Friday, June 20, 2008

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 ;-)


Wendy said...

Wonderful article! Thanks for posting the link.

Strider said...

very cool!