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


Steve said...

"cyclists got faster bikes"

You may want to look into this:

He was able to beat several world records, not because of his talent, but because of the bike he rode. Cycling federations have now introduced many regulations about the design of bikes that can be used in competition. I think you may be mistaken in believing that all other sports have allowed the introduction of new technology unrestricted. I think enough swimmers, coaches, officials and commentators have spoken out that it would irresponsible for FINA to not at least listen to their concerns.

maly said...

i thougth that that it was to forbid the swimmers to put 2 layer of fastsuit. wouldn't that create more flotation

Tony Austin said...

FINA approved all the suits so it is not really unrestricted use of tech in my opinion but I see your point.

Cycling: Let's say it was Obree's bike that gave him his record. However, if you take a bike from 1985 that survived the Tour de France and compare it to Lance Armstrong's bike circa 2005, I bet Armstrong's bicycle is pounds lighter, has better bearings, wheels and is more aerodynamic.

A baseball glove circa 1920, was just that; a glove. A baseball glove today is a device when you compare the two.

As for the coaches and governing bodies, I think their reaction to speedsuits has been overly emotional and it bothers me that I as a swimmer seemingly have no say whereas they do.

Bill Ireland said...

Hmm. I didn't think I had any issues with speed suits until I saw the end of year swims in Europe. Apparently the new state of the art is to wear two or three suits at the same time and the time drops are astounding. And the swimmers who are setting the records are not only the ones who swam great over the summer and won gold at the Olympics. Many records were set by swimmers who barely qualified for semifinals at the Olympics and are now making amazing drops. The mens' 200 scm free relay(which is a very fast French grouping--top line swimmers on all 4 spots)broke the old record by about 4 seconds, Gulp. Dropping from a 1:24 to 1:20 for a 200 free relay in a single season, and swimming late in the year in an Olympic year is pretty remarkable. If you made me king, I'd just say one suit only. That levels the playing field--and makes the costs much more equal.