Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lego "Watercube" and other Olympic venues

Enormous Olympic city built out of Lego somewhere in Hong Kong. Here is the link
for the website HKLUG: [Link]

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Great dive, great start, great turns, wobbly stroke!

First and foremost I cannot do better nor will I ever be able to match Michael Phelps or Peter Vanderkay in technique quality but I do see things that don't look symmetrical to my untrained eye and I like pointing them out for discussion.

Phelps has turned freestyle into a hybrid event. Underwater he's all butterfly. Even during his pull his hands end up crossing under his belly button. On top of the water he is appears wobbly and seemingly not as efficient as Vanderkay. (Too many moving parts in his stroke.)

Vanderkay's turns are too shallow whereas Phelps goes deeper and at an angle so as to not swim against the turbulent water he brought to the wall with him. (Vanderkay should do a technique clinic with Olympian Rada Owen to fix that and I am very serious. Of course you can too if you call the SCAQ office and set up a private.)

What intrigues me is how swimmers at that level do things that we are taught not to. I don't breathe off the walls but a majority of swimmers at Olympic trials did. Why?

We also saw a lot of swimmers not able or even trying to match Phelps in regards to his underwater work. Hmmm? I wonder why as well?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dave Salo weighs in on why Jessica Hardy tested positive!

In my uninformed opinion Dave Salo should have said nothing but instead Coach Salo was quoted in the Orange County Register as saying this: "... Dave Salo, Hardy's coach at the Trojan Swim Club, told the Orange County Register on Thursday he thinks Hardy's positive drug test at the recent U.S. Olympic Trials for the banned stimulant clenbuterol was the result of "inadvertent consumption of a banned substance" possibly through supplements or vitamins. ..." [Link]

He also mentioned that he told Jessica Hardy to have whatever she is taking tested for purity. Though I understand his intention, that too is a bit ill advised for the product here is not regulated whatsoever and the quality and content can and will change from time to time.

These companies that make and distribute supplement products don't actually make these supplement products anyway. They are primarily distribution companies that buy product in bulk form from an original design manufacturers (ODM), slap on an expensive looking logo that says "Bicep-Blaster" or "Power-Butt-Desintegrator" and then they sell it.

They don't know what is in it especially if it is from overseas.

Jessica Hardy was part of that machine and she got hosed. If Dave Salo's speculation is correct, Tara Kirk, Lara Jackson and Amanda Weir belong on that Beijing squad and they were improperly denied.

This waterscape was "painted" on a computer and inspired by Shane Gould's comment about speedsuits!

I bought Corel Painter and a Wacom tablet that lets me use a pen or stylus to draw freehand instead of using a mouse. This is my first ever digital painting and consequently I fully endorse this software since it was so easy to use. I spent about an hour or two on this and if this was an oil painting it would have taken me three times that long.

Once I get use to the "brushes" I am going to start doing paintings of swimming and swimmers. [Link]

Here is what Shane Gould said about speedsuits that gave me the idea to paint lily pads: "What are the protocols? How exactly do they test the suits? What are the specific scientific tests they do to determine whether these suits float or not? I've done tests myself and they float higher than a lily pad. ..." [Link]

Will speedsuits be banned by the NCAA!?!

The NCAA is going to make some big, sweeping, changes in regards to how they conduct swimming. My ears shut off when I heard the phrase "speedsuits banned!" The source is reliable but please file it as a blog rumor for now.

Two Estonian swimmers cross the 40 kilometer Gulf of Finland!

Two Estonians out of 6 swam across the Gulf of Finland today. That's right, a 40k swim open water swim near the top of the world. Click for Google Map milestones here: [Link]

For details of the swim click here: [Link]

Tara Kirk: “I have confirmed that USA Swimming knew about the positive drug test before the deadline to submit the names.”

The New York Times quoted her so it's credible: "...Hardy, 21, was informed of the failed drug test Monday, which was also the deadline for national governing bodies to submit their rosters for the Beijing Games. Kirk, in an exchange of e-mail messages, wrote, “I have confirmed that USA Swimming knew about the positive drug test before the deadline to submit the names.” She declined to say whom she spoke with. ..."

USA Swimming did not submit the names of Kirk and Lara Jackson, who finished third in the 50 freestyle at the trials, as alternates on its roster, to be summoned only if Hardy loses her appeal. ..." [Link]

Memo to USA Swimming: If the above is correct, the perception of ethics and morals within the organization are looking way beyond sketchy at this point. You have an anti-trade lawsuit on the horizon with TYR, you failed to follow your own rules in determining the proper line of succession if a swimmer or swimmers fail a drug test, You have bullied Floswimming which is one of the most popular swim sites on the net and finally for a government sanctioned National Governing Body you are the least transparent non-profit I have ever seen.

How often do non-profit governing bodies get sued anyway? Apparently, Tara Kirk, looks pretty amped up to perhaps make it another lawsuit too. Could this become a class action lawsuit with Kirk, Jackson, and Weir on the list?

All of this nonsense in just the past six months as well. Pathetic!

Shane Gould on Speedsuits: "... I've done tests myself and they float higher than a lily pad!"

eWhat a classic quote in regards to the technological advancement of fabric.

Shane Gould on speedsuits and fairness, From the Sydney Morning Herald Online: "... The FINA Handbook of 2005-2009 states: "No swimmer shall be permitted to use or wear any device that may aid his speed, buoyancy or endurance during a competition."

Gould added: "What are the protocols? How exactly do they test the suits? What are the specific scientific tests they do to determine whether these suits float or not? I've done tests myself and they float higher than a lily pad. ..." [Link]

Shane Gould won 3 golds, a silver and a bronze in the 1972 Munich Olympics. "... She is the only person, male or female, to hold every world freestyle record from 100 m to 1500 m simultaneously, and the first female swimmer ever to win three Olympic gold medals in world record time. ... wikipedia"

Arguably she could be considered the greatest freestyle swimmer ever.

USA Swimming had a two day window after Hardy tested positive to include Kirk, Weir and Jackson to the US Olympic Swim team!

Swimming World editor, Jason Marstellar, actually took the time to read the FINA rules to find out when the deadline was to declare our US Olympic swim team. The deadline was actually July 23 not the 21st. USA Swimming at the very latest received news of Hardy's positive test on June 21st; (If you believe that this was the date they found out), and USA Swimming consequently had a 48 hour window to select alternates in her place.

From Swimming World: "... However, the drop-dead deadline from FINA to receive entry forms from National Olympic Committees, available on its website here, was July 23 - in Switzerland.

Now, at first blush, someone might say that USA Swimming had plenty of time to pull the trigger and replace Hardy with Tara Kirk in the 100 breast, Lara Jackson in the 50 free, and Amanda Weir in the 400 freestyle relay. Knowing something on July 21, regardless of a self-imposed deadline, should allow someone to make a last-ditch effort before the true final deadline of July 23 in the final stages of the process, wouldn't you think?

There are so many levels involved in this conversation, that I don't believe it can be simplified that much ...." [Link]

Well, I think it can be simplified, boolean and positioned black-and-white terms: Jessica Hardy tested positive so you select the alternates! Period. :-P

If the time frame does not allow for Hardy to make the case that she is innocent, then USA Swimming has to take responsibility for this and fix both the process and the screw-ups.

Here are some simple suggestions:

1. Acknowledge you played havoc with the FINA rules by making up your own silly deadline and state you want to fix it.

2. Move Olympic Trials to sometime in April or May rather than early July thus allowing a 12-week window or more for testing to be completed, appeals to be made, and for USA Swimming's to get their bloody "ducks in a row." Apparently they need that much time.

3. Make good with all those swimmers that were effected by the poor execution and the sloppy handling of the FINA rules by either placing them on the team; (if FINA will allow it now that it is past the deadline), or by compensating them economically for the time, effort and training costs for following the rules and then being denied a legitimate spot that they honestly earned.

Above is a photo of Amanda Weir.

Friday, July 25, 2008

All of the products listed below if used as directed will make you test positive for a stimulant in a drug test

And you can buy some of them online, save for Cortislim which got busted by the FCC for false advertising. Imagine that, being able to purchase a product that contains a stimulant that probably is not listed as an ingredient.

From an NCAA press release: "... Following are products containing synephrine, a stimulant added to many supplements to replace ephedrine, as of January 30, 2006.

Synephrine is an NCAA banned substance that has created a recent rash of positive drug tests for student-athletes.

• Thermolife Injecto Fuel
• Advocare MNS Max Appetite Control
• EAS Piranha Energy Drink
• FSI Nutrition Ultra Figura
• WorldWide Extreme Thermo Rush
• Nutrex Lipo 6
• Universal Nutrition Animal M-Stak
• Twinlab Ripped Fuel Ephedra Free
• Cortislim
• D&E Orange Rush
• ANSI Thermo Hydroxadrine Drinks
• ANSI Xtreme Shock
• S.A.N. Tight
• BSN Thermonex EF
• Primaforce SYNEBURN
• Cytodyne Xenadrine EFX
• German American Technologies Jetfuel
• Universal Nutrition Animal Cuts
• Pharmagenx Ventilean


Jessica Hardy, Larsen Jensen and 4 other Olympians have a lot in common!

UPDATE: Orange County does a partial retraction to the Jessica Hardy/AdvoCare story. What is really interesting was what wasn't retracted: [Link]

"What a mess!" is how the email from Daniel ended and what an understatement that was! Daniel emailed me a slew of articles about the Jessica Hardy fallout and all of which clearly illustrate what a tangled web this is going to be. Perhaps even to the level of a Balco if more Olympians test positive?

So, what does Jessica Hardy, Larsen Jensen and four other Olympians have in common? From the OC Register: "... World champion swimmer Jessica Hardy is one of at least six members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team who are listed as endorsers of a nutritional supplements and sport performance products company whose products have been banned by the NCAA and have been linked to positive drug tests. ..."

"...Hardy has promoted her use of AdvoCare products on both her personal website and company websites. On one AdvoCare site Hardy said she used 12 of the company's products with names like "Muscle Gain," "Muscle Strength," "Catalyst," "Amplify A.T." and "02 Gold. ... " [Link]

Also mentioned in the article is that AdvoCare also has 14 product liability lawsuits filed against it! In a side bar at the OC Register, this is why it si going to get real messy. More from the OC Register: "...But this press release from the NCAA says student athletes are inadvertently testing positive for synephrine, a banned substance, and lists a number of supplements that contain the drug, including one made by AdvoCare. ..."

I suspect that all the athletes connected to this company, Jessica Hardy, Larsen Jensen and the four others are going to be extraordinarily scrutinized at this point.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jessica Hardy tested positive on July 4th 2008 - Hello? Was anybody home at USA Swimming?

Jessica Hardy tested "barely positive" on July 4th, or two-whole-weeks before USA Swimming had to declare their team to the IOC.

In project management textbooks words and concepts like "deliverables" and "milestones" are defined and are recommended to be acknowledged or signed off in some way.

I don't know for certain but one would think that USADA and USA Swimming were talking to each other once the initial findings were known yet no "Plan B" was in place to replace an athlete if a second test came back positive. Why? Especially if you had a deadline to declare a team to the IOC within two weeks.

Who is the genius that screwed that up?

Perhaps a two week warning notice for USA Swimming was not enough time which then raises the question that perhaps Olympic Trials were held too late in the year. If that is the case, why would they play "chicken" with such a deadline?

Consequently, due to their seemingly incompetent management or their presumption that all USA Swimming athletes would test negative, there are two athletes sitting at home right now, Tara Kirk and Lara Jackson, who legally, honestly and ethically deserved to be in Beijing in two weeks but it is looking like they won't be.

This is a serious screw-up on the part of USA Swimming and they need to take responsibility. How will they rectify this for these two swimmers?

From the New York Times: "... A person close to Hardy, who requested anonymity because he did not have all the details of the results, said he was told that she tested “barely positive” on July 4. That was the night Hardy placed fourth in the 100-meter freestyle to earn a relay spot.

The positive test, the person said, was sandwiched between negative test results on July 1, after Hardy’s victory in the 100 breaststroke, and on July 6, after she finished second in the 50 freestyle behind Dara Torres. [Link]

In my opinion USA Swimming needs some sort of internal audit for it is there responsibility to deliver an effective team to represent the USA in the Olympics and that requires planning, organization and a speedy determination of who is allowed on that team. They apparently were blindsided by a situation way to obvious to not predict.

One has to ask how culpable USADA/USA Swimming are for this Olympic team mess-up!

I spoke with someone close to this situation by email this morning and they filled me into the missed details by the two organizations that are suppose to serve the athletes.

On July 21st the IOC required an Olympic team roster from USA Swimming. Yesterday, three days past that deadline it was leaked that Jessica Hardy had tested positive for a banned substance. (Newsweek reported that it may have been a stimulant which could be as simple as an antihistamine or something more insidious as meth.)

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) performed the test and obviously notified USA Swimming before the July 21st deadline. One would think that either USA Swimming would have pushed USADA to deliver results well before they had to declare a de facto team or that USA Swimming would have scheduled Olympic Trials earlier enough to ensure that all their athletes rights would be respected.

In project management textbooks they talk of deliverables and milestones that should signed off and closely managed. I didn't see that here.

From USA Swimming's perceived "secret deals" with the Wasserman Media Group (WMG), the accusations from TYR that USA Swimming is engaging in anti-trust tactics with Speedo, and the bullying of Floswimming. One has to wonder who is running the shop there!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jessica Hardy tested positive! - Both "A" and "B" samples!

When I was at workout tonight, Erik H., told me Jessica Hardy tested positive. As soon I got back I saw a link in my inbox from an anonymous reader linking me to a Swimming World article.

My first reaction was shock/denial, my secondary reaction is that no country has a monopoly on ethics. My third reaction came after I read the Swimming World Piece.

From Swimming World: "...The news comes just a bit too late to be helpful for Lara Jackson, the third-place finisher at Trials in the 50 free, and Tara Kirk, the third-place finisher in the 100 breast. After not making the team originally, the pair would be bypassed for Joyce and Soni. ..."

According to a report at, "both her A and B samples have come back positive." also reports that the tests came from Trials. ..." [Link]

If Jessica Hardy took drugs then the aforementioned swimmers who were clean and honest and who probably worked a major portion of their lives for this goal should be Olympians and sent to Beijing anyway.

Screw this silly rule that they can only pick from available talent. Lara Jackson and Tara Kirk are Olympians and should be sent!

If ever a lawsuit was warranted to get one placed on an Olympic team, this is it!!!

Swimming World's, The Morning show is a hot property at "Blip.TV"

You know how Dick Cheney would sometimes slip off to a secret undisclosed location post 9/11. Well, swim websites such as Swimming World and many others have been quietly hosting their videos at a quasi-undisclosed location called Blip.TV.

They have been doing so for a lot of complicated reasons whcih generally revolve around the more pleasant license agreement and the better video quality than You Tube provides.)

Well, The cat is so out of the bag that Swimming World has been hosting their videos at Blip and the rest of the world noticed too. Here is a press release stating that Blip.TV has named "The Morning Show"as a hot episode to watch: [Link]

Is Grant Hackett still making excuses over not qualifying for the Olympic games open water event?

Our friend Wendy from "Oz" sent us this, snippet from RTE: "...Men's Olympic 1,500 metres champion Grant Hackett tried to qualify at the same event and he appeared to be targeted by his rivals. Hackett was disqualified after he tried to get out of trouble by swimming over another competitor's legs.

'I saw a couple of times people hitting him and swimming over him and obviously hurt him quite badly, and he just didn't have enough in the end,' said compatriot Ky Hurst. ..." [Link]

I don't buy it. I think open water swimming at that level is all about calculated retaliation.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This is an octpus with 96 tentacles...

... And it is alive! I am at work so i got to rush this one. This creature was originally spotted at where I said to myself, "yeah, i am going to share it," and all of the above websites found it at... where else? Pink

Go to Pink Tentacle and see a photo of it laying eggs. I bet this creature would not have survived in the wild, but since it is both creepy and "cthulhu-like" it's gene pool will live on as we humans make a new race of chimeric octopi simply for our viewing pleasure. [Link]

If you don't believe me, just look at any chihuahua! How did natural selection come up with THAT!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Triathlete dies in New York during the swim portion of the New York City Triathlon

From the New York Times: "... Bill Burke, the race director, said rescuers pulled Neiva from the river about three-quarters of the way through the 1,500-meter swim portion, ...

“Other swimmers noticed the gentleman in the water, and they were actually waving and signaling for the nearby jet boats to come assist them,” Burke said.

He added: “We did have life support on the boats that were monitoring the swim course. There’s medical staff on those boats, so if the guy had a situation in the water, he’s getting the best medical care. ...” [Link]

I noticed that most of the swimmers were wearing wetsuits as well. Isn't the water in the Hudson warm this time of year? A wetsuit in 70 degree water sounds awful. I wonder what happened to this guy?

UPDATE: I am still rattled about this. This is happening more and more and it is distressing. I was a triathlete in my 20's but I never mastered any of the three sports involved. I was always too busy going back and forth from one event to the other, doing "bricks" and ultimately to tired to concentrate on technique for any of the events, etc. etc. Ultimately I was just surviving and consequently I felt rushed and I was injured a lot.

I think if you took a poll among triathletes asking them what is their weakest event, I bet more than two-thirds would say the swim. Hence, if you want to be an effective triathlete, you MUST master your weakest event. In fact you should be in such good shape before an event like this that you would feel the need to swim 500 yards or so before the race.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The 'Surf Bus' takes inner city kids from Los Angeles to the beach so they can learn how to surf and play!

SCAQ swimmer Bill I. sent me this article from Pete Thomas over at the L.A. Times regarding a very nice surfer named, Mary Setterholm, who has started a non profit to help inner city kids who in some cases have never seen the ocean to come out and play in it. Imagine living 10 miles from the sea and never having an opportunity to see or experience the ocean? Mary Setterholm couldn't live with that so she started the "Surf Bus." That is so cool!

Snippet from the article: "... At the South Seas House, about 40 children are kept orderly by activities director Carlton Stubbs. That's a condition they will not violate on this special morning.

Once on the bus, though, they loosen up. Many chatter and smile. A girl in the back hoists a sheet of white notebook paper with a smiling blue stick-figure and the lettering, "We Love Surfing."

Some, however, remain quiet, as if going off to war, so foreign and daunting is the mysterious ocean.

Stubbs, who has been involved with the L.A. Surf Bus for four years, says the program offers obvious physical benefits while enabling the children "to overcome fears of swimming and to discover the calming effects of the ocean. ..." [Link]

This is an amazing idea and an even bigger accomplishment in my opinion. Exposing inner city kids to the beautiful beaches we have here is very important on so many levels. Kids become motivated to swim, to surf, to see and experience beach culture with it's affluence and beauty, and to share it with people with different races and income brackets.

Believe me, it is way "outside their box." 50% of Los Angeles inner city kids will not graduate high school. I am certain that experiencing something this magic will make motivate many to learn how to swim and surf and by exposing them to something better could make a difference in school. It costs a lot of money to live near the beach.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Five ways technology is changing the next Olympics

My favorite tech changing 'gizmo' for the Olympics is the camera that can take 2,000 photos per second. Talk about a photo finish! That 1 second of static motion, if converted to live action footage, would be about 65 seconds of viewing time.

However, this one really stood out. From the Io9 blog : "... China has claimed that they will "attack" and shut down websites that broadcast Olympic events illegally. No one is sure if this means they intend to attack other countries' websites or private sites hosted internationally. If they do, it could be the first case of open international cyber warfare. [Link]

Reductio ad absurdum or imagine this: Floswimming is interviewing Eddie Reese by the side of the pool but accidentally the camera catches a tiny splash of water from a Jamaican swimmer's flipturn while she is warming down in the secondary pool.

Suddenly, the weight of the Chinese military, with NBC and USA Swimming's blessing, let slip the dogs of war and Chinese networking experts attack Floswimming from the other side of the Planet for weeks on end. They use a classic "Denial of Service" (DOS) attack and it brings Floswimming's servers down to their knees. There was no cease and desist or nasty letter from USA Swimming, there was no due process either, just cyber-warfare at the behest of a corporation.

What would Dick Cheney do if that happened?

As silly as that sounds, and it is a silly scenario, but why is it that a corporation's content can suddenly be protected by ordering a military attack without due process or even a cease and desist letter?

Hmm, Perhaps because it's China?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Olympic Medals throughout history

Above are medals from the Antwerp Games from 1920. Here is a link to all all the medals issued at the Olympic Games from 1896 t0 Beijing 2008: [Link]

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A party so exclusive that only those from Mount Olympus can attend!


Now here is a party that is so exclusive, so entitled that not even Oprah, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie would be allowed in. People like Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson would be laughed at if they tried. This includes Bono and Bill Gates too, but you know what? Rada Owen is invited! and she sent me this link.

Welcome to the Olympic Team Alumni party that was held at Olympic trials!!!

The guest were all wearing Speedo LZRs so in a way it was formal attire only. ;-)

Here is a link if the video does not load. Swim Network videos are still "mucho buggy!" [Link]

Every Summer Olympics logo since 1896

I am biased towards the Los Angeles 1932 Olympics logo since it is so art deco and the font appears to have done by hand. I also live in Los Angeles.

The 1932 pool is still with us but quite modernized now. I am thinking of putting on a swim meet there next spring. I have to work out the details with SPMA and Clay Evans. Overall I like the Moscow logo a lot though the star should have been yellow to represent the Olympic flame.

As for the 2012 London Olympic logo; what were they thinking?

Found originally at which found them at Ad!vertido: [Link]

Guess what German swimmer Vipa Bernhardt learned while swimming in America?

How to sue!

Vipa Bernhardt, though finishing 3rd at German trials, got an injunction from a state court and now has been added to the German team.

Second place finisher, Anne Poleska, who placed second and qualified for the German national team and also won a bronze in Athens apparently is in legal limbo.

From Reuters: "... Bernhardt's court challenge was based on the fact that the second-placed swimmer, Anne Poleska, had raced for the Coral Springs swimming club in Florida. Bernhardt and Poleska have both lived and trained in the United States.

Poleska won the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and silver at the 2005 world championships in Montreal.


German swimming federation rules allow participation in foreign college or school swimming teams but not foreign clubs. According to those rules, Poleska should not have been allowed to swim at the German national championships. ..." [Link]

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cyndi Gallagher knew what it took to get Amanda Beard to her fourth consecutive Olympics!

Remember when I was trash-talking Amanda Beard last year about how slow she was? I predicted she wouldn't make the team; (Remember, I am always wrong too.) She rarely finished in the top two but at trials, she certainly found a way and she credits her coach, Cyndi Gallagher!

A profile on the contributions of female swim coaches in the New York Times: "... Gallagher is nurturing, but without her nudging, Beard is convinced she would not have qualified for her fourth consecutive Olympics. “Cyndi is the whole reason I’m on the team,” said Beard, who placed second in the 200-meter breaststroke at the United States trials in Omaha on July 4. “She’s just a stud.” ..." [Link]

Here is her coaching profile over at UCLA: [Link]

Eric Shanteau photo gallery and news articles

Talk about focus, how about this for a quote: Doctor says, "Hey, you got cancer, Eric's reply, Hey, I got trials!" Inside Bay Area: [Link]

The New York Times: [Lance] Armstrong, who spoke in a telephone interview from San Francisco, said he was aware of the diagnosis because Shanteau’s coach had contacted his agent for the name of a testicular cancer specialist. Armstrong said he passed along the name of Dr. Larry Einhorn, the doctor who had treated him. [Link]

NBC Olympics: "...It bothered him a lot that he didn't make the team," Chris Davis, Shanteau's coach during his teen years, said. "Anywhere else in the world, he not only would have made the Olympic team, he would have won a medal.

"But he never whined. He never said life's not fair. He has that stick-to-it-iveness."

So a cancer diagnosis? "It's not like he called and said, 'Oh, my gosh, why me? Poor me! I was just on the verge! I had worked so hard!' There was never any of that stuff," Davis said. "It was just another bump in the road on the way to making the Olympic team. ..." [Link]

Eric Shanteau gallery at MSNBC: [Link]

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Here is a link to some '2008 Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim' photos!

Scott Belland took these photos, he was one of the kayak support staff as well and I think he had 5 rescues too. These photos really capture how formidable the swim from Alcatraz to the mainland is. When you the swimmer are out there in the middle of the bay, you feel like you are the size of "pixel" since at one point in the race you are about 1/2-mile or more from any land mass.

Here is a link to some fast JPGS of the race at Picasa: [Link]

Pamela Barone, NBC Olympics Swim Producer "test drives" a 'TYR Tracer Rise'

Pamela Barone , "Swim Ninja" for NBC Olympics goes for swim in the TYR Tracer Rise. These are her thoughts: "...but even though it felt like my legs were floating, they weren't. They were just higher on the water. There's that muscle-contouring seaming at work, I thought.

I was told that the seams and the different fabrics are arranged in such a way to force you to have better body position. I still don't really understand how, but I now believe that it's true.

And the fabric really is water-repellent. Underwater, the suit appears to glow, because of tiny air bubbles that gather on the surface. When you get out, the water beads right off the suit, and it never feels wet. ..." [Link]

Here is a link to the NBC Olympics Pamela Barone TYR Tracer Rise "test drive" gallery. Be sure to scroll down and see other fantastic galleries of Olympic swimmers: [Link]

Friday, July 11, 2008

Breaking: Eric Shanteau, Olympic qualifier in the 200m Breaststroke, has cancer!!!

From Associated Press: In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Shanteau said he learned just a week before the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb., that he has testicular cancer. His doctors cleared him to compete in that meet and he surprisingly made the team in the 200-meter breaststroke, finishing second ahead of former world-record holder and heavy favorite Brendan Hansen.

"If I didn't make the team, the decision would have been easy: Go home and have the surgery," Shanteau said. "I made the team, so I had a hard decision. But, by no means am I being stupid about this." [Link]

He is going to compete in the Olympics despite his doctor's advice. If I was 24-years-old I would do the same thing and compete. If I tried now my friends and family would have none of that.

Lot of moral cunundrums here. If you are his coach or USA Swimming do you throw him off the team or is there a professional separation here between USA Swimming and the individual athlete?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hey London: Fill it and they will come!

A link to several abandoned swimming pools in where else? London, England. I posted some of these last year but they added one or two more.

So, London, Fill your pools damn't! Found at, this is a link to BLDG BLOG who posted the images: [Link]

Dogs are off the menu at hotels and restaurants for the Beijing Olympics!

1,000-years-ago China was technologically ahead of the rest of the planet by about 400 years or so. They sailed a "clipper-like" ship into the Mediterranean one day and it was like Martians had landed. Imagine brightly colored, silk sails, on a multi-mast ship with a massive rudder never ever seen before.

They had fireworks, paper, ornate fabrics that the Europeans had never seen before and they were blown away. Ultimately the Chinese were underwhelmed with Europe and decided to close up shop and screw trading with the Europeans who had everything to gain and nothing to give.

Now zoom up 1000 years later to RIGHT NOW! and China is seemingly between 50-150 years behind western Europe depending on which Chinese province or city you are in. In some places it's America circa 1960 with grand steel mills, enormous cranes, and industrial fortresses spewing out smog and pollution that hurt both your eyes and nose as you contribute to it all while driving down the street in a Chinese Buick La Crosse. (Buick still exists there.)

In other places it's London circa 1880 and the public is burning coal for heating and cooking and they are also drinking the same water from the same river that they "deficate" in. I suspect the majority of pollution is coming from coal burning rather than industrial smoke stacks.

Are these guys ready for "prime-time?"

U.S. Olympic Officials Call Beijing Pollution Levels 'Awful' [Link]

Chinese people eat dogs but next month they are off the menu: [Link]

The picture to the right came from ABC I copied the photo and adjusted the levels in Photoshop since the photo they have up is not displaying the correct color information. Their photo looks like pee-soup. This photo is more accurate and it is still bad.

Here is an Olympic memento worth collecting: Real commemorative money!

A quick post before rushing off to work: That's real money the Chinese have issued. Found at! Originally posted at "Ad!vertido; [link]

Accidental discovery!

It all started out so simple, I got up early, jumped in my pool, swam four laps and I got this idea for a blog post: There is this empty pool in London which has really been bugging me. (Strange things bug me.) This English pool is very art deco and it is just sitting there rotting away. So I go this idea that I would create a before/after shot. I would show the pool as it is now, and then take it into Photoshop and "fill it up" with water and add a swimmer as my "after" shot.

So, lo and behold, while searching for a kid with goggles, I discovered alberich mathews on Flickr and decided to put my original post on hold till this evening or so.

Here is a link to a bunch of underwater photography by Alberich Mathews and be sure to check out page 2 of his photostream: [Link]

I think most of the photos would be better if presented upside down like the one on top but even still ost are very beautiful. Here is a direct link to the photo above: [Link]

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

'ESPN Sports Center Guy' goes after Dara Torres - Makes Gary Hall seem meek!

Pat Forde, is a highly paid, and an opinionated ass for ESPN. Forde has written an article critical of Dara Torres aggressively asserting his opinion that Torres is guilty of doping because her results are so extraordinary. His accusations therein are all conjecture, insults and contain no rational argument whatsoever.

Now, Scott of the Canuck Swimmer wrote critical articles of Dara Torres but in every single article he illustrated and referenced how he arrived at his opinion. This way you could agree or disagree. This ESPN guy doesn't! Instead he just shouts accusations and opinions. Quite frankly, I am astonished that they actually pay this guy?!

Here is a snippet from his rant: "... According to the report, Tygart; [USADA Official], has yet to release any of Torres' results, but she told reporters here at the trials this week that she has been randomly tested "probably about 12 to 15 times since March."

But locking up a stunning fifth Olympic appearance on the Fourth of July by winning the 100-meter freestyle makes me wonder whether too good to be true is the same thing as too good to be clean. ..." [Link]

Note that he didn't end that sentence with a question mark.

You know what? Even Gary Hall trusts Dara Torres!!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

'Newsweek': How Dara Does it!

This interview is a bait and switch endeavor. Newsweek throws Dara's name out there with a promise that her secrets will be revealed and instead you get some sports medicine guy who not only offended me as a swimmer with his repetitive injury remark but doesn't even coach Dara Torres. We should send over Richard Abrams or Mike Freshley to go spank him in a game of basketball.

Snippet from the Newsweek article: "... Is swimming easier on the body than other sports? Swimming, there's an enormous amount of repetitive injury. You're not landing like you are as a jogger. But by the same token, they're training so hard. I believe she just had shoulder surgery. The butterfly, which was a good stroke for her, she says, "I can't do it anymore because my shoulder still hurts, but I can still do the freestyle. ..." There is a video of her there too. [Link]

You find me an elite runner who is 60-years-old and you compare them to an elite masters swimmer who is 70-years-old and the masters swimmer will look better, be more flexible and have a better love life.

Cover Men: Lochte and Phelps doing magazine covers!

Found at There are lot's of' cheesecake' images of the two and I find it highly ironic that you will see more sexy skin shots of male swimmers this year than female; (despite my rantings about Amanda Beard for appearing in Playboy), because the speed suits the women are wearing are not that sexy or flattering whereas the male leggings are.

To quote a reader who sent me an email today. "...Yes, it's a crying shame. All these beautiful, fit young ladies looking like seals in those suits. Here is hoping that Natalie Coughlin, Dara Torres or Kate Ziegler go old school and wear something less technological in a prelim or two.

Dara Torres won her first Olympic medal before Michael Phelps was a fetus!

Interesting facts about Dara Torres:

1) First gold medal in Los Angeles at the 1932 Olympics err... 1984 Olympics.

2) Has had two surgeries within a year on her knee and shoulder yet still wins her races.

3) She has torn two Speedo LZRs in a single afternoon. That's right $1000 large!

4) During competitions, her minions stretch her body 5 times a day!

5) She was the first athlete/model in SI's bikini issue!

Zillions of mind blowing facts and a video of her stretching in this New York Times profile: [Link]

Monday, July 07, 2008

Kitajima to Hansen: "You soooo choked!"

What a prick, huh?

Well, actually I made that up. The L.A. Times said that Kiajima was way more polite about it. Here is what they said: "...And Kitajima, the longtime rival of Hansen, was harsh in his post-race analysis. Of Hansen's fourth-place finish, he wrote on his own official website that Hansen basically choked. The language was more polite ("for a swimmer of his level it shouldn't be that difficult to qualify"), but the message was clear.

You could practically hear Kitajima sniff from his training base in Flagstaff, Ariz., where he is doing some high-altitude training.

Suddenly, these guys are getting really interesting -- and a little testy. Hansen is vowing to do what he can to help his former understudies -- Scott Spann and Eric Shanteau -- beat Kitajima in the 200." [Link]

Dara Torres Press Conference at Olympic Trials

Quote that really stands out was in regards to doping accusations: "...Anyone who makes those accusations, I take it as a compliment." She then outlines her extensive testing and voluntary blood samples she provides USADA:

Glass 'cthulhu' or living thing?

If you guessed that it's alive, then you nailed it! National Geographic has a gallery of transparent sea creatures. The one above is labelled: "... A pelagic, or open-ocean, octopus gives off a neon glow in Hawaii. Most species of octopus have no internal skeleton, unlike other cephalopods. ..." But you knew that, right? You can also get wall paper of these guys. [Link]

Originally found at :-)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

What does it feel like to finish third at Olympic trials?

Above is Davis Tarwater, a guy who placed third at Olympic trials behind Michael Phelps and Ian Crocker in the 100m 'fly.

I have to add that Davis Tarwater is a remarkable swimmer and he probably could have made any other Olympic team.

From the New York Times: "...Hayley McGregory knows that feeling, too. Third in both backstroke events at the 2004 trials, McGregory broke Natalie Coughlin’s world record in the women’s 100 backstroke preliminaries Monday, only to have Coughlin take it back in the next heat. One night later, in the final, McGregory faded to third behind Coughlin and Margaret Hoelzer. From euphoria to sadness, in 36 hours. ..." [Link]

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Gary Hall article - he calls out dopers and talks about insulin and an anabolic agent

I called out, suggested that Amy Van Dyken had steroid connections before Gary Hall but I was more polite. I suggested something was fishy with her since she had to testify at the Balco grand jury. :-P From the New York Daily News: [Link]

Below are links as to how and why I formed the opinion that all was not right with Amy Van Dyken.

Addendum: Amy Van Dyken has never tested positive for steroid usage. However she wads a BALCO athlete. 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. …" [Link]

From USA Today: "... Fall 2003: Many athletes testify before the BALCO grand jury. Among those testifying: track and field athletes Marion Jones, Kevin Toth, Regina Jacobs, Chryste Gaines and Tim Montgomery; baseball players Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield and Benito Santiago; football players Bill Romanowski and Barret Robbins; swimmer Amy Van Dyken; and boxer Shane Mosley. [Link]

Dara Torres had a suit malfunction in the 100m free.

I am watching the DVR replay of trials tonight and they featured a fast angle of Dara Torres post her 100 free win. She stops twirls for the crowd with the American flag and there it was: 3/4s of her zipper from the bottom up had separated exposing her back.

That's two people in the past month with Speedo LZR zipper failures. Erik Vendt in the 400 free and now Dara Torres at trials. I am going to be blunt and say this suit is CRAP! Its $550 and the quality is sketchy at best. Maybe you are going faster if you get it on but this suit isn't lasting long either.

Friday, July 04, 2008

New American Record for Cullen Jones as Jones, Wildman Tobriner and Gary Hall swim the 50m prelim in under :22.00

I can't wait to see that prelim-swim. Especially the part when "old man" Gary Hall pulls up to the blocks in his "mobility scooter" then has his two nurses help him remove his red, white and blue, Everlast hospital gown and help him onto the blocks! (I hope he doesn't read this.)

What an epic prelim that will be watch. Here were the times for the top three finishers:

Cullen Jones: 21.59

Ben Wildman Tobriner: 21.68

Gary Hall: 21.89

Lane 9 News: [Link]

Eamon Sullivan injured, swims a 34.99 in a 50-free

I am hoping Sullivan is fully healed in time for Beijing.

Boxers talk of an opponent that is easy to knock out as having a "glass jaw," Sullivan apparently has a "glass spine." Also, how many cortisone shots has he received for it? You shouldn't get more than three!

Here is a snippet from Lane 9 News: "... He was almost going to test his dive in the warm up but chose to do it under race conditions and we decided if he felt a twinge, he was always going to pull up and just swim through – and that's what happened," Stoelwinder told Swimming Australia. "It was purely a precautionary measure and hopefully he will be back swimming by tomorrow afternoon. We have done some good work lately and the swimming part is fine – it's just the twinge he gets off the dive – it will take a bit more time. He will continue to have his usual treatment and we will obviously monitor him closely. ..." [Link]

The photo to the right is titled "Glass Spine." I found it on in Gardinergirl's photstream. Here is a direct link to the photo: [Link]

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Dara Torres storms the prelim in the 100 freestyle!

From Swimming World: "...OMAHA, Neb., July 3. AS the fifth day of Olympic Trials competition got rolling, Natalie Coughlin delivered a preliminary statement in the 100 freestyle. The American-record holder, racing in the last of 13 heats, turned in a meet-record time of 53.64, the only time of the morning that broke the 54-second barrier. Coughlin's national record sits at 53.39.

Coughlin's prelim heat featured the top-two times of the morning as Lacey Nymeyer put together a strong swim and touched the wall in 54.06. Meanwhile, the winner of the 11th heat was the ageless Dara Torres, who was making her first appearance in these Trials. Torres, the 41-year-old looking for her fifth Olympics, was timed in 54.57. ..." [Link]

Womens heat 9 of 11 in the 400 IM

Regarding the rumor that 'Nike' is interested in 'blueseventy.'

There is this rumor floating around at Olympic trials that Nike is interested in blueseventy - it centers around the fact that a friendly dinner took place between executives from both companies and that a Nike athlete or athletes[?] have worn their suit[s]. This friendly dinner has seemingly been construed as a deal. There is no more evidence than that.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Ryan Lochte learned the hard way in the 400 IM that there is no 'glide phase' to a Michael Phelps turn!

When Michael Phelps makes a turn, he is kicking as soon as his feet leave the wall. Here is a link to a You Tube of Phelps showing how it's done: [Link]

Also, see his start here and note how he is looking up rather than looking down during his freestyle. This is definitely not the total immersion school here: [Link]

Dealing with 'Speedo' and a 'Speedo LZR' at trials

Here is a review from Maya and Molly at US Olympic Trials. Only rich people are going to have the money and the patience for this suit.

Here is what Natalie Coughlin said to the Christian Science Monitor:

“The LZR takes about 20 minutes to put on,” said Natalie Coughlin, who won five medals at the Athens Olympics and is expected to win more in Beijing. “It’s just incredibly tight, especially around the legs. You inch it up millimeter by millimeter.”

So why deal with it? “They tell me it’s better,” she says. “So I wear it.” [Link]

NBC - Just turn the cameras and the interviews over to 'Floswimming' please!

I am not happy with NBCs coverage of the Olympic Trials; It's garbage! It seems rushed, perfunctory, and the hosts; (Rowdy excluded), even get some of their facts wrong. One could only wish that NBC would hand the cameras and microphones over to Floswimming to do it right. [Link]

Now, why I am so dissapointed about the swim coverage is that Executive producer, David Neal, recalled Ebersol telling him, "We ought to be doing swimming every night." [International Herald Tribune: [Link]

Ebersol thinks it is "Michael Phelps' charisma!" Huh?, Charisma? no offense but Phelps' bulldog has more charisma than Michael. People want to see the bodies, the water, the races and the interviews. Floswimming has got all of the above totally wired!

I hope the Olympic coverage is far better than what we are seeing. Also, I hopeful that they choose some journalists; (read as Floswimming staff), to augment Rowdy Gaines instead of embarrassing him.

Fantastic Olympic Trials Photo-Gallery at!

That's Katie Hoff and I am loving that "manta ray" shape she is making with her body. Michael Phelps, Lochte Jensen and others are featured brillantly: [Link]

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Alcatraz Sharfest photo from last Saturay morning

This is how far the mainland looks when you begin the Alcatraz Sharkfest race. Simply epic! Photo taken by Scott Belland.

That amazing Sprite commercial from Sunday nights Olympic trials

Amazing what you can do with a stick and 30-miles of beach!

Meet Jim Denevan and his portfolio of beach art. The man has patience, control, and a sense of symmetry. Since the average tide is six hours apart, I wonder if his work is destroyed shortly after completion? Found at [Link]