place ever since I was a kid. I saw it for the first time in a old Sinbad movie on TV and I was blown away. This ancient city was once overtaken by jungle, completely shrouded and hidden, what little left that was exposed to the world was summarily looted by western tomb raiders. That all changed when Cambodia took control of it as a national asset and restored it. Some of the artwork looted has been returned.

More evidence that swimming is not just an art or science but rather a lifestyle and has been for the past 1000 years.

A site called did all the due diligence in finding his sublime work of engineering. [Link]

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's 10-below Zero Celsius and this man is diving into 33.8 degree water!

Started a new job; gripping, been slow to post. I will pick up the pace tonight.

From the South African: In the Arctic, he faced air temperatures of minus 10 degrees Celsius and a water temperature of one degree. The only casualty had been his two big toes and parts of his soles in which he had temporarily lost sensation. [Link] More: The Good News South Africa: [Link]

Sunday, February 24, 2008

'Tarzan and his Mate': 1934 Nude Swim Scene featuring Jane "skinny dipping"

Tarzan played by Olympian, Johnny Weissmuller, the first man to break a minute in the 100 LCM swims with a naked Jane. The underwater filming and choreography is fantastic.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

USA Athletes to bring their own food to China

And they won't be staying at Beijing Olympic Park either: "... The United States Olympic Committee, which will have more than 600 people in its delegation, is planning to transport its own produce because of fears about public health and food standards in China.

The athletes will eat their three daily meals at their training camp at a local university, which is outside the official confines of the Olympic Park. ..." [Link]

I read a prediction by Thomas Barnett; author of The Pentagon's New Map, regarding the public relations result of the 2008 Olympics for China. Unfortunately I have to quote him from memory since I can't find it on his blog: China will win the most gold medals. The logistics and overall process will go smoothly but the Chinese will consider the Olympics a failure because the world will be talking about the dirty air, the squalor and Dafur.

The photo above came from Klieg's photostream at It is entitled: Qian Ye Restaurant: The Chicken lost. The photo was taken in a restaurant in Beijing, China. Here is a direct link to the photo: [Link]

Michael Phelps: His problems with the 400 IM and what his work load will be like in Beijing

From the Kansas City Star: "COLUMBIA | Michael Phelps won the 100-meter butterfly Monday morning at the Missouri Grand Prix. He beat Ian Crocker, the world record holder, to do it.

Ten minutes later, he raced again, in the 100-meter backstroke, and narrowly missed beating Aaron Peirsol, the world record holder in that event.

Twenty minutes later, Phelps was back in the pool, racing in the 100-meter breaststroke. He took sixth. But that was beside the point.

His Club Wolverine coach, Bob Bowman, designed the grueling schedule for two reasons: to get Phelps used to swimming several events a day in preparation for the Beijing Olympics, where he will have to swim 18 times or more in a week, and to use the back-to-back-to-back 100-meter tests as building blocks for the 400-meter individual medley.

“Those three components today will make him better,” Bowman said. [Link]

From the Baltimore Sun: But it was a race from Sunday, the 400 individual medley, that Phelps will remember from this event. He didn't swim well, finishing almost eight seconds off his world-record time.

"That IM is still killing me," said Phelps, who trained much of his career at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club before moving to Ann Arbor, Mich. "It's such an important event for us this summer. It's going to start off the meet both at trials and the Olympics. For me to have a successful year, I'll have to start trials out on a good note to have a good 400 IM. If I start off with a bad swim, it's going to be hard to bounce back." [Link]

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Both Eamon Sullivan and Stefan Nystrand use a straight arm recovery when sprinting and both have set world records

A straight arm recovery certainly violates the [...] as well as the Eddie Reese on Freestyle DVD; though Eddie Reese to his credit is certainly a bit more flexible about it.

Note Eamon Sullivan's straight arm recovery and then compare it to the frantic windmill of Stefan Nystrand. Very similar styles here on the recovery.

I am wondering if a straight arm recovery; if you have a fast turnover to go along with it, creates better body rotation than a bent elbow?

Posted with permission from WCSN. Ask you cable provider for WCSN or click the link below to see WCSN events streaming live, baby!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Eamon Sullivan video, like the Kate Ziegler world record video, is the only video available of his WR

According to the Hearld Sun: WORLD record-holder Eamon Sullivan's historic swim was only caught on video by a member of the Australian team's support staff.
However, it was caught on camera by sports scientist Bernard Savage.

The footage, filmed by Savage with a handycam, has become priceless vision. [Link]

If you ever go to meet with superstars in attendance, film it!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Whoops, There goes another world record!

Man, I am eating my words over the Speedo Lazr. There is our Patron saint, Natalie Coughlin looking prety streamlined.

Check out this quote from Swimming World: "... Coughlin took the swim out in 28.77, before bringing it back in 30.44. Her front half proved the difference as second-place finisher Coventry touched in 59.61 with splits of 29.42 and 30.19. ..." [Link]

Two long standing world records fell this weekend and I confirmed that one of the WRs was set while wearing the Speedo Lazr

I got a Swimming World News Alert today regarding Kristy Coventry from Zimbabwe who set a world record in the 200 LCM backstroke at the Missouri Grand Prix in a time of 2:06.39. The previous world record set by Krisztina Egerszegi stood for 17-years but she bested it by 0.23 seconds. I wrote Jason M. at Swimming World asking if she was wearing the new $500 Speedo Lazr at the time and he confirmed that she was.

Eamon Sullivan from Australia set a world record in the 50 LCM free at the New South Wales Swimming Championships in a time of 21.64 besting the previous record by 0.08. I don't know if he was wearing a Speedo Lazr at the time but he is a Speedo sponsored athlete.

Here is a Wiki-link of the 50 LCM world record progression which includes the names, dates, the times and the nationality of those who have held the world record in the 50 LCM: [Link]

The photo above came from a Stuff.Co.NZ article which includes four more photos of Australian swimmers wearing the Speedo Lazr and their positive comments regarding it. [Link]

I am still critical of how the suit looks; (sci-fi, a video-game-like uniform), but producing one world record or possibly two if Eamon Sullivan was wearing the suit is delivering.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Michael Phelps swims without his new 'Speedo Lazr' at the 'Missouri Grand Prix'

Michael Phelps swims a 1:55.26 in the 200 fly at the Missouri Grand Prix sans a Speedo Lazr. I wonder if the other swimmers like Dara Torres, Katie Hoff, Kate Ziegler swam without the Lazr as well. You would think that they would have worn one since Speedo has been showboating it all over creation.

Here is a Baltimore Sun article about the Michael Phelps and the Missouri Grand Prix: [Link]

Friday, February 15, 2008

Swimming World: The IOC will allow Olympians to blog at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Of course they will be muzzled but I don't see how they could stop somebody from blogging about their experiences if they logged into their own personal account.

Ultimately, what would an Olympian want to blog about? Would it go something like this:

Olympian Blog Entry - September 2008: Woke up this morning and had 2-bowls of Special X cereal and boy did those 300 calories taste yummy as the special formulated oat bran lowered my cholesterol thereby making me swim so much faster during heat one.

Later, I jumped into a Ford Focus for some sightseeing and some shopping; (Wow, what a smooth ride and environmentally friendly too.)

After buying some really cute Chairman Mao piggy banks off a street vendor so we could take home a memento of this glorious regime, we then stopped off and got a quick bite to eat at a McDonald's. (Their colors match the Chinese flag too.)

I love McDonald's, They are everywhere and they are soooo globally conscious. For this week only, McDonald's is offering a special 2-for-1 Super Size Meal: Buy one Big Mac and get 2 free. And I got a plastic toy with it of guess who? Michael Phelps surfing on his Visa Card!

How could I turn down three Big Macs before the most important race of my life. Yums! (Only at participating stores, terms and conditions apply.)

After lunch we got lost, but that wasn't a problem, we simply typed the Watercube address into the Tom-Tom GPS system and got to the Beijing Watercube 20 minutes before my competitors did who were using the Garmin GPS "complicated thingy". What an advantage the Tom Tom gave me. Less Stress too and it only cost $299. Wow! What a deal, I got mine at Best Buy and you can too.

Finally, It was time to put on the world's fastest swimsuit, the Speedo Lazr, and show the world how inferior the TYR Tracer light, the NIKE and the Arena suit are. Well, got to go take my AMGEN Pharaceutical B12 shot, the lifestyle vitamin for the woman on the go!

Till next time, see you all on, the greatest internet service provider of the new century and don't forget to send me your email address so I can keep you up to date on all the stuff I use to swim faster and better. -- toodles!

Image came from
Noggle's photostream at Flickr .com. Here is a direct link to the image: [Link]

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Speedo" and the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs did a lot of "over-promising" this week

"Under-promise but over-deliver," that is what Creative Director, Susi Watson, taught me when I worked for the Disney Internet Group.

This week a lot of promises were made in regards to swimming: We had Speedo's claim yesterday that their new speed suit is 10% more fluid dynamic than the original Fastskin and as a result provides the swimmer with 4% more oxygen stores.

Now, quoted in the Washington Post, trainers at the USOC are insinuating that they have a way of cataloging or quantifying successful tweaks in one's training. They are vague and "snarky" about what it is but this is how it is described:

"... They undertook a joint study at the training center last fall. They devised what Vint described as a "measurement thing," and Olympic megastar Michael Phelps assisted with the testing. The new "thing" helped Phelps and other swimmers, according to Vint, who hopes it will make a difference for the United States in Beijing. Prior to the USOC's change in structure, Vint said, such a partnership would never have emerged. ..."

They say they won't reveal it till September: [Link]

The proof will be in the water and as a matter of fact, Michael Phelps, Dara Torres, and other Speedo mercenaries will be swimming at the 2008 Toyota Grand Prix of Swimming this weekend at the University of Missouri.

We are only six months out from the Olympic games and these athletes have been promised by Speedo to have 4% added oxygen stores by wearing suits that are 5% more fluid dynamic than the suits they wore at the 2007 FINA World Championships. If that is the case, they all should be swimming remarkably faster than they did last year when they step onto the blocks.

As for the USOC who asserted in the Washington Post article that Michael Phelps and other USA swimmers were helped by this. "measurement thing," again, same thing, we should definitely expect faster swimming, but on the other hand, what if we don't?

The photo above is posted with permission from Business Wire and it is captioned: Michael Phelps (USA) models the new Speedo LZR RACER, the world's fastest swimsuit. The new suit will be worn by athletes in Beijing. (Photo: Business Wire)

Why do muscles get sore and tired? - "The New York Times" found out!

This article was sent to me by a fellow SCAQ swimmer after reading about the lactic acid sets that Olympian/NCAA Champ, Rada Owen, and Olympian/bronze medalist Erik Hockstein conduct every Sunday for SCAQ Swimmers.

Here is some astonishing info regarding what really causes muscle fatigue and it has nothing to do with lactic acid. From the New York Times: "... For decades, muscle fatigue had been largely ignored or misunderstood. Leading physiology textbooks did not even try to offer a mechanism, said Dr. Andrew Marks, principal investigator of the new study. A popular theory, that muscles become tired because they release lactic acid, was discredited not long ago.

In a report published Monday in an early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Marks says the problem is calcium flow inside muscle cells. Ordinarily, ebbs and flows of calcium in cells control muscle contractions. But when muscles grow tired, the investigators report, tiny channels in them start leaking calcium, and that weakens contractions. At the same time, the leaked calcium stimulates an enzyme that eats into muscle fibers, contributing to the muscle exhaustion. ..."

This study has implications for those with heart issues too. Please take careful note of the last paragraph. [Link]

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

News release from NASA regarding the new Speedo speedsuit

From the release: "... HAMPTON, Va. - When a swimsuit manufacturer wanted to create a better fabric for competitive swimmers, it sought out some unlikely experts -- aerospace engineers at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton.

"... That fact led Warnaco Inc. of New York, the U.S. licensee of the Speedo swimwear brand, to seek use of a NASA wind tunnel at Langley to test swimsuit fabrics that may be used by athletes in international competitions.

"We evaluated the surface roughness effects of nearly 60 fabrics or patterns in our small low-speed tunnel, which is perfect for this purpose," Wilkinson said. "We were assessing which fabrics and weaves had the lowest drag. ..."

The materials tested come in the form of tubes. Wilkinson stretches the tubes over a smooth, flat aluminum plate and then secures the edges with smooth metal rails and tape to form a precise rectangular model shape. Wilkinson runs the material through a number of wind speeds and, with the help of sensors, measures drag on the surface. Under a reimbursable agreement, NASA turns the wind tunnel data over to Speedo for their use. ..."

"... It turns out to simulate a swimmer in the water at about two meters per second, we need to run the wind tunnel at about 28 meters per second, which is well within its capability," Wilkinson added. "The tests generally have shown the smoother the fabric, the lower the drag."

It's not there yet but "... video of Speedo fabric testing will be available on the NASA Television Video File. For downlink and scheduling information and links to streaming video, visit:

Nasa New release [Link]

New Speedo speedsuit makes elite swimmers look like fat and dumpy actors in a bad sci-fi TV show!

This is two hours old delivered to us by the Daily Telegraph. The suit may be fast, faster, or fastest, but look at the above swimmers! Here we have some of the best swimmers evolution has ever produced and this new Speedo makes them look like background extras in a bad sci-fi TV show.

That is Leisel Jones on the right who is both strong and beautiful but look how dumpy it makes her look in the slide show at the Daily Telegraph site: [Link]

UPDATE 1: Phelps looks silly too! Swimming World has an article and several links about the new Speedo: [Link]

UPDATE 2 :Speedo made this claim to the Sydney Morning Herald: "... The company claims swimmers are up to 5 per cent more efficient in their oxygen intake and says the suit has 5 per cent less drag than the previous model. But Speedo, which originated in Australia, is now owned by British firm Pentland Brands and distributed throughout the world, meaning Australia no longer has exclusive access to any of the company's technological breakthroughs. ..." [Link]

My Take: That is an extraordinary claim and it demands extraordinary proof. I don't buy it and I don't appreciate papers making this claim for Speedo without including the evidence to see if it can be reproduced. Same goes for any speed suit manufacturer

UPDATE 3 USA Today raises the bar of 5% less drag made by the Sydney Morning Herald to a whopping "10% less passive drag" then the previous Speedo made in 2004. If this is the case let's see if Michael Phelps posts faster times; i.e. world records at the Missouri Grand Prix meet this weekend. [Link]

Monday, February 11, 2008

Apparently the universe is submerged in a dark fluid - Who Knew?

Scientist have a new theory about the universe. From "... The two biggest mysteries in cosmology may be one. A new theory says that dark matter and dark energy could arise from a single dark fluid that permeates the whole universe. And this could mean Earth-based dark matter searches will come up empty. ..."

"... It's counterintuitive that one substance could be both a gravitational anchor for galaxies and anti-gravity force for the universe. However, HongSheng Zhao of the University of St Andrews in Scotland claims that a fluid-like dark energy can act like dark matter when its density becomes high enough. ..." [Link]

Hope this universe isn't somebody's snow globe!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

This is how I looked while swimming a broken 200 SCY today

NCAA champion/Olympian Rada Owen; (Swimming Faster Freestyle with David Marsh), along with Erik Hockstein; Olympic Bronze medalist/Masters swimming world record holder, set up a workout today that brought me to total lactic failure.

One thing I accomplished today is that I am not afraid to sprint anything now.

These are special workouts for SCAQ members only who want to do swim meets. (SCAQ is more of a swim club than a swim team hence the subsidiary workouts.) These workouts are only 10 dollars and you get technique advice for any event you want to swim. In my opinion I feel privileged to be able to do these workouts for where can you get a Rada Owen and an Erik Hockstein to advise you in a single workout? And that's not all, we all have the LMU pool to ourselves which is one of the finer pools in Southern California! I look forward to it every Sunday morning.

If you want to do one of these workouts call the SCAQ office and set it up: (310) 390-5700 and tell them this blog recommended that you call! (I was not asked to write this and I do it on my own volition.)

This photo comes from the Daily Mail out of the UK. I can't link to the article since the image location was the only link given at

Prince Charles: Yay! British Olympic Chiefs: Nay!

The first two paragraphs of this , Daily Mail piece astonished me: "... British Olympic chiefs are to force athletes to sign a contract promising not to speak out about China's appalling human rights record – or face being banned from travelling to Beijing.

The move – which raises the spectre of the order given to the England football team to give a Nazi salute in Berlin in 1938 – immediately provoked a storm of protest. ..."

My take: Is the Chinese government’s hold on power so anemic or tenuous that public criticism by individual athletes could perhaps inspire the population to reevaluate its current form of government?

So, where does Prince Charles fit in? He is simply going to use his free speech and not support or attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

State Finals in Indiana streaming live right now: I just saw Chelsea Hall swim a 23.1 for the 50 free!

Though the quality is not as good as WCSN it certainly is better than SwimNetwork's version of Nationals. Also, those swimmers that made the finals get a podium spot. Very nice presentation. [Link]

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Omega has built a new starting block that has received FINA approval

I first heard about this starting block at Timed Finals. Timed Finals gives a link to the source of the info as well; a Reuters story out of Australia: [Link]

An individual commenting on the post links to photos of the new starting block at the Race Club website. Go there and look: [Link]

The internet is one big registry of everything: Welcome to ""

Lots of movies and photos of perfectly symmetrical, yet ephemeral, bubble rings with both humans and animals interacting with them. [Link]

Another find on

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Pregnant pigmy seahorse off of Bunaken Island

This photo was yanked across the network from It was taken by Martin Strmiska and what a beautiful photograph it is. I originally found his work at where it was submitted by Jermacide

I just swam in 72 degree water at Santa Monica College

Santa Monica College, home of KCRW and NPR has one of the best pools in Southern California. The staff is great, it's clean and I appreciate it so much that they let SCAQ swim there. Tonight, they got their boiler back on line but a 50 meter pool takes a long time to heat, Consequently we swam in 72 degree water.

Floating sauna by Finnish architect Sami Rintala.

Loving all of his designs. That floating sauna would be a rage. If you get to hot, just jump in and swim a few laps. Plus how Zen can you get?

SCAQ could have used one at the Santa Monica College pool last Monday for the water at 7:30 PM was a chilly 74 degrees due to a busted boiler. Hope it's fixed - Ha, maybe that is why I am posting it.

First located at who credited the link to Here is a link to some of Finnish architect, Sami Rintala, original works: [Link]

72% of San Francisco voters voted to keep Alcatraz rather than developed the 22 acre island into a "Global Peace Center"

Here is a the link to the San Jose Mercury News regarding the defeat: [Link]

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Today is voting day and in San Francisco local swimmers and triathletes have a choice: "Global Peace Center" or "Alcatraz"

So which will it be San Francisco: The Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon, or the Escape From the Global Peace Center Triathlon? Then there is the Alcatraz Sharfest Swim or the Global Peace Center Shrakfest Swim? Finally there is my favorite: Swim or Die, the Global Peace Center Challenge!

Proposition 'C' is a San Francisco ballot initiative that would allow the people of San Francisco to buy Alcatraz Island from the federal government and perhaps build a "Global Peace Center" in it's place. Here a USA Today article about it: [Link]

This is how we legislate in California; by initiative. Our legislative branch is so deadlocked and so frightened to make a decision that they or even our Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, put up ballot initiatives to bypass the process. The rest of the US is not this progressive or extreme; depending on your point of view, and consequently California leans more towards democracy rather than a republic style of government. I for one like it this way and subsequently we are the best state in the country! :-P

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Phelps, Crocker, and Hoff will be paid to learn Chinese for the 2008 Olympics!

Michael Phelps, Ian Crocker, and Katie Hoff will be learning Mandarin for the Beijing Olympics. Each athlete will be sponsored by Rosetta Stone, and be provided the language tools from their product line to do so. I was told that this was the first Chinese phrase they learned: 显示我金钱 or, "show me the money," was the first sentence they were able to read and write! ;-) [Link]

The actual Rosetta Stone from the British Museum is pictured to the right. Here is some info regarding the Rosetta Stone: [Link]

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Britta Steffen might compete in the 50 free in Beijing

Britta Steffan WAS at the Water Cube this weekend and she did quite well. From Xinhua: "... Steffen, the world record holder in the women's 200-meter butterfly, clocked 24.93 seconds, [in the 50 free] edging her Brazilian rival Flavia Cazziola in 25.44 and her teammate Daniela Goetz in 25.51.

Steffen said she was satisfied with her performance, adding that she was considering to compete in the 50-meter race in the Olympics. ..." [Link]

She also swam in and won the 100m fly but she didn't set a world record; she swam a 54.73

Lynne Cox will give two presentations this Monday, February 4, in Santa Barbara!

Daniel sent me this regarding Lynne Cox's, probably the best extreme swimmer the world has ever produced. Lynne will be giving two presentations this Monday, February 4, in Santa Barbara. First, she'll be at the National Girls & Women In Sports Luncheon: [Link] Then she will be at UCSB at 7:00 PM: [Link]

From Wikipedia: Lynne Cox (born 1957 is an American long-distance open-water swimmer and writer. In 1971 she and her teammates were the first group of teenagers to complete the crossing of the Catalina Island Channel in California. She has twice held the record for the fastest crossing (men or women) of the English Channel(1972 in a time of 9h 57 mins and 1973 in a time of 9h 36 mins). In 1975, Cox became the first woman to swim the 10°C (50°F), 16 km (10 mi) Cook Strait in New Zealand. In 1976, she was the first person to swim the Straits of Magellan in Chile, the first to swim across the Skagerrak, and the first to swim around the Cape Point in South Africa, where she had to contend with the risk of meeting sharks, jellyfish,and sea snakes

Cox is perhaps best known for swimming the Bering Strait from the of Little Diomede in Alaska to Big Diomede, then part of the Soviet Union where the water temperature averaged around 4°C (40°F). At the time, in 1987, people living on the Diomede Islands, only 3 km (two miles) apart, were not permitted to see each other, although many people had close family members living on the other island. Even more remarkably, her accomplishment eased Cold War tensions as Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met in Washington, DC to jointly congratulate her success.

Cox's most remarkable accomplishment was swimming more than a mile in the freezing waters of Antarctica. Although hypothermia would set in most humans inside of five minutes, Cox was in the water for 25 minutes swimming 1.06 miles.

Friday, February 01, 2008

A great view of a backstroke start and note how fast Randall Bal's turn over is!

Description from You Tube: "... The United States' Randall Bal kept on rolling in the backstroke events at the World Cup as he went 19-for-19 in the stroke with a win in the 100 back. ..."

I personally am just digging the start!

Posted with permission from WCSN. Ask you cable provider for WCSN or click the link below to see WCSN events streaming live, baby!

The "Homestead" in Utah offers a crater swimming pool

From the Homestead site: "... Of all the unique and wonderful activities you'll be part of at the Homestead, there is nothing quite like the Homestead Crater. It is a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock that nature has hollowed out and filled with 90° to 96° water. We have created a tunnel through the rock wall at ground level and built decks and a soaking area for our guests and the public to access the crystal clear mineral water. You can go swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling or enjoy a therapeutic soak. The Homestead Crater is the only warm water scuba diving destination in the continental US and it attracts many diving enthusiasts and those wishing to get certified in a comfortable environment. ..." Direct link to the site: [Link]

Originally found at, and submitted by a user who found it at

"Water Cube" drinking water

Branding the Water Cube for product use: So far they have granted 40 licenses. From China "...With the venue, dubbed the Water Cube after its blue bubble-wrap appearance, available for use as of this week for the test events, Kang is now focusing on making the Water Cube a valuable brand.

"While planning and inviting the bid for the aquatics center, we took into consideration post-Games use," Kang said. "As early as three years ago we planned to register the Water Cube trademark and now we have launched mineral water from Canada in bottles and we will have more products with the trademark in the future. ..." [Link]