Monday, June 30, 2008

'TNT' had track and field Olympic trials tonight and the girls were dressed like swimmers circa 2000!

Shalane Flanigan, in the 5k, was wearing "Speedo" briefs and a halter tank-top. She was definitely not hard to look at; but enough abut my problems. [Link to the photo from Daily Life]

Now contrast that to the speedsuit in swimming. So much for seeing extraordinary human bodies stepping up to the blocks looking like they stepped out of the Getty Museum. Instead both the men and the women now look like refugees from the movie March of the Penguins.

'Speedo' admits paying USA Olympic Swimming Coach Mark Shubert to endorse Speedo!

TYR is suing Speedo and USA Swimming for anti-trade practices which in my opinion are so obvious and so overt it boggles my mind that the only press publications being objective about this lawsuit are coming from outside the swimming spectrum. TYR is being portrayed as the villain and Speedo the poor, innocent, innovator. See SwimNews if you don't believe me.

With that said the L.A. Times has been quite fair with this lawsuit: here are some restated quotes about TYR's management practices from Coach Mark Shubert from an L.A. Times article:

"... USA Swimming's head coach, Mark Schubert, took jabs at TYR Sport, which is suing him, USA Swimming, Warnaco Swimwear Inc. -- the parent company of Speedo -- and swimmer Erik Vendt in connection with the LZR Racer swimsuit. The antitrust lawsuit alleges that there was a conspiracy to steer swimmers to Speedo.

Schubert, who has steadfastly refused to comment on the lawsuit, Saturday took pains to compliment Nike, which has been allowing its sponsored athletes to experiment with high-tech suits from other manufacturers. He said Nike shows it wants its athletes to succeed. ..." [Link]

Now, consider this: Mark Shubert set up a quasi-demonstration of the LZR in Manchester, England at the FINA SCM Championships. The meeting was mandatory and according to the TYR lawsuit brief, some athletes felt "hard sold." If Shubert is all for swimsuit choice, then why didn't he demo all the swimsuits so they could "...experiment with high-tech suits from other manufacturers" and why did he just demo the Speedo?

Now compare his credibility as a unbiased coach and a moral authority in regards to swimsuit choice in a court filling by a Speedo exec in regards to the Speedo lawsuit. From the L.A. Times:

".... But an earlier filing, a declaration attached from Stu Isaac, a Speedo senior vice president, stated that Schubert is a paid spokesman for the company, which backs up TYR's assertion.

Now I read the Ted Stevens Act
twice through today. The Stevens Act summarily created the concept of National Governing Body status. In my opinion, USA Swimming is not a business like the NFL or the NBA. Those organizations are businesses and can use their for-profit status to endorse, or forward the aims and interests of those that pay them "mad bank" to do so.

It's my interpretation that National Governing Bodies such as USA Swimming can't use their non-profit status as a for-profit engine so as to set up swimsuit monopolies for those such as Speedo or anybody else. USAS is a non-profit governing body set up by the United States Senate. What USAS overtly or covertly endorses essentially is endorsed by the auspices of the US government. It can't be done in my opinion.

Now for my tastes, the proper way for an endorsement deal to take place would be for USAS to state out loud that Speedo pays their bills and then state they are thankful for the cash but they won't say which suit is the best then I could live with that.

So, the TYR case has been moved to September 15th. How coincidental that is is after the games.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

China's smog problems are relentless!

From inhabitat: Already a large number of athletes are severely concerned about how competing in the Olympics will harm their health and chances at winning. The Australian track and field team, and the Canadian athletics team are skipping the opening ceremony due to concerns about pollution. [Link]

Hopefully the air in the Watercube is filtered. If smog screws up these Olympic Games then the IOC royally screwed up by choosing a country devoid of air clean enough to compete in. The blame should be placed on the IOC rather than China.

The Europeans film swimming so much better!

NBC is not showing enough underwater work, they is no red line displayed upon the water to denote the WR pace, and the names are not superimposed or displayed within the lanes as the first three swimmers touch.

I am actually angry about it. NBC is a billion dollar organization, they have an underwater camera but they are only showing the turns. The interviews suck too. Should have let Rowdy do them.

I am watching trials right now and I had a thought/question?

I am actually suffering through track and field right now waiting for the swimming though I love the homage to Jesse Owens that one athlete made.

So, here comes my thought and question: in 1968, George Foreman, after winning a gold medal pulled out a small American flag and walk around the ring with it to display his love of country. Bruce Jenner, after winning the Decathlon in 1976 grabbed an American flag and ran around track with it. Ipso facto it has now become the patriotic standard to display your country flag when celebrating victory.

Now here is a question that has been dancing around my house and head. What if Natalie Coughlin, Dara Torres, or Erik Vendt, won a gold medal and instead of pulling out an American flag they chose instead, the Golden Bear flag of California? Would there be political fallout? Would the USOC freak! Would the country be outraged? Would relay team designations change? What would California think? I would be elated to see it.

Gotta go, swimming is on!

(I know Dara is living in Florida and Erik training back east but I consider it a temporary exile for both these swimmers. They are Californians through and through.)

USA Today: Phelps not happy with his 400 IM prelim swim!

Ryan Lochte beat him; from USA Today: "...Swimming in the last heat, Phelps touched in 4:13.43 to be second-quickest, well off the world record of 4:06.22 he set at last year's world championships in Australia.

"I'm not really too happy," he said. "That was slower than I went in worlds in the morning. Hopefully I'll be faster tonight. ..." [Link]

The 1980 US Olympic team receives the 'Congressional Gold Medal'

On June 25th 1980, the 96th congress of the House of Representatives voted 374-28 in favor of awarding the 1980 US Olympic team the Congressional Gold Medal - But that is not what they received! Instead, they received was a gold plated bronze medal from the USOC which the USOC had to pay for. (Who were the 28 people who voted against it and why?)
So the athletes get their medal but it's called an Olympic Medal instead of a Congressional Medal.

So, Congress, after being prodded and corrected by Dave Sims and Ron Neugent, have changed the designation of the medals with a certificate now entered into the public record.

From the USOC website: "... COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Twenty-seven years after Congress authorized President Jimmy Carter to present a congressional medal to the 461 athletes of the 1980 United States Olympic Team, the medal has now been confirmed as being the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed by Congress. Until this recent designation, the medals awarded to the 1980 Olympic Team have been denied full recognition due to a technicality in production. ..."

Swimming World asked Glenn mills for his reaction to this last December and this is what he said: "... First, a very heartfelt thank you to Dave Sims and Ron Neugent. Thanks for caring enough to research and fight for recognition. Regardless of the significance of the medals, or the loss we all feel for not having had the chance to participate and represent our country, I feel the overriding message in this story is how we've all remained friends over the years. This is a team that shares a special bond. Dave and Ron's caring for all the athletes, and the heartfelt letter he wrote to all of us is a testament that no matter what our signification to the outside world, we remain The 1980 U.S. Olympic Team." [Link]

Now I wanted to find out if Congress followed through so I wrote Glenn Mills and asked if he could send me a photo as evidence that they followed through. Above is Glenn Mills holding up the certificate validating his medal as a Congressional Medal.

Winning the Congressional Medal is a big deal! Here is a page to the US House of Representatives of those that have received the Congressional Gold Medal. It's quite impressive, it includes Pope John Paul II; Navy Commander and de facto father of the navy, John Paul Jones; Prime Minister Tony Blair; Mother Teresa of Calcutta; Simon Wiesenthal; Gold Medalist, Jesse Owens, and many more. [Link]

Here is a link to Glenn Mills' (Congressional Medal Mills) website,

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I placed 9th in my age group at the 'Alcatraz Sharkfest'

I also finished 69th in the mens wetsuit division, 91st out of 800+ swimmers, More on it when I get home. I am the guy in the silver cap.

Friday, June 27, 2008

2008 'Open EDF' Photostream at Guyomedw's 'Flickr' page

Guillaume is coming out with a book later this year; for now he has given me permission to post his photos. Here is a link to his 2008 EDF photostream. Feel free to leave a comment or two. [Link]

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I can swim better than John William Anglin

Anglin used a rubber raft to escape Alcatraz but he and two others apparently drowned during his attempt. I will swim it wearing a neoprene wetsuit this Saturday morning at 9:00 AM and hopefully I will enter Aquatic Park about a half-hour or so later. I will let you know how how it went.

'EPO' or 'Epogen' still undetectable in anti-doping drug tests!

From the Herald Tribune: "...The investigators asked whether the sole reason for the improvement was increased numbers of red blood cells, and it was. But they also realized they had an opportunity to investigate the validity of the EPO test. So, without telling the anti-doping labs what they were doing, the investigators sent the men's urine samples for EPO testing.

One of the two labs, which the researchers refer to as Lab B in their paper, never declared any sample positive, even when the men were taking high doses of EPO every other day. Lab A was inconsistent. It found EPO during the high dose phase. But in the maintenance phase, it found EPO in only 6 of the 16 samples.

It is not terribly surprising that the labs disagreed, researchers said. The EPO test, like urine tests for other hormones, including growth hormone, is extremely difficult. The lab must look for tiny chemical differences between the EPO a person makes naturally and EPO that is injected as a drug. ..."

The photo to the right comes from penston's photostream at It is entitled Aranesp. [An EPOgen analog] Here is a link to the actual photo. [Link]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Britta Steffen: "I'd like to see everyone swimming in a normal bathing suit..."

Britta Steffen on tech-doping over at Reuters: "I'd like to see everyone swimming in a normal bathing suit," said Steffen, who set a European 100 metres freestyle record of 53.20 seconds at the German championships in April.

"That way we could see who's the best swimmer and not who has found the best material. I'd have no problem finishing second or third and knowing 'Okay, you just weren't better than the others'. [Link]

The photo above is Britta Steffen exiting the pool. The photo was found on guyomedw's photostream at Flickr. Here is a direct link to the photo: [Link]

Glenn Mills not only endorses the 'blueseventy,' he sets a masters world record in one and feels guilty about it.

Erik Hochstein sent me this as a supplement to the Gary Hall jr. endorsement below. Glenn Mills storms a 200LCM breaststroke ion one and feels . Here is a snippet:

"...When I touched the wall on the finish, and glanced up to the clock, I was hoping I would be within a respectable measure of David Guthrie's World Record of 2:26.1, and the time I saw surprised me for the first time since I was 15 in a swim race: 2:22.6. I waited for the clock to reset, or change. I figured there was a missing light because I knew UMD had just ordered a beautiful new scoreboard. The more I looked, the more confused I got. Did I really just go 2:22? No way. I couldn't have gone that fast. The last time I swam this race meters, I went 2:30 in December, and it HURT! The 2:10 yards in Austin was a good race, and I was READY for that one. I didn't do anything for this... except, change my stroke a bit, and put on a Blueseventy suit. ..." [Link]

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gary Hall Jr. tacitly endorses the 'blueseventy' speedsuit!

Here is a quote /snippet from Gary that he posted on his Race Club message board:

"... We also need to give credit where credit is due. The suit. I know, I know. I hate to admit it. There is something to the suit. I was training with Mark right before I left for Omaha and he had the new Blue Seventy suits. He was talking about leaving Speedo who he has been with for decades(!) to sign with Blue Seventy. We were testing the suit and there is something there. No question. Could it account for a .16 drop? I think so. ..." ['YouTube' Link to the reaction]

I actually think Gary Hall is a contender this weekend, albeit a dark horse.

Here is a link to thread: [Link]

Monday, June 23, 2008

Underwater Swimsuit Fashion Show

I think it is a Howard Schatz video. I posted some of his stuff before here: [Link]

Since it was over 100 degrees in So Cal yesterday, I post Lewis Gordon Plough swimming a 1,000 meters at the north pole!

I would love to swim in water that clean but make the water two-and-a-quarter times warmer.

"The Big Bad Swim" movie trailer

A movie about learning how to swim - but note that the phrase "learning how to swim" is primarily a metaphor for what these functional and non-functional adults are struggling with.

What it illustrates amazingly well is the diverse and friendly people you meet when you put on a swimsuit.

Friday, June 20, 2008

"And we would have got away with it if it wern't for you meddling kids!"

Look what happens when you get 3,700 kids together in Santa Monica, California. From

The event, hosted by the Malibu Foundation and sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Stormwater Program and California Coastal Commission, also included a massive beach cleanup on Dockweiler Beach. The event was the climactic celebration of 20 elementary schools that participated in ocean presentations held throughout the academic year in and around the City of Los Angeles.

For more images and information visit and

When you swim open or open water races in So Cal you really do appreciate efforts like this. These kids made more people art so go take a look at Inhabitat: [Link]

And speaking of nuclear fission, Michael Phelps owes the dolphin kick to nuclear physicist, Volney C. Wilson!

Amy Shipley from the Washington Post explores the history of the dolphin kick which ultimately transformed the freestyle into a hybrid event. Here is a snippet:

"... The underwater dolphin kick attracted the interest of swimming innovators as early as the 1930s. The late Volney C. Wilson explored its possibilities before diving into later work on nuclear fission and the atomic bomb, according to David Schrader, a research professor at Marquette University who is Wilson's biographer.

Schrader said Wilson, an alternate on the 1932 Olympic water polo team who studied fish propulsion at a Chicago aquarium, claimed to have shown the kick to Johnny Weissmuller, a training mate at the Illinois Athletic Club. ..."

I think Weissmuller would have been way more receptive to it if the flip-turn was part of a swimmer's lexicon.

There are so many gems in this article regarding swimmers Misty Hyman; Neil Walker; local boy, Lenny Krayzelburg; Michael Phelps; and they even bring in propeller heads from the Navy into George Washinton University to study its effectiveness. It is a total must read: [Link]

Thanks for sending this ;-)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A near life experience: Nuclear Cake

A near life experience: Nuclear Cake - On March 1, 1946 the United states evaporated the Bikini atoll with a thermonuclear explosion, an atoll in the South Pacific that engineer, Louis Réard, and French fashion designer, Jacques Heim, named the two-piece swimsuit, the Bikini, after.

In the above photo, Admiral 'Spike' Blandy, celebrates the detonation with a simple thermonuclear themed cake! Am I the only one perplexed by the enthusiasm? This was a less than one year after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I found this gem at one of my favorite blogs, Spy's Spice Here is a You Tube of the actual explosion, an event that brought back into the present the two piece swimsuit from the pools of ancient Rome. What will take to bring it back again post LZR and the Tracer era?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Anonymous Coach has left a new comment on your post "Longevity and quality issues with the 'Speedo LZR'..."

The comment below makes the presumption that the Speedo LZR is the fastest suit ever built. There is no scientific evidence that it is but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from Speedo employees and the numerous world records set by well paid mercenaries. (Call it the Nike effect whereas vast sums of money facilitate paid endorsements rather than emotional ones.) Now, this coach feels the LZR is the fastest suit available and he expresses hi anger at Speedo by not making the suit available to all those competing against it. Here is his comment:

"... The biggest problem with these suits is that they are not available to everyone. As a coach, I had 3 swimmers miss Olympic Trials cuts in Omaha by less than a tenth, and all were wearing TYR Tracer's or FS Pro's.

What would they have gone in the LZR?

Myself, along with my swimmers, waited at the Speedo booth each day of the meet to get an LZR, and not once did they have their respective size at any time. One could easily make the claim that those that were wearing LZR's had an advantage over those did not get one.

Stu at Speedo told me they only brought 50 suits total to the Omaha meet. FINA has a rule that is very clear; the suit MUST be available to everyone upon it's release! Obviously, Speedo is in clear violation of this rule. The LZR is available to the very few who are fortunate enough to be sponsored by Speedo, or those who are lucky enough to be at the right place (ie the Speedo booth) at the right time.

Did I mention I hate Speedo?

[No, but I will. I hate Speedo's trade practices and how they do business; especially with you.]

The photo above is of "The Unknown Comic." I posted it as an ad hoc icon so as to represent anonymity and talent. Here is his profile on the Unknown Comic on Wikipedia: [Link]

Friday, June 13, 2008

I am looking for back issues of USA Swimming's "Splash Magazine"

I am primarily interested in the 2004 Splash magazines leading up to the Athens Olympic games. If you have any, please contact me at groovydoo [at] and we can talk about a price by email. :-)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More on: "Longevity and quality issues with the 'Speedo LZR' documented in the press" from an 'anonymous poster'

I wish I could say I wrote this but I didn't. I don't know who did; perhaps a writer from Swim Network? I would be very flattered if it were for it contains valuable info if your were thinking of throwing down $550 hoping a Speedo LZR would last a season or two. This individual provides a link to Swim Network, who has video to back up his opinions.

"... Here are two scenes at the recent Omaha Swimvitational and the LZR effect ???

7:45 a.m. each morning and swimmers are lined up 30-40 deep waiting on the Speedo reps to arrive with their pile of LZR's. Some are nearly asleep, many are lying down, etc. Meet starts at 9:30 a.m. each morning. Why weren't the Speedo reps there much earlier so these athletes did not have to sit around. Ridiculous. I guess since prelims at Trials starts later they will sleep in even more. Bottom line on this issue... All the swimsuit companies should have their employees covering the warm-up pool and venue whenever the pools are open to the athletes. Surely at $550 a suit these they can find some flunkie in a Speedo shirt find a way to crawl out of bed and be at the pool when the athletes hit the door.

Next issue, a very high profile national level swimmer was seen at the warmup pool wrestling with what appeared to be a broken zipper/seam on the back of their LZR about 10 minutes before their prelim swim. Multiple coaches and swimmers were helping try and figure out a solution. I could not hang around to see the resolution, however when that person swam the prelim their suit was WIDE OPEN down the back from the neck to their hips. This swimmer was to say the least, seriously ticked off.

Care to guess who that swimmer was...??? [Alex, I will take, Erik Vendt, for $100, please!]

Here is the link to that swim courtesy of To bad you can't see the look on their face after the swim. That tells the whole story. Look in Lane 4. [Link]

Come on Speedo (and others. ... You gotta get your act together immediately. ..."

'Off the Deep End' blog: Doggy paddle is Chica’s only stroke

Wendy's blog, Off the Deep End has a post about a really fun open water story about a woman and her dog who swam and open water race together and the dog beat won! :-)

Here is a snippet from the [Link]

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

'Go Swim' Video: Linked to for aesthetic value

If my feet were shaped like that, I would be unstoppable!

Longevity and quality issues with the 'Speedo LZR' documented in the press!

These five instances of 'wardrobe malfunctions' are what I culled from numerous articles about the LZR. Note each suit failure is in regards to quality, longevity, and fragility. In the photo on the left, the LZR material looks so thin that you can almost see Michael Phelps chest hairs through it when enough light is present. Also note that the failures below are the ones we are hearing about. I wonder how many we haven't heard:

Nicole Jeffrey of The Australin, quotes Leisel Jones regarding her Speedo LZR taking in water during a 200m breaststroke event at a short course meet in Canberra, Australia: "...They stretch after about three wears," she said. "I really wanted to swim fast and I prepared well. I felt quite good but the suit filling with water didn't help me much. It makes you pretty fatigued, dragging the water along."I was happy that I swam only a second off my best. And I've only had three weeks of training (since the Olympic trials) so fitness is an issue." [Link]

NPR Day to Day: Brent Rutemiller confirms that the Speedo LZR will only last a handful of races. His exact quote: "The suit itself only lasts for 6 to 12 wears. Michael Phelps could theoretically go through 3 or 4 swim suits at 500 a pop at the Olympics. ..." Here is a link to an audio of that NPR, Day to Day interview: [Link]

Amy Shipley of the Washington Post: "... Three times since the suit was released this year, the drawstring in the waistband has ripped, according to Phelps's coach Bob Bowman

The most inconvenient tear occurred Friday, throwing Phelps's pre-race preparation into arrears. Moments before filing out for his race, he was sprinting across the complex to the Speedo tent to get a new suit -- but not the LZR. He wanted nothing further to do with fragile drawstrings. (He grabbed an older model FS-Pro instead.)

"It was very upsetting to him," said Jon Urbanchek, the assistant coach at the University of Michigan's Team Wolverine, where Phelps trains. "He will have to learn to control that. It was a good learning experience. He will have to have a Plan B, Plan C . . . What if it happens at the Olympics?"

Said Bowman: "By the time he got [back with the new suit], he was absolutely fuming. At that point, I knew the swim was somewhat compromised. ..." [Link]

From the Daily Telegraph: "... [Eamon] Sullivan's girlfriend Stephanie Rice, meanwhile, learned a valuable lesson when the 200 and 400m individual medley world record holder suffered a costume malfunction in the change rooms before the start of the 100m butterfly heats. ...

Things didn't go so smoothly for Rice, who split her Speedo LZR suit and did not have a spare suit in her kit bag. The 19-year-old had to resort to her Speedo nylon suit and missed the final with a time of 1:01.47 to place fourth, having to settle for a swim in the night's B final. ..." [Link]

From Hansen Sports Media: "MONTE CARLO, June 8, 2008: Twenty-four hours after Stephanie Rice’s suit mishap in Rome, prospective Olympic breaststroke medalist Tarnee White suffered a similar fate in the opening Mare Nostrum Swim Meet in Monaco today – before joining Australia's latest list of international record breakers.

World ranked number two White, showed all the composure that makes her a seasoned veteran, to overcome a suit malfunction of her own before claiming gold and a meet record on the first of the two days of the Monaco meet.

White’s zipper split apart just before the start of the 50 metres breaststroke heats, a day after Rice split her Speedo LZR suit before the heats of the 100m butterfly. [Link]

Photo comes from the "I love Sports" blog: [Link]

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Here are the Olympic candidate city logos

Though the Chicago logo has six points, there is something very bold, very American about it.

the Tokyo "knot" is my favorite but I am a sucker for Japanese design. This includes electronics and architecture. I will sometimes drive down to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and walk through a supermarket there just admiring how the sake bottlers, or the food package designers take complex Kanji and make the characters look so readable, so minimalistic and so human.

I like Baku next.

Original source, NotCot, but here is the blogger that compiled them,

"iTrain with Natalie Coughlin" promo at 'You Tube'

iTrain is a website where you can subscribe monthly to various training programs and download these training programs via the mp3s to your mp3 player.

I suspect you would need a H2o Audio player for Coughlin's workouts but I am not sure. Link to the iTrain website: [Link]

Steve Munatones is going to be speaking about open water swimming in Huntington Beach this Friday!

With tons of open water races coming up this summer, this lecture could provide a valuable insight for your own open water races.

Who are the stars of this sport? What does it take to swim 10 kilometers at a pace close to 1 minute per 100 yards? Where do they train? Why do they do this? How long does it take? And, very importantly, how can you get involved?

Learn the answers to these questions at REI’s free Open Water Swimming Presentation in its Huntington Beach store on June 13th at 7:00 pm (Huntington Beach REI, 7777 Edinger Ave. Huntington Beach , CA 92647; tel: 714.379.1938. Lcated in the Bella Terra shopping mall off the 405 Freeway).

Steven Munatones, an inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and USA Swimming National Team open water coach, will explain the sport and show photographs and video clips from elite open water races around the world. His explanation of the Olympic open water course and races from 1-milers in Australia to 88-kilometer races through the jungles of South Africa will stimulate and intrigue listeners of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

The talk will also include a special Olympic swimming preview of the expected battle between the two American stars – both from Southern California – and the rest of the world’s best.

The 90-minute presentation is free and will cover the following topics:

What is Open Water Swimming?
Great Open Water Swims in History
Modern-day Open Water Swimming
Open Water Swimming Tactics Strategies
How Do You Get Involved?
The Beijing Olympics

Go to Steve's open water blog for more open water insight: [Link]

Los Angeles Daily News: 'Coughlin Eyes The World'

From the Daily News: "I screwed up my finish and that was the reason I didn't get the world record. Did you see it? I, like, hit (the wall) with my face. It was a terrible, terrible finish," Coughlin said. "I mean I'm pissed because I messed up and I was so close to the world record, but the bright side is there's a lot of room for improvement. It's just a little frustrating. At this stage in the game, you just don't want to make any mistakes. Luckily it was here and not at the Olympic final."

Natalie has been the most impressive American swimmer this year in my opinion.

This outstanding photo of both Natalie Coughlin and Dara Torres was taken on February 17, 2008 by
Vironevaeh of Here is a direct link to the photo and his photostream is even better: [Link]

Monday, June 09, 2008

Cullen Jones is getting faster - Just go ask Cesar Cielo.

From the Charlotte Observer: "...Former N.C. State star Cullen Jones set a meet record in winning his second event and Kelsey Ditto and South Africa's Troy Prinsloo also became multi-event winners Sunday during the final day of the Charlotte UltraSwim.

Jones, who won a gold medal with the U.S. team in the men's 400-meter freestyle relay at the 2007 World Championships, bettered the meet record in winning the 100 freestyle at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center.

Jones, who won the 50 freestyle Saturday, won Sunday in 49.37 seconds -- bettering the mark of 49.57 set last year by Cesar Cielo. ..."

Two piece vase with an aquatic theme

I would to see a sculpture of a swimmer doing butterfly executed in the same way but with no flowers though.

Created by Alessandro Bêda and found at [Link]

Sunday, June 08, 2008

At the 1:54 mark of this 'You Tube' there is a backstroke turn that would make Michael Phelps weep!

Yes, Phelps would put his hands on his face and breakdown into alligator tears. Go to the 1:54 mark and see it.

To Russia with love: WNBA players from the USA will play for the Russians in Beijing!

Should swimmers do the same? I think so because I think the Olympics are about individual accomplishments not national identity.

However, If one thinks that the Olympics are peaceful contest between Nations, then I can understand the point of view that it would be an unpatriotic thing to do. Your opinion may vary: Snippet from the Star Tribune: "... Lynx star Seimone Augustus will play in the Beijing Olympics this August. So will San Antonio's Becky Hammon, whose team plays the Lynx today at Target Center.

But the two WNBA all-stars won't be teammates.

Hammon, a 5-6 point guard for the Silver Stars, will play on the Russian women's basketball team in Beijing.

"I was looking at two doors," said Hammon, a native of Rapid City, S.D. "I could go home to my apartment and watch the Olympics [on TV] or I could take part, which would be so much better. ..." [Link]
Gary Hall, Cullen Jones, Benjamin Tobriner and other sublime contenders could face each other in the final of the 50m free. Only two can go. However, what if Gary Hall, Jason Leezak, Cullen Jones or any of the rest placed third but got an offer from Dubai, or the location of their ethnicity to swim for a different country, how would that hurt the United States or any individual within this country?

As a matter of fact, the European Union is now accepting dual citizenships applications from the United States. Seriously! Here is an article from the Palm Beach Post: [Link]

If you placed third at Olympic trials but logged a time that was exceptionally elite, what would you do and what if a fee was involved by a second country? I myself think it would not only be ethical, but it would prove what a melting the United States is.

That awesome photo of Gary Hall and Cullen Jones taken at the 2007 Charlotte Ultraswim; a photo which makes you wonder what each is thinking, is from Sorrento66's photo stream at Here is a direct link to the photo: [Link]

Natalie Coughlin is so lean, elite and defined, that Speedo felt a need to soften her contours!

I got this Speedo promo in the mail; (featured on the left), and their ad agency actually softened and removed the definition of Natalie Coughlin's waist and laterals so as to hide her refined and admirable body. (Compare to candid photo on the right.)


Celebrate it, don't hide it!

This is the attitude every masters swimmer should have have when he/she steps up to the blocks

I like this guy - great attitude and ready to storm it. If you are out there, post a comment and tell us how you did?

(Oh, I think this is a Floswimming video. I found it at a video sharing site so I can't confirm.)

Erik Hochstein makes the bonus final at the 'Janet Evans Invitational'

Orange County, California - Janet Evans Invitational, In the 200m free Erik Hochstein finished 20th overall out of 95 entrants where he made the bonus final and swam a 1:57.16.

The oldest swimmer in the top 20 was 25-years old versus Erik's 39 years. Here are the results for the Janet Evans Invitational: [Link]

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Benjamin Wildman-Tobriner profile in the 'New York TImes'

Benjamin Wildman-Tobriner is destined to be both an Olympian and some sort of doctor/surgeon! Now how is that for pressure?

Here is the snippet: "... Blame life’s crazy crosscurrents. Aspiring to be a doctor and an Olympian, Wildman-Tobriner is being pulled by two powerful desires: medical school and a medal. ...

His challenge this month is to avoid being dragged under by deadlines. June is when he is supposed to decide whether to enroll in classes this fall. It is also when the cut-down process starts for selecting the United States swim team that will compete in the Beijing Games. ...

When did he know he had the ability to be the best in the world? “Right after I touched first at the world championships,” Wildman-Tobriner said with a smile. ..." [Link]

Paging? Doctor Wildman, Paging Doctor Wildman: Code blue in room 212! Stat!)I had to say that because it sounded so cool.)

The 'Tracer Light' is now available - I was in physical contact with a 'TYR Tracer Light' & "Tracer Rise" today.

The 'TYR Tent Sale' was today so I drove down to the O.C. hoping to pick up an Aquashift speedsuit at a 75% off discount. (Michael from SCAQ got one for $60.) Unfortunately, they were out of my size. However, it was still a very worthwhile drive since I was able to see, touch, handle and even throw water on a Tracer Light and Tracer Rise.

First impression of both suits is how little they weigh. The "Tracer Light" felt half as heavy as my Nike Hydra and the Hydra is the lightest suit I have ever worn. The material on the Tracer feels completely dissimilar as well whereas the Nike feels like old school Lycra, the Tracer Light felt more like pliable nylon. Though light in weight there was a sense of sturdiness to the material so the suit feels as if it will last a long time unlike the 6-10 races that the LZR has been stated to last.

What astonished me was how water-repellent the suits are but calling it water-repellent may be an understatement and this is why: The person who showed me the suit got a spray bottle and sprayed several tablespoons of water on the Tracer Light untill it pooled or coalesced into a blob like mercury. (Yes, I was stupid enough to play with mercury as a child so I know how it pools.) When I tried to rub the water into the fabric, it would just break apart and merge somewhere else on the suit into a silver, liquid, blob.

Now, here is the "coup de grace" regarding how water proof it is. After cracking some jokes about mercury and other states of matter, I then left the Tracers on the table to go do my business elsewhere. So, after having a conversation or two, hearing a great Mark Spitz story, running into somebody I went to high school with, exchanging email addresses, I suddenly had to know what happened to the pool of water on the Tracer Light.

Hence, I asked this person at TYR if I could see what happened. She assured me it would still be there and started cracking up. So I went back to the table and there it was: The suit was completely dry and the blob of water was still pooled in the middle of the suit waiting to be disturbed. For over an hour-an-a-half the suit totally rejected 100% of the water and seemingly the water therein would literally evaporate before it could possibly saturate into the fabric from what I observed.

Example: Look at the photo above, note the layer of oxygen surrounding the suit or look at this shot of Chloe Sutton standing post an open water race in Beijing looking quite dry.

Anyway, then I asked if I could buy one? I figured the answer would be an emphatic NO, but they said, "Sure! it's for sale right around the corner." I asked if I could get the addresses of where it sells for the blog and I was utterly accommodated. So, if you want to see, touch, wear, buy or perhaps splash water on a Tracer Light, this is where you can go:

Competitor Aquatic Supply
(714) 898-2655
15661 Container Lane.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649

I was given four more addresses but I was not able to confirm if they are stocked up yet. I will post as soon as I know. For instance Kiefer took five minutes to confirm they had a short-john but not a full suit.

Friday, June 06, 2008

A great butterfly turn during the NCAA 200 yard medley relay that truly wins the race!

I found the link to this video on a message board at It was posted by "j bone442" on a thread called "Greatest turns of all time." It's a great thread.

I got to work on my dolphin kick.

'Janet Evans Invitational' prelim results are up!

The Janet Evans Invitational preliminary results times are posted. In the 50m free Erik Hochstein who is about twice as old; (seriously, he is twice as old), as 64% of the competitors in the event posted a 50m free time 24.27 thus beating more than 60% of the field. The fastest time in the prelim was posted by Wildman Tobriner who went a 22.29 or 1.88 seconds faster.

I am in awe. [Link]

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I want to make the blog better so I added a poll to the right of the page.

On the right hand side of the page is a poll. If you have time, please click which items you like best; (you can click more than one), so I can see which direction I should take the blog. Though I am continually overwhelmed with with flattery regarding how well this blog has been received, I want to take it to the next level for no other motive but to make fellow swimmers happy. I know that sounds so "SpongeBob" of me but I have learned so much from all of you and I want to keep it going.

For instance, I am thinking of buying pictures from the Associated Press for the Olympics so as to improve the user experience but perhaps videos or just links is what you may or may not want to see.

The poll will be up for one week. Thanks for your time.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Erik Hochstein: German Swimming - Under Trained and Over Analyzed?

I can't believe I am linking to Timed Finals but this article is to good to pass up. Here is a snippet: "... The German swimmers in general simply do not train enough yardage. I am not a proponent of mega-yardage training methods, but swimmers in Germany simply do not put in the time in the pool. I would estimate that there are no more than 100 swimmers in all of Germany training 18 hours or more in the pool every week. [...] Even if one believes in quality over quantity, you have to put in 9-10 workouts a week at 1.5 to 2 hours per workout. Personally, my yardage increased by about 50% when I came over to the United States (and my times got slower, but that’s another story). [Link]

Erik also discusses how he trained while swimming for the German team or when the German team was a true powerhouse with people like Michael Gross.

Where is Michael Gross these days?

Natalie Coughlin's advice for teen swimmers!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

TYR Tent Sale: I have good news!

Anybody that is going to the TYR sale will not only save up to 75%-off but if you print out the flyer above and bring it with you to the sale, you will save an additional 10% on top of that. If you forget, you can sign up at the tent sale for the discount by registering for email updates. Do so, it keeps you filled in on sales and swim results.

This is very nice of TYR to do and I want to make it clear that they extraordinarily supportive of Southern California swimming whether it be college, masters or club. Keep that in mind when you buy a speedsuit!

And speaking of Speedsuits, I am hopeful I will be able to see TYR's latest offering. I am hearing that the Tracer Rise is durable whereas the Speedo LZR can only be worn for 6-10 races before it stretches out.

(I receive no monetary compensation and/or gifts or favors in promoting this tent sale.)

Monday, June 02, 2008

TYR is having a factory sale - Big discounts in Huntington Beach next eekend!

For those who live in Southern California, what a great opportunity to load up on goggles and suits for the fall and winter. I myself will be picking up a bunch of TYR Fusion IIs and some Metalized Velocity goggles. (I get no compensation, discount or reward for posting this.)

Red light: The water is polluted! - Green light the water is safe!

Inventors Soo-in Yang and David Benjamin create an innovative pollution monitor that utilizes LED lights to denote polluted or "safe" areas for aquatic participation.

Though seemingly impractical since most people swim in the day and aquatic life could be attracted to the lights and possibly unsafe water, I think these lights are geared more to inspire a "call to action" rather than a useful way to protect us or the fish.

Found at Inhabitat

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Never swim a 100 LCM like a 100 SCY! - Guess how I learned that?

Above is a picture of Jenny owning everybody in her heat during the 400 200 IM at the Mission Viejo Nadadores meet today. (Click on it to enlarge it.)

Though she owned in the 400 200 IM, I was barely able to hold her off in the 100 free. I swam a 108.23 and she she swam a 1:08.57. It was close; I saw her in the corner of my eye the whole race and if the race would have been 1 meter longer I would have lost.

Though my time wasn't that great, I had a good dive, I heard my splash first and did four clean dolphin kicks within clean, blue, water. Totally yummy!

I really failed in the last 15 meters because I didn't breathe enough early on. Taking lots of breaths during the first 50 is like depositing "oxygen" in the "bank" for later "withdrawal" during the last 25 meters. (Erik Hochstein has warned me about that I think Clay came up with the metaphor but I summarily ignored them both. My bad!)

Lots of yellow flags and "20 other guys fighting for the Olympics"

Steve Munatones has the play-by-play of the men's 10k open water qualifier in Beijing. If you go to his Twitter page, start from the bottom of the page and read the posts in consecutive order. It makes it more exciting. [Link]

Here is the Swimming World recap for the Men's race" [Link]

He also has a recap article with some quotes from Chloe Sutton regarding her 10k win yesterday at Swimming World here: [Link]

I am off to a swim meet this morning in Mission Viejo so more posts will come tonight.