Monday, December 08, 2008

Gold Medal Mel on Peter Marshall!

Mel Stewart profiles Peter Marshall, the TYR swimmer who almost quit swimming only to set three world records at the FINA World Cup: "...“Before the World Cup, I’d been out of the water for two months, surfing in Baja, visiting family and friends back in Georgia. In South Africa, my start of the World Cup, I basically got wet with a team just to get a feel for the water. That was it. While I was there, I had other goals: to see and do everything.”

Marshall went on a cageless shark dive, and then a safari for an entire week.

“In Stockholm,” he told me, “the night before competition, I went walking around the city most of the night looking for an old Viking ship. It was cold and rainy, but we were on a mission.”

He was with friends: 2008 Olympian Kara Lynn Joyce, sprint-free aficionado Kicker Vencill and many others. The way Peter described the Viking Ship hunt, it sounded like everyone was lost in the moment. Competing the next day did not seem to be a very high priority. ..." [Link]

The image comes from Yahoo UK/Eurosport where they covered Peter after setting his first WR: [Link]

Here is a fast profile on Mel Stewart: [Link]

They have that Swimming Hall of Fame museum in Florida but if they were ever to give out doctoral degrees to coaches and/or swimmers for contributions made to swimming that had never been made before, Mel would deserve one for he created an innovative way to do 'fly. Just watch the video and look at his head position.

Below is Mel Stewart defeating Michael Gross in the 200 fly. To me this victory is more significant than Michael Phelps defeating Milord Cavic for Michael Gross was the 'Michael Phelps' of his day.

And this is why I call Michael Gross the Michael Phelps of his day:


Anonymous said...

Hey Tony,

That's some hair tingling footage! Especially the Grossbusters 4x200 relay.

Can you imagine what those guys would have done if they worked the underwater portion or if they had a more modern technique? Even the starts have changed so much.

If those butterflyers didnt lift their heads so high and could stay under 12-15 meters they would have been contenders even today, going 51 and 152-153 for 100 and 200.

The suits sure help but this shows me what good coaching and innovation has done to swimming in the last 20 yrs.

Scott said...

I remember watching that 4x200 relay race and thinking that Gross has gone out way too fast his first fifty. But I didn't know that he was that much faster than Bruce Hayes, the American anchor. What is it about the 4X200 and the U.S.A. winning the close ones. Hayes swam the race of his life at just the right time.

Strider said...

Wow, 7 feet 4 inch wingspan? Makes my 6ft 7inch wingspan seem short!

Tony Austin said...

I spoke with a German Olympian at a meet this year who had swam with Michael Gross. I asked if Gross was still swimming. The person snorted a laugh and said, "I hope not!"

He went on to explain how amazingly talented he was and how once he swam a 400 meter free for the first time ever in a meet and still broke a world record!

After the swim, Gross said he would never swim it again because it was to hard yet he set the world record!