Saturday, January 31, 2009

Phelps has "Movie Star" Syndrome - It targets those that make too much money when they are young!

UPDATE: The top photo is a gallery shot of the Michael Phelps collection at the Omega site. Below that is an enlargement of the watch worn in the infamous "bong shot" that News of the World claims belongs to Michael Phelps. The one below that is a Breitling for Bentley Motors watch which resembles the watch in the aforementioned "bong" photo but Phelps is not paid to wear that watch.

The Michael Phelps watch collection is quite expensive and I am sure Phelps is paid a lot of money to wear one. These Omega watches run between $2,000 and $3,000 but none of the watches or the variations featured at the Omega website matches what the person in the photograph is wearing.

The only evidence that can conclusively confirm whether Michael Phelps was taking a "hit off a bong" is if the "bribe" that Clifford Bloxham is accused of offering is true and can be documented.

Link to the Omega Michael Phelps Collection: [Link]

I put edits to the post in red.

Have you noticed that there are several "A-List" celebrities who never get in the tabloids? Stars like Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Johnny Depp and there is even a couple of young actors, like Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams and even Daniel Radcliffe who never get defamed?

I was told once that celebrities have gigantic mansions because they can never leave them. These celebrities with big homes only come out for award shows and promo tours that are largely handled by "Blackwater Mercenaries" who will shoot a paparazzi if he shows up without permission or just because they thought the camera "might be loaded."

Can you tell I am sneaking up on the alleged Michael Phelps' bong photo?

His handler's pretty much confirmed the photo is Michael Phelps if what the News of the World printed is true. My constructive criticism for Michael Phelps is that he disappears to some pool, handle his perceived drug and alcohol issues, if he has any, and make no statement whatsoever to the media. Then he should consider spanking his PR team or even hire a new PR "assassin" to replace his current spokesperson who actually did this to him:

From News of the World: "...Phelps is represented by marketing giant Octagon, which works with huge brands such as Mastercard and HSBC. They admitted proven cannabis use would be “a major taint” on Phelps’ character.

Spokesman Clifford Bloxham offered us an extraordinary deal not to publish our story, saying Phelps would become our columnist for three years, host events and get his sponsors to advertise with us.

In return, he asked that we kill Phelps’ bong picture. Bloxham said: “It’s seeing if something potentially very negative for Michael could turn into something very positive for the News of the World.”


If this allegation actually took place then that is called a bribe and they utterly embarassed Michael Phelps who probably never would have offered that or if he had good management never would have offered.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

'Swimming Australia' sounds like a bunch of grumpy old men!

Every sport has adopted technology to make the experience more enjoyable: Runners got "plushy" running shoes, cyclists got faster bikes, American football players got better helmets, and baseball players got bigger gloves

From the Australian:

" ...[Swimming Australia president David] ...Urquhart, who met FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu in Singapore two weeks ago, said he expected FINA to act to curb the worst excesses of suit development.

He believes FINA should outlaw multiple suits and suits that are fastened with zippers, because they allow the suits to be tight enough to gain unnatural support through the core. ..."


Guys like Urquhart remind me of old men wearing white suits and straw hats while playing bocce ball or Tennis in the1920s. Swimming is a game not a religion, it moves forward, it evolves and gets better.

I think Swimming Australia should listen to the swimmers and the public at large: we want speedsuits. They are fun, fast and modest.

This creative commons photo "CC" was found at km6xo photostream at

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Swim Different: 'Swim Tracker' for the Apple iPhone

You know our sport is growing when it has an app for an iPhone.

Swim Tracker topics include:
  1. Your best times.
  2. The medals you've won.
  3. The distances you've swam.
  4. The workout routines you've done (pyramids, ladders, descending...)
  5. Organize your training by strokes (Free, Fly, Back, Breast, Side, Underwater, IM)
  6. Organize your nutrition program (Calories, Proteins, Carbs, Fats)
  7. Organize your dry-land program (Cardio, Distances, Weights, Reps, Abs)
  8. Keep track of your weight, pulse rate and other critical factors


This '2009 Swim Preview' is exceptional: Quality photos and brief resumés too!

Universal Sports has put together quite a preview for 2009. Sort of like a digital version of Topps baseball cards for swimmers. I like how thorough it is and I find the quality of the photography nears that of National Geographic.

Here are some of the bios from Universal Sports:

On Alain Bernard
: Unfortunately for Bernard, he will be remembered -- at least in 2008 -- as the guy Jason Lezak overtook in the final 25 meters of the 4x100m freestyle relay in Beijing. However, the late-blooming Frenchman (Beijing was his first Olympics) will be one of the top international men this season as he looks to rebound from his relay collapse last August. He turns 26 in May.

On Britta Steffen: Steffen stifled the competition in Beijing last August, edging Dara Torres and Libby Trickett in the 50m and 100m freestyle races for her two gold medals. Now 25, Steffen has at least one more Olympic appearance left in her. And what better time to prove that than in 2009? This German should maintain her status as a splendid sprinter.

Some new kid named Ryan Lochte: After a season in which Lochte performed well at the Worlds (four gold medals) and the Olympics (two golds), he returns in 2009 at the top of his game. The 24-year-old well-rounded swimmer swam at three meets since Beijing, and has earned a total of 10 gold medals. This season, look for Lochte to make another splash at the Worlds as London draws closer.

Dozens of lesser known swimmers are mentioned too.


Do chlorinated pools cause asthma?

Asthma and chlorinated pools: Simon Owens is on it and not only does he have his own blog called Bloggasm, he's a blogger for PBS’s MediaShift which tells you two things: One, he is more credible than I am and two, he's a better speller.

No seriously, he has written a very serious article about the supposed link between asthma and chlorine and we both share the same concerns regarding its credibility. Here is a snippet from his article posted to the Asthma Mom Blog:

The first group of studies focused on elite athletes — typically at the Olympic level — and analyzed the percentage of those with asthma in each sport. The studies found that there is a significantly higher percentage of elite swimmers who have asthma compared to athletes in other sports. But Goodman said this could be an example of “reverse causation” in which asthmatics are simply more likely to participate in swimming because it is perceived as having a lower risk of triggering an asthmatic attack.

“It provides some suggestive evidence that asthma is more commonly found among swimmers,” he said. “But I think this study would be hard pressed to conclude that there’s any evidence that swimming causes asthma in previously healthy individuals.”


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Welcome to the Renaissance: Swim Technique and Swim related Information is Consolidating

Turns - Flip-Turn Eyes from Glenn Mills on Vimeo.

Quality information about swimming is consolidating exponentially and becoming extraordinarily accessible. In fact, I think we are entering into not just a "swimming Renaissance" but a global one. I know that is a weird thing to say during this "Great Recession" that the planet is experiencing but perhaps some new economic paradigm emerges that takes us all to the next level.

I am going to make a bold statement here and declare that 6-months worth of content at the following sites will provide a swimmer with more knowledge and more useful information than a swimmer would have been exposed between the years 1900 and 2000.

That's not an exaggeration for today I can reference a video shot in the past 10 years of just about any gold medal swim in the Olympics, World Championships, European Championships, US Nationals etc, etc, just by plugging in a search term at You Tube.

For instance there is GoSwim.TV: Glenn Mills has extensively filmed and indexed the technical nuances of our sport making each swimming clip a Zen experience. New swimmers have learned how to do flipturns just by watching his stuff and this is just the free content.

Swimming World: though they keep most of the crown jewels in print or for sale, the results database, the swim conversation calculator, and most of all the cataloging of the successes and failures of just about every word class swimmer provides not just a bench mark for greatness but also what can go wrong. The second mouse gets the cheese and what could go wrong and has gone wrong and it is covered there.

Then there is Floswimming which is like the intellectual equivalent of some serious "swimming industrial espionage." Garret goes for it and he takes chances! He walks right up to the line and sometimes his toes cross over it; (Actually, that might be an under statement or one could say Garret has some pretty long toes), but the majority of his videos deliver insights that have never been put to paper or press and they are valuable.

Monday, January 26, 2009

'Master Popov' and his innovative approach to sprinting!

If Alexandre Popov wore a cap and a speedsuit back in the day, swimmers like Cielo, Leveaux, Sullivan, Bernard, would still be chasing the dragon's tail!

At the 2:50 mark, Popov does a drill that is extraordinarily hard; it's the hardest drill you will ever do: water polo freestyle with a dolphin kick. Caveat, be really warmed up before you do this drill or your shoulders will "spank" you!

'TYR' has got a new style of Goggles

They are called the Tracer Racing Metalized. I bought a couple pair at full price and I am going to review them at either the Pasadena SPMA Masters Meet or the UC Irvine meet; I have not decided which meet I will go to yet.

Pasadena Meet: [Link]
SPMA Meet Schedule: [Link]

So if you see a swimmer with Yellow eyes, a black Tracer Light or looks like a 6'2" Italian bumblebee, that's me.

Rumor: Gold Medal Mel fans send him chocolate and coffee! - but I am not jealous!

I heard from a solid gold, reliable source, that Mel Stewart did a huge favor for some Ryan Lochte fans and now he gets gifts from these fans in the form of chocolate and coffee. How cool is that?

I am not that jealous either that his fans send him chocolate but what the heck did he do to be so rewarded?! It's not that I am jealous, I just think it's cool.

Well, maybe I just a little jealous...

Okay, it's true, I am jealous...! The guy has got movie star good looks, he's got a real gold medal whereas mine is brass, and now he has a never ending source of chocolate and coffee. Life just sucks for Mel, does it not? >.<


L.A. Times: "Mary DeScenza deals with disappointment in the pool"

Here is the definition of character:
"...Here's how Mary DeScenza dealt with the toughest career setback of her professional life, after she failed to qualify for the U.S. Olympic swimming team at the trials in Omaha last summer.

She hit the water two weeks later and recorded some of her best times at the U.S. Open...

"It's tough. I'm not going to say it's easy to be positive all the time," DeScenza said Monday at the Southern California Grand Prix of Swimming in Long Beach. "You have to dig deep, and it really shows you what you're made of. ..."

How many 24-year-olds think this way?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to beat Phelps: "One thing I learned from his book is, you can't say anything that will stir him up..."

From the Sydney Morning Herald: Andrew Lauterstein placed third behind Phelps in the 100-meter fly by .14-of-a-second. Andrew Swanton has written an article about how Lauterstein in regards to what he will or will not do to beat Phelps in Rome.

From The Sydney Morning Herald:
"...The 21-year-old Sydneysider has two distinct memories of rubbing shoulders with Phelps - and going within 0.14 seconds of gold. The first is of shaking his hand and realising, lo and behold, The Baltimore Bullet is made of flesh and bone. The second is of going weak at the knees - or the back of one knee - when he heard Phelps's traditional psych-up from lane three.

"I'm not scared of racing him now," Lauterstein says. "But at the Olympics, you know that slapping he does with his arms on the blocks? That can rattle you. ..."

Keep in mind that I am really lousy at swimming predictions but I am going to make one about Phelps anyway. Phelps will do well at the World Championships in Rome but his results will be mixed. These are my reasons:
  • Phelps has taken 5-months off; something he has NEVER done before
  • Phelps has gained and will have to lose 15 pounds; that's like 2-gallons of milk worth of weight. (I weighed them on the scale for this post)
  • Phelps is a multimillionaire now, the swimmers he is swimming against are not
  • Swimmers like Ryan Lochte, Matt Grevers havn't stopped training and they are hungry. Oh, and they are not millionaires either.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Laure Manaudou may be done with swimming - She may vacation in the United States with friends as well

I once saw an actor named Ed O'Neil interviewed by Whoopi Goldberg in the early 1990's. During the interview she asked O'Neil if success had changed him in any way. He replied that since success came late in life during his early 40's it had no real effect upon him. By then his personality was already carved in stone so to speak and he accumulated enough life experiences to keep it all in perspective.

He did mention that if he was in his early 20's he would have believed all the hype and empty accolades and consequently he would have handled it very, very, badly.

When Laure Manadou won a gold medal in the 400-free in Athens 2004, she was was the first French female swimmer to do so in over 40-years. Laure Manaudou was just 18-years-old at the time and she still had more to accomplish.

Two years later in 2006 she was the first swimmer to tackle Janet Evans's 400-meter free world record swimming a time of 4:03.03 at a French meet.

By 2007, she broke the 200-meter free world record at the World Championships in Sydney, won the 400-free there too, garnered a silver in the 100-meter back, and almost won the 800 until being passed by a determined Kate Ziegler on the last lap.

After 2007 there were no stellar swim accomplishments for Manaudou. Perhaps because her personal life was plastered all over the tabloid press and her naked body all over the internet. (Her jilted boyfriend, Luca Marin, denied having anything to do with this and that it was simply a coincidence that the day they broke up her nude pictures suddenly appeared! No, really!) With all this said, I am sure this violation of her privacy, both physical and sexual, has probably distracted her as a young adult.

If this sounds like an obituary, I don't mean it to be. I have a feeling that Manaudou is done with swimming, done with being famous, done with losing races and being tabloid fodder. This is what Associated Press had to say:

The 22-year-old became a national heroine at the 2004 Athens Olympics when she took gold in the 400 metres freestyle - the first ever for her country for a woman. She also won silver in the 800 metres freestyle and bronze in the 100 metres backstroke.

Despite going on to set several world records, Manaudou struggled to stay on top as problems with her long-time coach and an ugly breakup with her Italian swimmer boyfriend saw her picture splashed over the gossip magazines.

She attempted to bounce back at the Beijing Olympics but failed miserably and fled the pool in tears.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This photo is so compelling that I had to post this article about the St. Saviour at St. Francis College Swim Meet as an excuse.

Perhaps I should be talking about Ryan Lochte, Matt Grevers or Mary DeScenza but there is something so "carpe diem" about the photo above that I just had to post it and talk about it.

Here you have these young, beautiful, women wearing traditional swimsuits strolling along the edge of a very "retro" indoor pool with absolutely no worries or concerns about deadlines, mortgage payments, or that "depression thingy" on CNBC.

"... Seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow. ..." That's the attitude I see in the photo above and I think it would make a great Norman Rockwell painting.

Note how the yardage markers along the side of the pool are painstakingly illustrated with 2-inch, square, black tiles. They don't make pools like this anymore; not even in Beijing!

Oh, From the New York Daily News: "...

When the Molloy Stanners girls swim team entered the St. Francis College Aquatic Center on Sunday, they did so as one of the top teams in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens 'A' division.

But the Stanners still used their final regular-season dual meet against St. Saviour as an opportunity to make a statement to the rest of the CHSAA, rolling to a 91-71 victory in Brooklyn. ..."


Monday, January 19, 2009

Ian Thorpe's dryland routine!

I have never done nor would I do squats with the barbell behind my neck. I always felt they would hurt my neck or my knees. I think stairs are safer and better.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's called "breath control" not "breath stupidity!" - Coach challenges his team to a breath control contest!

I get really freaked out about drowning stories. I read them just about every day when searching for content for the blog. Form
"...Freshman Hannah Fuller, 15, said Saturday her coach, Chas Grimm, offered a challenge to the swim team Wednesday toward the end of practice: Anyone who could swim farther than he could underwater without surfacing would be allowed to leave practice early. ..."
Okay, can you see where this is going?

"... But after a few seconds, Hannah said, she became convinced Grimm was in trouble. She swam to him, pulled one of his arms around her shoulder and hauled him to the side of the pool.

"I lifted up his head, and his face was blue and turning purple," she said. "He was stiff and cold."

Others helped pull the coach out of the water, and a lifeguard performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation...."


Three laps in a 25-yard pool is longer than what the Navy SEALS would require for a "hotshot" demolition diver. Also, what if it had been one of his 15-year-old swimmers that nearly drowned; can you imagined the consequences?

Also, I too have have my fair share of taking too few breaths during a race so subsequently I err towards the side of "breath-stupidity" as well. I will revise that!

The rules in 'Formula One' racing have been raised as an ad hoc analogy as to why speedsuits should be banned!

Formula One cars are incomprehensibly powerful. The drivers who race Formula One cars are incomprehensibly insane. The economic costs of a crashed Formula One car with a very dead Formula One driver therein is incomprehensibly immoral.

Comparing speedsuits to Formula One cars is simply a rhetorical device and I wish that both writers and bloggers would put a stop to it.

Below is a sample clip of a Formula One race in the rain. Now with a straight face, tell me that these two drivers are not a couple of clowns short of a circus. Especially note how crazy it gets at the :30-second mark.

When such people as Craig Lord, or Scott of the Canuck Swimmer, or even French sprinter, David Maitre, bring up Formula One racing as an example as to why speedsuits need heavy controls so as to make swimming "fair," I see clever salesmanship in progress rather than a factual argument.

After watching the clip above do you see how incomprehensible it is to compare our two sports in regards to technological rules?

Craig Lord at Swim News states that it only cost $1,500 US to submit a suit to 'FINA' for approval!

Craig Lord of Swim News goes "Postal" on FINA which suggest to me that Mr. Lord believes that speedsuits will NOT be outlawed next month or the month thereafter.

Mr. Lord has aggressively sided with several National Governing Bodies who would like to see "old school" suits or suits that resemble those from the 1970's mandated as the de facto attire.

"Progressives," like the USMS, who has recently entered into a sponsorship deal blueseventy would like to see swimming move forward.

Anyway, The most amusing snippet I found in the article was that FINA only charges $1,500 for their suit approval process.

"... Mr Marculescu, [FINA Executive Director] who is keen to have decisions on suits based on science, told SwimNews that the guidelines "are still in place and will be updated during this year of 2009". Hope lives in the word "updated". Meantime, 30 new suit approvals equals 30 x US $1,500 for FINA. Not a fortune but the cost of that money could be much higher."


"... So, If FINA is not wedded to the idea of a moratorium, the very least it should do in the face of the risk presented above is to send every single one of the latest suits sent for approval straight to an independent laboratory with a note stating: given patents that exist in this world, is there any way that this garment could be used as a platform for technology that could interact with the central nervous system of the human body? There are other questions too – about angle buoyancy, about flotation tools, about fabrics that are not fabrics at all. About where to draw a line that will allow suit makers to innovate without creating suits that cross the line from maximising to enhancing performance. ..."


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Libby Trickett has changed her stroke and she will debut next weekend!

I love it when a swimmer makes a declaration about tweaks or changes to their stroke for you can then compare, measure, and learn form their experimentation.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

"Any differences? You might have to wait and see. There's been a few little changes to my starts and to my stroke and things like that, so it will be good to test those things out under a race situation. And it will be good to get a gauge of where I am at in terms of fitness and strength and endurance."

Selections trials for the Rome world titles will be held in Sydney in March, with Trickett revealing she will swim the 50 and 100 metres freestyle - the two events in which she is the world record holder - and the 50m and 100m butterfly, in which she won her individual gold medal in China.


I love that photo above, it is so honest and exuberant.

Eamon Sullivan Calls for a ban on all Chloroprene suits - Especially the ones that compete with his 'Speedo LZR'

In my opinion he is calling out the blueseventy Nero in a backhanded way. It's like all these athletes Craig Lord writes about who oppose Chloroprene were seemingly handed a script to recite like an actor in a 30-second commercial. They never mention the name blueseventy but they mention the material it is made of.

Well, since blueseventy is down with the USMS, Sullivan's words are "fightin' words, pardner!"

I think it has become demonstrable by reading Swim News articles that Mr. Lord enthusiastically deplores Chloroprene suits. Especially the ones that are equal or perhaps faster than the Speedo LZR or Arena's offering.

"... Sullivan said that suits and suit practices that had unfolded over the course of 2008 had "to be stopped". He added: “I’m happy with what I’ve done. The suit (Speedo’s LZR Racer) was ratified by FINA and I wasn’t wearing two or three suits, just the one. What I wore was allowed at the time I broke those records. There obviously is some advantage and there obviously is more advantage if you wear two or three suits, which a lot of people have been doing lately, and I think it’s pretty ridiculous. ..."


I think they have a saying for that called, "throwing the baby out with the bath water!" Calling for a suit ban on a suit that underwent the same FINA approval process that his Speedo LZR did is both unfair and absurd.

For Sullivan to speak negatively about Speedo's rival is suspicious to me. I find his take summarily prejudiced and I suspect that his prejudice is due to lots of Speedo money given to him so he will wear their suit.

How about mandating individuals simply wear one suit only when competing?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Southern Pacific Masters Association (SPMA) will hold two swim meets on the same weekend!

SPMA - has a total eight short-course-yards Masters meets coming up in the ensuing months and two of them: The Rose Bowl SCY Meet, and the UC Irvine Masters Meet will be held on the same weekend.
  • Rose Bowl Short Course Yards Meet New Meet Added
    Saturday, February 7, 2009

  • UCI Short Course Yeards Meet
    Sunday, February 8, 2009
I am worried that having these two meets on the same weekend will literally divide the participation of the two events with those clubs in the north, SCAQ, UCLA, WH2O swimming at the Rose Bowl while NOVA and the Nadadores swim down in their hometown of Orange County.

I think the turnout at both meets will be anemic and I am hoping for a schedule change.

Above are satellite images of both the Rose Bowl Pools and the UC Irvine pool

For a list of all the great events SPMA has:


Friday, January 09, 2009

Geoff Huegill slams speedsuits but is definitely going to wear one!

I am really excited that Geoff Huegill is back in the water, I feel he is a source of inspiration for both overweight, ex-athletes, and obese individuals who don't think they could ever become healthy through exercise and diet. I must say that his transformation is quite a comeback for he has shed over 60-pounds of weight.

Though Huegill has been training hard, he has yet to try on a speedsuit let alone race in one. My suggestion to Huegill is that he start training in a speedsuit to make any modifications to his stroke before race day because this blog wants to see him win. (He is the ultimate masters swimmer so to speak.)

His opinions are couched quite strongly against suits, namely those that use Chloroprene, but I would suggest that he soften them till he wears one. This is what he was quoted as saying in the Canberra Times:

"... "I haven't tried on a suit as of yet but I have seen what all the hype is about. It's out of control," Huegill said yesterday. "My honest opinion is it definitely has to be stopped. There is no doubt about it. The fabrics they are using now are rubber-like fabrics, which make you float and and keep you on top of the water. ..."


I have covered Heugill's weight issues and comeback in previous posts here:

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Federica Pelligrini has a nice website and the intro is definitely not hard to look at!

It is one of the better swimmer websites: the intro has some lovely "cheesecake" shots; one includes the tattoo on her neck; a video page; a results page; a bio; news, and a "yummy" photo gallery.

The site is nice and contains lots of details which are all in English for us lazy, monolingual, Americans!

Oh, she's available too according to the bio! 0_o [Link]

ALain Bernard's turnover in the video below was about 41 strokes on the way back - Jason Lezak took 34 strokes!

I am wondering if a high turnover rate during a long course meter sprint is a good idea? Perhaps in a short course sprint you need the constant acceleration towards the wall after a turn so a high turnover rate works better. Has this subject been discussed anywhere?

The twin Mars Rovers; (Spirit and Opportunity), have been on Mars surface for five years. I am told that students will earn doctorate degrees for years to come based upon the massive amount of data that the probes sent back. I suspect coaches may not earn doctorates from the underwater video of 4x100 free relay but I wonder if stroke design will see further contributions?

"When I got to the 85-metre mark, typically the body shuts down, but I had an extra surge of adrenaline..." - Jason Lezak

Here is an article obviously about Jason Lezak but includes not only his thoughts on the 4x100 relay but how he trains and why.

From the Canadian Jewish News:
“It’s all about the power of the mind. I blocked it out, felt strong and good – it was the Olympic Games,” he said.

“I was breathing to the right side, so every time I took a breath I could see where he was in the water. When I got to the 85-metre mark, typically the body shuts down, but I had an extra surge of adrenaline. I’ve looked at the replays – I did not go faster, but he tightened up and faded, dying like a dog.”

On training he had this to say:

"... Lezak trains using a specific workout plan. “Most people train nine times a week in the pool, but I think they do “garbage yardage,” he said, meaning that with the aim of swimming 6,000 metres, they “throw in a bunch of crap.”

He is a firm believer in quality, not quantity. “You’ve got to make every stroke count,” Lezak said.

It’s not about having a coach poolside to motivate him, either. “I swim because I have goals, not because anyone is telling me,” he said. ..."


Jason is currently looking for a sponsor.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

This hydrozoa "jellyfish" is immortal - It has found a way to beat death!

I like sea dwelling animals that look like "glass blobjects!" This particular creature looks like a brain with "sad eyes" and a spinal column has been installed within a jellyfish.

Found originally at, has the rundown:

"...Turritopsis nutricula is a hydrozoan, and it’s considered by scientists to be the only animal that cheated death. ...

Still, our Turritopsis nutricula (could we call it Joe??) managed to find a way to beat that. What these little folks do is they revert completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after they reach sexual maturity. They’re even cooler than that. When they’re young they’ve got only several tentacles, but at a mature stage, they get to 80-90 of them. ..."


Paging, Glenn Mills! White courtesy telephone please!

Imagine what Glenn mills could do with a rig like this? From
"...Heading to Vegas tomorrow ~ CES time already! And so far, one of the things i’m most excited about seeing in person is the latest from Liquid Image ~ the ProHD350!!! Seriously, an awesome jet black dive mask that shoots 5.0 megapixel stills and HD video up to 30fps (with audio!)… it even runs on 4 AAA batteries! has 64MB internal, but takes up to a 32GB microSD/SDHC… and has light attachments (both on the sides and/or headlight)!!!

Though it's bad grammar; (I should talk, right?), I love the use of multiple exclamation marks in the description. It reminds me of the enthusiasm a 13-year-old kid would have for a new, cool, toy.

Go to the link and look at the other cameras.

I think Glenn Mills could make fine art with this camera!!! ;-)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Does the USOC receive an "immoral amount" of IOC cash? - Peter Ueberroth spanks the guy who suggested just that!

"... "An immoral amount," declared IOC member Hein Verbruggen of the Netherlands.

It's pretty simple math," Ueberroth said in his farewell speech at the US Olympic Assembly.

The USOC gets 12.75 percent of the domestic TV fee and 20 percent of the sponsorship cash, which added up to $300 million over the past quadrennium (half of the committee's budget) and will increase to $450 million for the upcoming quad. Still, it's only a fraction of what the Americans fork over to the IOC.

NBC paid nearly $900 million for the Beijing rights (twice as much as the European Broadcasting Union did) and signed on for another $2 billion for the 2010 and 2012 Games even before the sites were chosen. And half of the $866 million from the IOC's 12 global sponsors for the last quad came from US-based companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Visa.

"Who pays the bill for the world Olympic movement? Make no mistake about it," Ueberroth said. ..."


These figures are amazing. Both the IOC and the USOC are overwhelmingly, stinky, smelly, rich. I think they both should spread the wealth around a little bit more. Maybe throw some more money at the athletes.

The 'Pearl Izumi' store in Lake Tahoe will give SCAQ blog readers mad discounts! - Go there quick!

Lauren is a reader of ours and even leaves comments from time to time. She use to coach the Texas Longhorn Masters program but now she manages a Pearl Izumi store in Lake Tahoe!

Pearl Izumi has products in many sports including cross-country skiing, triathlon, duathlon, and running. Best of all, it's athletic clothing that we all can get a mad discount on because SCAQ blog readers are the cool kids and Lauren is going to hook us up.

So, here are the rules: SCAQ blog readers get 15% off of all marked down merchandise INCLUDING $4.00 shipping to anywhere in the states!

So to prove that you are a SCAQ reader, you have to write or mention the phrase "SCAQ Blog Coupon." Lauren will give you till January 31st to buy, so hurry now.

You can see what is available here: [Link]

Pearl Izumi has been around for a long time. They have sponsored cycling teams such as the 1984 USA Olympic team and many others. So they have 'street cred.'

Here is the note she sent me:

I receive no compensation for this, nor any gifts or favors; just good will. The products are good and I can't let a discount like this go past us. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

'FOX Sports' - Ian O'connor names Jason Lezak as his "Sportsman of the Year"

Ian O'Connor wrote a very fun article about Jason Lezak overcoming significant odds to defeat Alain Bernard in the final leg of the 4x100 relay to make Lezak his "Sportsman of the Year."

On the morning of Aug. 11 in Beijing, Phelps was the wailing baby, a relay journeyman named Jason Lezak was the distraught mother and a French terminator named Alain Bernard was the 2-ton car.

This is the story of how my Sportsman of the Year got those four wheels off the ground.


I am loving those mixed metaphors but Terminators come from "Austria-Kaleefornia" not France.

Two other aspects of the article that were missed: The press keeps playing up the Alain Bernard remark that "...We will smash them," but that statement was severely lost in translation and portrayed the French as little "Gary Halls.'"

If an American 4x100 free relay team said to the swim press, "we will beat them." An American or a Brit would read that as "our team is going to win," They would not read it as "we are going to mug them" or "we are going to inflict repeated blows."

There is no translation for the word "beat" in French that morphs the word into "defeat" like we do in English. They use the word smash which has the exact same meaning. English is a very colorful language with lots of nuance; there were translation issues here that portrayed the French incorrectly .

The second thing that bothered me is that they showed a photo of the 4x100 Medley relay team rather than the 4x100 free relay team thereby excluding Cullen Jones along with Garret Weber-Gale who both contributed significant swims to the victory.

ESPN on 2009: Phelps has made swimming a viable platform for TV - Chicago leading contender for the Summer games in 2016

Regarding the Chicago Olympics: "...IOC president Jacques Rogge recently told The Chicago Tribune that Obama's election is "very positive'' for the city's bid. President-elect Obama is expected to personally lobby for Chicago, as Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin did to help secure the 2012 Games in London and the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. ..."

Michael Phelps: "...His coach has told reporters the swimmer will begin seriously training again in February and you'll be able to see him competing this summer (possibly at some shorter distances) in the U.S. and world championships -- which, thanks to Phelps, will be televised on NBC. Swimming on national TV in a non-Olympic year? What's next, fantasy swim leagues?..."


Saturday, January 03, 2009

If quoted correctly FINA has "showed their cards" in advance of the FINA Seedsuit meeting in February!

On December 11th Craig Lord of Swim News wrote an article for the Times Online entitled: Is Time Running Out For Supersuits!

I highlight a quote in bold by an unnamed FINA official regarding his take on speedsuits. Apparently FINA may have decided the fate of a particular brand of speedsuit if this quote is for real:

"... A leaked letter sent to Fina by Marcin Sochacki, the Rocket Science Sports chief executive, has angered many in the sport. He wrote: “If the purists of this sport really want this to be man to man, then everyone should be on the exact same sleep schedule, nutrition plan/products and be set up to compete against others with the exact same hand size, lung capacity, arm and leg length including height, etc.”

A FINA source countered, saying: “How can you call a lung, an arm, a leg, [or] sleep the same thing as a suit that is clearly an artificial aid to performance.”..."


Note how this unnamed source didn't add a question mark after his rhetorical question. I don't think it takes a genius to deconstruct their meaning or intent.

I am seeing nothing but biased media towards speedsuits and most notably the blueseventy and Chloroprene suits as a whole. It's as if consent is being manufactured against speedsuits by proxy.

Craig Lord writes at Swim News:

"... Complaints against the [blueseventy], a suit born in the triathlon pool, are also being voiced by rival suit makers. One source told SwimNews: "This is scary, dangerous stuff. The likes of Speedo, adidas, Arena and others have been working on products that support the body’s core strength, that support the athlete. The Blueseventy works in another way. It’s a flotation aid, in our opinion.” ..."

Later in the article Craig Lord prints out a letter sent to FINA by the Ligue Européenne de Natation (LEN - a conglomo governing body for European swimming) which clearly attacks blueseventy:

"...During the World Swimming Cups 2008 series a few World, European and many dozens of national records were broken by athletes who used the NERO COMP “Blueseventy” swimsuit. Our personal experience showed that the personal lifetime best performances in 50m breaststroke can be easily improved by 0,6-1.0 second with the NERO COMP Blueseventy swimsuit. ..."

"... The facts mentioned above as well as opinion on recent situation with swimming suits expressed by many other swimming coaches and swimmers, lead us to the questioning of the legitimacy of the usage of NERO COMP “Blueseventy” swimsuit at official swimming (pool) competitions.

The past eight years have made me quite cynical regarding whatever statements come out of a politican's mouth or any political body for that mater and that includes USA Swimming, FINA, LEN and all the others.

I think what LEN is really saying is that suits from Australia, California and Europe who happen to invest and/or sponsor European national teams are fair but suits from Washington State which do not sponsor any European national teams are not fair.

My inference may sound outrageous but I base it upon this observation: There is a European suit company called, Jaked Swimwear, that has created a rubberized suit made out of a polyurethane analog which is patent pending. The suit has no seams whatsoever and one Italian swimmer I spoke with told me the suit is faster than a notable European suit which I won't mention. Also note, Jaked Swimwear, is the "sponsor tecnico Federazione Italiana Nuoto" (Sponsor of the Italian Swimming Federation.)

In the letter LEN spends time attacking the technicalities of the blueseventy Nero approval. I feel they chose to debate a technicality because that is all they can attack. All suits submitted to FINA were approved by FINA.

Ultimately will masters swimmers be denied their suit of choice post February?

The fish above: Won Park of Hawaii, moneyfolding magician extraordinaire, folds the fins to his origami dollar koi.


Friday, January 02, 2009

The mighty 'Polar Bear Swims' of 2009

Wow! They know how to party in Southwest Wales, Great Britain! Someone dressed up as a dragon too. From the BBC: "...At Abersoch in Gwynedd, swimmers raised money for the lifeboat station and in Amroth, Pembrokeshire, about 30 dressed as Elvis Presley to take the plunge.

At Saundersfoot, organisers said more than 1,200 swimmers and thousands more spectators turned up for the new year dip.

Ms Ryder-Richardson, who owns a small zoo nearby, was on the beach in style in a zebra printed jeep and launched the race to the sea with the release of a giant firework.... [Link]

The Olympian: "...Polar Bear Plunge participants Gavin and Rachel Estep, Sean Van Ausdal,Jordan Bowen, Matt Sikora along with Jacqueline and Jeff Estep (l-r) take on a barbarian theme for their costuming as they join an estimated 300 other swimmers for the 25th annual event Jan. 1st at Long Lake in Lacey. Steve Bloom/The Olympian. ..." Link to photo gallery: [Link]
: "...Hundreds of spectators stood shaking their heads as swimmers raced toward the water at 11 a.m., with the temperature at 13 degrees and winds gusting up to 29 miles per hour, making it feel more like minus-6 degrees. But the exhilarated swimmers called it the perfect way to wash away the past and welcome the New Year. ..." [Link]

New York Times
Coney Island, New York - 2009 [Link]

Dude, put a pair of trunks on that "$1.50" of yours - Naked from Crescent Beach, Cananda:

News 1130: "...Earlier today, the Skinnydipper Recreation Club and Surrey United Naturists hosted the 3rd annual charity swim at the large boulder south of Crescent Beach. Yes, they swam in the 2 degree water, in the nude. Air temperatures were also 2 degrees. One man we talked with as he ran back toward the shore called it 'invigorating'. Many of the nude swimmers maintain it's actually better to go without a swimsuit, because when you get out of the water, the wet swimsuit stays wet and cold, or can freeze to your skin! ..." [Link]

Gotta have ice at Dartmouth or it isn't really considered a "Polar Bear Swim!" "...Teague said several traditional events were well-attended, citing the Human Dogsled Race, which she said had “lots of energy,” as well as the annual Polar Bear Swim. Thursday’s warmer temperatures and the surface thickness of the ice on Occom Pond threatened to derail the Swim, she said, but weather conditions ended up being favorable enough for the event to take place.

According to Teague, around 315-400 people turned up for the event. ..." [Link]

Could not have said it better myself! :-)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Sheena: Swimmer by day, Secret agent at night - She Fights Crime!

I ran into these photos at and they are hilarious! Swimmers are the new comic book heroes!

Oh, she needs a theme song, gotta have a theme song if you are swimmer/secret agent!

These photos were at found in pkripper503's photo set named: Sheena (Set)