Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Will someone please show me how to do a start dive like this?!



Loving the graphics, but I want to learn the black arts of diving off the blocks like a blue marlin sailing through the air instead of looking like molting chicken pushed off a roof!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Perrier Commercial from Australia



I like Perrier commercials for they present not just the brand but the water itself as being fun, exuberant and just as fantastic as it really is.

Photo essay: A Mako shark about to have a really bad day at the office!

The whale delivers a karate-chop to the back; I kid you not, and then things go down downhill fast for the Mako.

From the Daily Mail:

These incredible pictures demonstrate how orca whales use a 'karate chop' to stun and then finish off killer sharks.

In a rare battle of beasts these images show how several populations of skilled killer whales around the world have learned how to overcome huge sharks, that most animals give a wide berth.

Using a combination of superior brain power and brute force, the highly-intelligent orcas are able to catch and eat what many think of as the ocean's top predators.
[Link]

Friday, November 27, 2009

Head position: These ladies say always look up while doing freestyle.




In the photo above, Joe Jackson is in the middle. I believe Rebecca Adlington is to her left. Note the head position on all three swimmers. They are all looking up 45-degrees or more.

UPDATE: Below that is a video from GoSwim with a rational supposition as to how to figure out which sort of head position is best for you.

Bring on the slings and arrows!

Best Practices: Presenting Swimming, Swimmers and Swimsuits!



the rhetoric, the constant motion, and letterbox portholes present both Gary Hall and his freestyle quite nicely. Note Gary Hall's flip turn circa from-half-a-decade-ago seems clunky. I am not not liking the twist he he does but I am sure it changed it.



This is a demo reel that uses Speedo has the theme. By Demo reel, it is a self-made promotion so as to convince clients or a potential employer that you know what you are doing when handed a million dollar brand. I think the last 15 seconds contain the most emotional impact.



This Arena commercial didn't work for me. It's well done and I love the opera soundtrack but I wanted to see more of the Arena suit and the swimmer. The humorous allegory did not make me want to wear or try on the suit.



When you get to the 30-second mark you will figure how amazingly powerful this "wrap" is. This is the future of outdoor presentation.



Here it is at night and it is glorious. Positioning swimmers as giants is how the sport should be filmed and presented.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

SwimScience: Has entered the building

G. John Mullen is a doctorate student of physical therapy at USC. He swam for Purdue and his offers technical reviews of races and swim-related science articles. He also coaches for SCAQ and I didn't realize that till I saw him at one of the pools.

I am adding his site to the links column for I like how he presents his evluations

Below is his evaluation of which swimmer Amaury Leveaux or C├ęsar Cielo, had the most epic WR and why. He has three videos of the two up to compare as well. I am including just Leveaux's. To finish the post to see who had the "most excellent" WR of the two, click the link below the snippet.

From SwimScience:

All of these records are impressive on their own level, but one main point is that all three of them break barriers (41, 47 and 45). When breaking down the races, it came down to a great underwater and 2nd half swimmer Leveaux, but a powerful, complete racer from the great Auburn sprinters. Leveaux's percent difference for his 2nd 50 was only 4.65% slower than his first 50 compared to Cielo's 6.95% slower 2nd 50 in SCY and 10.39% slower 2nd 50 in LCM (LCM should be slower, because it's easier to maintain speed on turns). [...]

[...]

[Link]

Nike Swim: We may see more commercials like these in 2010!


I want to edit and do the titling like this for a SCAQ or the USMS commercial. Note when the athlete is in the air how your here a "soaring sound." When he breaks the surface tension of the water you hear a symbol. When videoed underwater the sound is filtered or muffled. Little details like this really resonate an emotion when the audio subliminally matches the video. Sound is sixty-percent of any effective visual communication. Nike wants their stuff as immersive as possible and they do it so well.

After seeing that I want to go swim a 50-fly.

It's official: Ian Thorpe has achieved "SCAQ Blog Sainthood" as a result of his charity work!

Maly from France sent us this regarding Ian Thorpe's foundation to help elevate and educate Australia's indigenous population.

Here is a brief overview of the organization from the Foundation For Youth website:

With a vision of ‘Embracing Humanity by Nurturing Children’, Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for youth will focus on advocacy for the needs of children living in great disadvantage. We will build alliances with the corporate sector, organisations and general community to raise awareness and funds to bring positive changes to the lives of these children by improving health and education. We recognise that education is a crucial pathway to better health.

[Link]

Ian Thorpe believes that all children should be given the opportunity to live a healthy and fulfilling life. He understands his position and his ability to bring important issues to the forefront. Fountain for youth was established to focus on areas where he knows he can make an impact and he is passionate about projects that will improve health and education of children, having a positive impact on their lives.

From the Herald Sun:

Out leaps swimming superstar Ian Thorpe with a precious cargo - hundreds of books. Every child will go home with a selection of titles including Where The Wild Things Are and Dr Seuss.

"For some of these kids it is the first book that they have seen," Thorpe said.

The literacy backpack is one of his favourite programs carried out by the Fountain for Youth Foundation - the charity he set up as an 18 year old.

[Link]


There is a new swimmer in town: Ryan Nathan Lezak! - Son of Jason and Danielle Lezak.

Swimming World Magazine posted news of the birth of Ryan Nathan Lezak via a press release and I just saw it today.

SCAQ blog congratulations. Can't wait to see him in at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles?

Caveat: I don't mean to put Olympic pressure on Los Angeles or anything! ;-)

[Link]

Update: I have dear a Jewsish friend and I noted that there were a lot of great American Olympic swimmers who are Jewish: Mark Spitz, Dara Torres, Garret Weber-Gale, Wildman Tobriner, Anthony Ervin, Lenny Krayzelburg and of course Jason Lezak.

He told me it is part of the Torah to teach your kids to swim!

How cool is that? A religion that endorses swimming!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Every world record set in a tech suit is deserved and was earned fairly!

FINA creates the rules, the standards and the process as to how WRs are accepted.

When I read a particular "journalist;" or more accurately, a really lousy blogger, preface world record accomplishments with phrases like: "...champion and shiny-suit world record holder, Jane Doe," it really angers me for it degrades the champion in full, it degrades FINA, the USMS, the NCAA and it degrades all of the other swimmers who followed the rules.

The photo above to the right is of Federica Pelegrini, She currently holds 4 world records, 5 European records, and 12 Italian records. FINA accepted each and every single record in all the various tech-suits she wore. However, a particular journalist will degrade that swimmer and qualify all her accomplishments. Perhaps Pellegrini will keep that in mind when this blogger's "magazine" requests an interview!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Justine Schluntz: Engineer grad, 9-time All American and she swims a 22.5 for the 50-free SCY! - Oh, she's a Rhodes Scholar now too!

I love what her engineering degree is in: Fluid dynamics. So apropos for an swimmer/engineer. I will go as far as saying that she is the best swimmer/graduate in the country.

What other sorts of adjectives do you use to describe how remarkable she is? Great? sublime? talented?They all fall short.

I will let the Arizona Daily Wildcat do the talking:

"... But after becoming one of only 32 people to be named a 2009 American Rhodes Scholar, it’s obvious that Schluntz is much more than just an athlete.

“Working with her on her essay and also reading her letters of reference, it wasn’t just ‘Hey she’s a great student’ or ‘Hey she’s a great swimmer,’” said Karna Walter, the Director of Nationally Competitive Scholarships at the UA.“It was as much, ‘Hey this is a woman of incredible character and leadership who has shown that in so many different ways in so many different settings.’“

Schluntz graduated from the UA summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering last May. The 2008 NCAA championship member and nine-time All-American is now a graduate student in fluid dynamics. ..."

[Link]

[Swim times and interests: Link]

Science News: "How Fast Can We Go!"

Turns out other sports are having technology problems; but I have to say this, the ones that accept the technology will be the ones that make the most money and prove the most popular on TV.

The article details muscle ability versus what technology has to offer.

From Science News:

Swimming may now be similarly a victim of its own rocket science. After the 2004 Olympics, Speedo teamed with NASA engineers to design a space-age swimsuit. The result was the LZR Racer, which Michael Phelps unveiled in 2008, just before donning one of the new suits into Olympic stardom. In fact, the Beijing Games, which marked the international debut of the suits, saw nearly every world record taken by swimmers in LZR Racers. The ultra-lightweight material — the suit is about half polyurethane — not only reduces drag, but also compresses the body to keep a swimmer in an optimal position during the race.

The new suit set off an arms race in swimsuit technology, with even faster designs made possible through better body compression and increased buoyancy (from trapped air). Biedermann beat Phelps wearing a suit that was entirely polyurethane. Swimming’s governing body, FINA, has said it plans to ban the suits in 2010, but has not announced what, if anything, will happen to records set during the polyurethane spree.

[Link]

14-year-old boy who is the European men's 10-meters platform champion bullied for wearing a Speedo!

The culture here in L.A. is that kids who wear "Speedos" or jammers to the pool are considered privileged because that they know how to swim well. They are not bullied and they are more often than not befriended.

At the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks pool, Hispanic parents during the summer set up "camp" for the day so their kids can play in the pool from morning till night and learn how how to swim. Those that can't even afford goggles are given them for free by the lifeguards. Some are let on the team for free if they get good grades and can't afford the the $25. If their school work slips, they spend their workout time doing homework.

I bet British diver, Tom Daley, wished lived in L.A.. He would have a lot kids watching his back, and you don't want to mess with these kids. I should post photos some day.

From the Brisbane Times:

"I'd always ignored the 'diver boy' or 'Speedo boy' comments when I came back from Beijing last year, hoping they'd get fed up and stop," he said.

"The trouble is they haven't, and it's even the younger kids who are joining in.

"It's getting to the stage now where I think 'Oh, to hell with it. I don't want to go back to school'.

[Link]

Update on the 2012 London Aquatics Center via Web Cam!


The 2012 London Aquatics web cam. The roof is on and the project looks beautiful!

[Link]

Monday, November 23, 2009

'SportLingo' - Italian Medals have never looked so pink!

From SportLingo in Europe:

Numbers cannot deceive us - 2008 and 2009 have been women’s years in Italian sports.

In the last Olympic Games, for instance, among the 28 medals that Italy won, 11 derived from female athletes. Moreover, four of the eight gold medals were achieved by women.

This tie was broken last July during the Mediterranean Games, where women collected 34 gold medals – the men 'only' 30.

Never in Italian national history has the collection of medals looked so pink.

[Link]

That is Federica Pellegrini floating at the top of this post.

The roof of the 2012 London Aquatics Center is in place


This structure will be a very impressive Aquatics Center and a wonderful legacy of the 2012 games. I hope some day that I can swim there.

From the Guardian:

Swimming is the number one participation sport among women, and Adlington is one of the stars who organisers, who brought the Olympics to London partly on the promise of leaving a legacy of sports participation, hope will help inspire more physical activity among women.

The unveiling of the framework for the sweeping 160-metre roof on the £244m aquatics centre, designed by Zaha Hadid, is seen as a key moment in the Olympic Delivery Authority's "big build". During the games the centre will house two 50-metre pools, a 25-metre diving pool and 17,500 spectators.
[Link]

Ian Thorpe on tech suits

From ABC Sport on November 20th 2009

Thorpe says it is embarrassing that athletes were made to apologise for their performances.

"At no point have I ever thought that the reason why I'd broken a world record, or achieved the result that I had, was because of the swimsuit I was wearing," he said.

[Link]


Open water race fatality in New Zealand!

Apparently, a late middle age man died swimming the Sovereign Harbour Crossing race after presumably suffering aheart attack. I hope all these deaths are being researched for an underlying cause.

From the NZ Herald:

"... One potential danger could come from the wetsuits used in endurance swims, which act to keep the swimmer warm when their body is trying to cool them down, Mr Barry said.

Surf Lifesaving met Sport and Recreation and Water Safety officials yesterday to consider conducting research into the effects of wetsuits on the body during extreme exercise, Mr Barry said.

"We want to know what sort of information can we give competitors so they go in with a full deck of cards," he said. "We don't want people to stop swimming, so let's make it a little safer for them."

He said he had no concerns about safety at Saturday's race.


[Link]

Will 'Arena' be the new 'Speedo' or swimming's "number one brand" - I think so!


We all saw Peter Marshall wearing Arena during the Fina World Cup, Roland Schoeman too. With names like these and names like Cesar Cielo, Federica Pellegrini, Britta Steffen and more, what other sort of product endorsement does the brand need?

Italian suit manufacturer, Arena, needs and wants more American athletes. Arena has now signed Rebecca Soni, arguably the best breastroker in the world along with, Eric Shanteau!

Combine this with Aaron Piersol featured in Time Magazine wearing what Time Magazine called the number one tech invention of the year and now you have a break-out brand:

"... Arena, an Italian waterwear brand, has created the unthinkable: a high-tech swimsuit that outraced Michael Phelps..."

[Link]

Arena now has the athletes, the unpaid endorsements of the very best swimmers, sudden overnight recognition and now the edge over Speedo and everybody else.

The number one swimming brand officially belongs to Arena.

This will certainly not go unnoticed by FINA and I think they will greet their new swimsuit overlords quite warmly!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do pools with a steep pitch leading into their shallow-end distort "time and space" during the flip-turn?

For me they do: I swam a Short Course Meters swim meet today at the Stephen E. Schofield pool at Pierce college. I swam four races and besides the fact that my times were so bad everybody was holding their nose when I exited the pool, the headline above is probably a phenomena that only applies to my flip-turn issues your version of reality may very.

When a pool merges from the deep-end to a remarkably shallow bottom; (4-feet-deep or so), the space around the "+" or the cross on the wall distorts making the "+" appear closer than it really is. I feel I lost .25-of-a-second on each shallow-end turn just trying to work out this quasi-optical illusion.

In practice, I had to swim into the wall as if I wanted to purposely jam my turn just to get the right distance or "spring" off the wall. As I approached the wall the line got "wider" since it was suddenly close and the "+" seem bigger or closer, hence, I was flipping to early at first.

I hope I am making sense. In the deep end you have all this volume of space surrounding the "+" but in the shallow-end, the "+" looks bigger and the line on the bottom much wider when the surface and the bottom of the pool are so compressed making a wall look way closer than it really is!

Below is a video Rob D. shot of me in the 50-free; I am first in the water and it goes downhill from there. I am very grateful he took the time to do that.. Rob of Robaquatics has been very good to me and this blog and I recommend that you bookmark his site. He has a whole writeup on the meet and lots of photos of the new pool. BTW, the weather was in the middle 70's! :-P

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Evolution of the Speedo "Tech Suit"

I am doing a project for somebody which I hope all of you will see in February 2010 and I needed to see a progression of of Olympic swimsuits from 1992 forward.

Leave it to Playboy to do a an entire progression of Speedo swimsuits from 1988-2008. I figured many of you would like to see the progression and how we will move "forward to the past" so I am linking to it.

Warning: the link below goes directly to the Playboy but I posted 4-shots from the gallery above and I put the dates in the bottom left-hand-corner. Click on the image to enlarge it or go directly to the gallery:

[Link]

Consequently, 2010 will be the new 1996 and I expect USA Swimming membership membership will retrograde too.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oscar Pistorius is free to run with carbon blades for legs despite theoretical advantages!


Sent to me by Q-Swim who I take very seriously!

In the movie at the top, Oscar Pistorius, is featured in the last 6-seconds sprinting with his blades for legs prosthetics. It's awesome!

Still, though evidence finds he may or may not have an advantage, his Cheetah Blades, or "tech-legs" are allowed in Olympic competition!

Perhaps tech-suits should be treated the sane way?

From the New York Times:

It took a landmark decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an international panel that has authority over legal disputes, to overturn it. The court said that should he have been able to qualify, Pistorius would have been allowed to compete at the Beijing Games. But his best time of 46.25 seconds in the 400 meters ultimately fell short of the 45.95 qualifying standard.

For Pistorius, the consequences of the new findings are unclear. The I.A.A.F. may not choose to bar him again since the Court of Arbitration’s decision remains in effect as long as Pistorius continues to use the Cheetahs.

[Link]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FINA Coaches Commission recommends tech-suit records set in 2008-2009 be summarily degraded!

The FINA Coaches association is recommending in January that all of Speedo's competitors who set world records in 2008 and 2009 have their WRs considered as "second tier WRs" thereby elevating textile WRs as more special. [Read as diminishing all the brands that knocked Speedo off the "brand pedestal" making the suit nothing short of being a has been brand!]

Of course Mark Schubert, the Honorary Secretary, along with Coach John Leonard are on the FINA Coaches Commission and I am sure they have no problems whatsoever with degrading European accomplishments over those of our Speedo-wearing, American swimmers.

To be fair there would be some Speedo casualties though when FINA rubber stamps this proposal such as Rebbecca Adlington 400-free and Michael Phelps 100-butterfly, but France, China, Russia, Hungry, Brazil, Sweeden, Germany, Japanese and even non-Speedo-wearing American swimmers will all get hosed.

Of course they will just have to accept it since the "FINAutotacy" has their best interests in mind and they are the only governing body in town.

Isn't it amazing that a WR that is set legally and with FINA's blessing can now be repealed based on a whim or consideration of a small cabal and none of the swimmers who set these records have a say?

My source is the Times Online written by a fellow I refuse to link to.

This is probably the first time in history that the average swimmer at large wishes FINA would just go away or be replaced!

Satire image of the 'Swim News' site


I know this smells like me and I wish it was for it is amazingly creative and it is filled with "awesomeness and truth" but it is not me for I am not that brilliant - click on the image to see the enlarged size.

This was sent to me, I swear it was, and it is great Satire

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Woman can't wear pants in Paris, France! - I kid you not!

Maly, I guess I can't get you that pair of Black Orchid jeans for Christmas!

Same old school mentality that outlawed tech suits is keeping women on a potential leash to be either arrested or fined when or if a technicality is needed.

From the Telegraph:

The rule banning women from dressing like men – namely by wearing trousers - was first introduced in 1800 by Paris' police chief and has survived repeated attempts to repeal it. [...]

The latest attempt to remove the outmoded rule was in 2003, when a Right-wing MP from President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party wrote to the minister in charge of gender equality. The minister's response was: "Disuse is sometimes more efficient than (state) intervention in adapting the law to changing mores."

[Link]

In other words, the French police chief has FINAutocracy powers! (Fina-autocracy) He can grant or choose to enforce what a person can or should wear.

There, I have coined a new word: FINAutocracy!

Well, if I was the French police chief, I would allow woman the right to wear whatever they wanted: fabric or neoprene.

Alain Bernard's freestyle catch compared with Jason Lezak's catch!



Now let's look at Jason Lezak:



I am lovin' both but I think Jason Lezak has better technique.

The transition of money from pro-swimming to triathletes is underway!

Every time I write a bold faced opinion, deep down I am never quite sure of it. I predicted that tech suit money would leave the sport in droves and the anxiety about my prediction dissipated when Rowdy Gaines agreed with my opinion in the comments section.

Now all this has happened over the last 6-months to further validate what I believe:

In January of 2010 TYR will be releasing a new wetsuit called the Hurricane primarily geared for the triathlete and open water swimmer.

Triathletes are showcased frequently on the TYR home page and the investment is obvious. Wait for "image three" to fade in.

The USAT is growing exponentially whereas USA Swimming and US Masters Swimming is simply up-trending.

Now, this article form The Water is Open with fact and figures. Here are just a few of them:

"... In fact, if we look at the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation data from the 2009 English Channel season, there were 62 successful crossings (including one two-way crossing) and 22 of those crossings were women (or 35% of the total which closely mirrors the overall percentage of women who participate in all forms of open water swimming). But, a number (to be confirmed) of these women are on the north side of 40.

While competitive pool swimming in the U.S. has consistently mirrored the general population growth in the U.S. for the last few decades, triathlons and open water swimming have both experienced explosive growth. The USAT data shows that triathlon participation in the U.S. is at an all-time high, following unprecedented growth over the past ten years. From membership numbers between 15,000 and 19,060 from 1993 to 1999, USAT membership surpassed 115,000 in 2009. Similarly, the anecdotal evidence in open water shows similar growth with the average number of participants in open water swims increasing from 156 in 1999 to over 280 in 2009.

Five open water swims are representative of this growth:

The Midmar Mile in South Africa has seen this growth:

1974 - 153 swimmers
1975 - 220 swimmers
1976 - 634 swimmers
1977 - 1,021 swimmers
1978 - 1,426 swimmers

[...]

1990 - 4,000 swimmers
1991 - 4,890 swimmers
1992 - 4,400 swimmers
1993 - 4,724 swimmers
1994 - 5,027 swimmers
1995 - 6,140 swimmers

[...]

2005 - 17,087 swimmers
2006 - 16,696 swimmers
2007 - 16,853 swimmers
2008 - 19,013 swimmers
2009 - 17,575 swimmers ..."

[Link]

Young Swimmers didn't get the memo that they will be swimming slower in textile suits!

This is just one swimmer, he mentions more. From Chris DeSantis at SwimmingWorld TV:

Dagny Knutson- New HS records in the 200 IM and 100 free

Dagny is guilty of a lot of things besides breaking high school records. Among the charges you could level against her:

1. Forgetting that North Dakota is not allowed to produce world class swimmers

2. Swimming high school and actually cheering for her teammates and caring about their state championship

3. Bouncing back from a disappointing summer and not burning out.


[Link]
The kids have inherited, or taken the sport back. It is all about age groupers now. These records may now be the "swan song" of any swimmer over the age of 24-years-old

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wendy walks the plank: She is now an oficial 'Pirate of the Caribbean!'


Arrr, Matey! Six wenches and one land-lubber forced to walk the plank for mutinous behavior! After swimming 3-nautical-miles, they landed in the Cayman islands and now they are official Pirates of the Caribbean. Captain Wendy was one of them!

From 10k swim:

The Pirates Week 5K Sea Swim, scheduled for this past Saturday in the Cayman Islands, was postponed due to the weather. Safety support, sponsor issues, volunteers and swimmer expectations are just a few of the serious concerns organizing committees always face when deciding whether to proceed or cancel under unpredictable conditions - and it is never an easy decision to make or announce.

Unofficially, however, seven swimmers showed up on race morning to do whatever the sea conditions would allow. Rough chop and large swells had calmed considerably overnight, so the locals and visitors enjoyed a combined 2.5K and 5K swim.

[Link]

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Frederick Bousquet reveals how he trains in a interview with 'Gala.fr'


UPDATE: Maly has sent us a much nicer translation and it is posted in the comments section! Thank you Maly!

He also reveals a lot of personal details from his religion, what his tattoos represent, Laure Manadou, and he is well aware that he will need a career post swimming.

When asked if he has suffered a lot to be so "beautiful" - He answers yes, and blames it all on swimming. Nice!

1. He trains 6-hours-a-day and he loves it and has been doing it since 14-years old.

2. In the water from 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM working on technique

4. 10:00 AM he is either running with 30-pounds worth of weight in his hands or biking

5. 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM lifting weights

6. 5:00 PM - 6:15 more swimming

7. Works on his abs for one hour

Link to Gala.fr: [Link]

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wells College makes waves in dominating win! - Who?

It was a small Catholic college meet with little significance but the photo really captures the team aspects of what a swim team is all about and I had to post it.
From the Auburn Pub:

AURORA - It was nearly a perfect day in the pool for the Wells College women's swimming team Saturday.

The Express took first in every event except diving as they defeated the College of St. Elizabeth 70-24.

Wells Kelsey Stafford finished first in two events, with a personal best in the 100 freestyle (1:08.30), shaving four seconds off her best time. Stafford also won the 100 breaststroke (1:28.17). Both events are new to Stafford who is usually a distance swimmer.

[Link]

Dagny Knutson in 'USA Today!'

Dagny Knutson's enthusiasm explains why every four years a kid comes out of nowhere and beats the unbeatable veteran or beaks the unbreakable record. For the kid, it's a quest; for the veteran it is a day job.

From USA Today:

When the Majettes had their streak of 15 straight West Region titles snapped by Williston last weekend, Knutson showed just how important by addressing her teammates.

"I told them we've got to make sure that we work together, whether it's swimming or just cheering each other on," Knutson said. "We have to make sure we do the little things, like cooling down after races, because it helps you recover better.

"We had people getting dressed and going in the stands before the meet was over," she said. "We need to be together as a team."

[...]

The Majettes have won the last six state championships, and Knutson would very much like to finish her high school career by extending that streak to seven.

"I really want to end my high school career on a good note, and I really want to perform well," Knutson said.

[Link]


Now try and remember what Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe were like at 17-years-old. They were not rich, they had not climbed their personal "Mount Everests" and they couldn't wait to get back into the pool.

Now contrast all of the above to Dara Torres. Dara already had the money, the fame and celebrity status. She is winning because she, like 17-year-old Dagny Knutson, is on a quest and not a grind. Swimming is not a day job for Dara or Dagny.

Torres has recently subjected herself to a severely painful surgery so she could still compete and any meet she swims in, she is there to win. For, Dagny, every meet is an opportunity and that includes a high school meet in a town we have never heard of against a competitor she can lap. Dagny made it an opportunity to set a record or two and made it a point to inspire her teammates.

In the twilight of their careers, Thorpe and perhaps Phelps have lost the enthusiasm that Dagny and Dara still have. When Phelps says he is not in the greatest shape coming into these FINA World Cup events, perhaps swimming is becoming more of a day job with a final curtain just meters away in 2012?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tech Suits have allowed Jessica Hardy and Peter Marshall to earn a living wage during the 'FINA World Cup!'


I am rooting for Peter Marshall and Jessica Hardy - I am hoping each makes about $200k before the FINA World Cup is over. It's not much but it will support them till 2012.

Unfortunately, the idea of talented swimmers making a living wage "off the backs" of FINA and their sponsors really bothers a particular journalist in the UK whose name must never be mentioned and whose site should never be linked to.

He feels that swimmers setting world records in "shiny suits" are severely hurting the sport due to the numerous $10,000 payouts being awarded to swimmers by FINA and Arena for every WR that is set.

How dare the talent make money!

How dare these swimmers setting times never before seen actually MAKE MONEY as FINA syndicates the event on TV.

How dare the talent make FINA, an organization that makes 25-million dollars a year off the backs of suit manufacturers, parents, national governing bodies and donations be forced to payout 2-million-dollars-and-change over a 2-year period to support these swimmers.

To think that FINA has been forced to payout 5%-or-so of their gross income per year to the greatest achievers of our sport while they syndicate their races on TV and on the internet is summarily "immoral" isn't it? Thus, the suits and the income they are providing to full time swimmers MUST BE STOPPED.

Seriously now and without sarcasm, the scariest thing about this opinion is that FINA actually agrees with it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Darian Townsend beat Michael in a 'blueseventy Nero'


I got a note from a PR person at blueseventy that Darian Townsend, The South African swimmer wore a b70 during one of the heats. The PR people are thrilled. Also, I believe Townsend wore the suit by choice and that he is not a sponsored athlete. Ultimately, that is the best endorsement you could ever ask for.

From CNN International:

"...The 24-year-old American swam a short-course personal best in the 100 meters butterfly of 51.06 seconds in the morning but failed to make the final -- his third failure to progress this week -- while in the evening he was beaten into second place in the men's 200m individual medley by South Africa's Darian Townsend, who set a World Cup best of one minute 51.79 seconds. ..."

[Link]


From The Times Life:

"I went in with the mindset that I was going to race the second seed guy in the first 100 metres and then try pull away from him in the second 100 metres, but when I saw the gap I had on him after 50 metres already, I decided to go for it.

"I was still very shocked to see the time at the end. It goes to show it happens when you least expect.

"The individual medley was almost straight after the 200 freestyle, but I made the most of the time I had between the two events to eat a little and warm down. There was no one close to me in the actual race so I am pleased with the time considering I was alone at the front. It is also nice to dip under the 1:53 barrier again, something I haven't done since the World Cup in Berlin last year."

[Link]



I really think his effort should be talked about some more.

Phelps and Bowman render reasons for a very dissapointing meet!

Amy Shipley of the Washington Post offers fine analysis not just on Phelps but other American competitors who showed up and did well.

When Phelps and Bowman offered an explanation as to his unusually anemic performance, I love the part about "US Officials" - read that as USA Swimming Execs explaining that it was all about the suit choice. I suspect Amy Shipley was holding her nose the whole time when offered that as the reason for his bad showing.

From The Washington Post:

"... He blamed his performance on not being sufficiently fit and failing to adapt to the increased number of turns in short-course meters (25-meter pools instead of 50), events in which he has rarely competed. Bowman acknowledged that Phelps's choice of swimwear -- he wore a textile, waist-to-knee "jammer" rather than a long, high-tech model that will be banned as of Jan. 1 -- likely contributed. U.S. officials who declined to be identified because they did not wish to appear to be poor sports said it was the suit choice, period, that slowed Phelps. ..."

[Link]

Right now a "perfect storm" has hit Speedo. They did lousy at the 2009 FINA World Championships whereas Jaked, Arena and Adidas became the industry standard, they are being sued by TYR, they recently took a several-million-dollar hit with the abolition of their full body suits, and now their best and most expensive swimmer had a terrible showing in their brand new $260 jammer.

There is no swimsuit leader. They is no swimsuit you can point to on January 1st 2010 and say that is the best suit around.

Shark bite acts as emergency "caesarean" for pregnant shark!



They are going to let the babies go into the wild. Personally I think they should give them to another aquarium.

From the Telegraph:

A shark stunned aquarium visitors in New Zealand when it bit a female shark's stomach, causing four baby sharks to spill out of its womb.

[Link]

Originally spotted on Digg.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Leaked photos of the new 'blueseventy' jammer! - I am told it uses the same fabric as the Speedo!


I was sent these images anonymously. The letters "FPO" placed on top of the suit stand for "For Position Only." In graphic art, artists will throw down images when they don't have the final art to illustrate where the photo goes or how it lays out on the page. Obviously these images were destined to represent what will be in a print catalog of some kind and I am very stoked I was sent these.

They are sort of grainy since they are "low rez" but note I "blew out the levels in Photoshop" so I can illustrate how the suit has no seams. The suit is more opaque than these images show. The artist that sent me these photos say that they use the same material that the new Speedo LZR Elite is using and the price is NOT GOING TO BE $260

'Speedo' presents: "The Golden Jammer!"

Kastaway blog with a huge scoop that took my breath away. Rob of RobAquatics sent it to me in an IM and I was completely floored. I was going to copy/paste the the conversation but I dropped to many "f-bombs" [expletives] trying to understand how Speedo; (and it is Speedo who set this price), can actually say with a straight face that their new LZR jammer will sell for $260!

From Kastaway:

The LZR Racer Elite Jammer will retail for $260.00, which is more than the FS-Pro Jammer ($180.00) but less than the original offering of the now-illegal LZR Racer Jammer ($290.00).

[Link]

Response from Rob of RobAquatics: "...If I'm a parent, I'm more pissed about a $260 jammer than I am a $300 B70..."

I think USA Swimming's argument that suits are too expensive for kids and their families just circled the toilet.

Is this not madness? No, this is Speeeeedo!"

Monday, November 09, 2009

CCTV Commercial use splashes of water and ink to recreate the history of China!


Here is a commercial for CCTV or Chinese TV. A wash of water and ink splashes are used to recreate both the historical and mythical China as it moves into the present day. The director, or animator, finish the segment off with the creation of the "Bird's Nest" or Olympic Stadium from last year Games to denote how far China has come and finally ends the Beijing skyline. That "N" you see in the middle of the skyline is actually a building.

I am very impressed over how much is accomplished in a 60-second spot.

Brought to by: CCTV Ink TV Commercial - Directed by Niko Tziopanos from Troublemakers.tv on Vimeo.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Largest indoor pool in the world - They call it Ocean Dome!




The Ocean Dome. This from Wikipedia:
The Seagaia Ocean Dome was the world's largest indoor waterpark, located in Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan. The Ocean Dome, which is a part of the Sheraton Seagaia Resort, measures 300 metres in length and 100 metres in width, and is listed on the Guinness World Records. It opened in 1993, and visitor numbers peaked in 1995 at 1.25 million a year. The Ocean Dome was officially closed on October 1, 2007 as part of a renovation and partial re-branding of the resort.

The Ocean Dome sported a fake flame-spitting volcano, artificial sand and the world's largest retractable roof, which provided a permanently blue sky even on a rainy day. The air temperature was always held at around 30 degrees celsius and the water at around 28. ..."

From the Japan News Service:
"...There is nothing worse than Japanese summer. If the weather isn’t too hot, it’s probably just because the rain season hasn’t quite ended yet. Not to mention the suffocating moisture! And say the improbable happens, as it occasionally does, and one day the weather is absolutely perfect, you’ll be damned if you can find a nice beach where you can spend it.

There is a solution to this dilemma and it is spelled “Ocean Dome”, and is situated in Miyazaki, southern Japan. The Ocean Dome is, as it happens, the world’s largest indoor water park, measuring a massive 300 meters in length and 100 meters in width. The dome features a retractable roof - on sunny days, it’s open, on less sunny days, it’s closed, but even then the ceiling provides you with a perfect blue sky. The air temperature is always kept at hot, but not too hot 30°C (85°F), and the water temperature at 28°C.

[Link]

The 'Santa Clarita Swim Meet' was yesterday - More Photos Coming!





Here are some photos that celebrity photographer Mark Savage took. I am both very flattered and honored that he came out and took the time to photographed several swimmers at no charge at all, including Rob of Rob Aquatics.

In fact Rob has a detailed writeup of the meet here at his site: [Link]

To check out Mark's blog where he blogs about his celebrity work and the events he covers, it's located here. Oh, I did the swanky masthead graphic for it: Mark Savage's Hollywood and Events

The first photo is of me and my rear foot slipping off the blocks as I start the 50-meter free.

The second photograph illustrates what "Plastic Fantastic Shiny Suits" will do to your arms and legs when you are under water. Yes, you too can turn into a temporary "alien" with big, bubble, eyes and performance enhance musculature. Is that not scary?

The third one of the set illustrates how cool you become when wearing a "Plastic Fantastic Shiny Suit." Water dripping from your hand turns to ice or snow depending on the brand.

The last one is me hiding my face so nobody can see who is doing such a lousy, over-wrought, butterfly.

More to come later of Dan L, and Q-swim!

Friday, November 06, 2009

A roof panel at an indoor poor in Edinburgh, Scotland falls and injures a swimmer


From the BBC:

A Victorian swimming pool in Edinburgh has been closed after a glass panel fell from its roof, leaving a man with large cut on his arm.

The 25-year-old man was struck at about 1500 GMT on Thursday at Warrender Swim Centre in Thirlestane Road.

[Link]


Some swimmers love walls, some just need water: Jessica Hardy and Roland Schoeman dominate in Moscow!

Jessica Hardy and Roland Schoeman continue to prove that if you "just add water" they can win.

From Swimming World:

Women's 100 breast
The United States' Jessica Hardy rattled the world record with a sterling time of 1:03.75. She came up just short of Leisel Jones' global mark of 1:03.72 set in Canberra in April 2008. With the time, she became only the second person to clear 1:04 as she wiped out her American record of 1:04.15 set at the Durban stop. That time also stood as the World Cup record. Hardy had an incredible first 50 with a 29.96 split that was just off her world record of 29.45 also set in Durban.

Men's 50 fly
South Africa's Roland Schoeman closed down the evening with a near World Cup-record setting performance when he clocked a 22.33 in the sprint fly. The time came up just short of his 22.32 set in Durban last month. Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin touched second in 22.50 to lower his Russian record of 22.51 set in December 2008. Meanwhile, South Africa went 1-3 with Lyndon Ferns taking third in 22.93.

[Link]

'blueseventy' to release new suit January 2010 called the 'NeroTX'

From The press release:

blueseventy is getting close to finalising its new swimwear designs for 2010. Following FINAs ban on full body suits, the innovative New Zealand brand has been working hard to design, test and select its 2010 product range ahead of the FINA deadline for submission in November.

CEO Steve Nicholls commented: “We’re now in the final stages of our new range. It’s critically important to us to launch a range that has been fully tested, and that we are 100% happy with. We’ve spent a lot of time and money on swim testing, in the flume as well as fabric testing in the lab, and we’ve been careful to ensure neroTX meets FINA’s new regulations.

“We intend to launch a range that we are confident will perform at the highest levels. We’re completely committed to swimming and having seen our suits break world records this year we have set very high standards and built a loyal following of swimmers around the world.

“As well as our swimwear range, we have developed a carbon goggle that is lighter and faster than any other goggle we have tested. We’re constantly looking at technology from other sports that we can apply to the water to help swimmers go faster. Carbon has revolutionised performances in cycling and triathlon, and we think it will have a big impact on swimming as well.”

The brand new NeroTX range will be available from January 2010 and a limited number of Carbon RZR goggles are already in circulation ahead of mass production in time for the 2010 season. More details are available at www.blueseventy.com/nertotx


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Our 5-year-old 'YouTube' star was interviewed on 'The Morning Swim Show'



Since I can't get enough of this boy's talent, check out his breaststroke. Loving that start dive too, he just wants to get in that water before the horn stops blowing. Could he be the "Tiger Woods" of swimming?

He is a link to The Morning Swim Show that interviews his coach: [Link]

"FINA World Cup' Berlin: Watch for these swimmers who love walls!


In Durbin, South Africa, Therese Alshammar, Stefen Nystrand and TYR's, Peter Marshall, all become "A-list actors" when it is a short-course-meters race. Their turns should be studied:

"The Usual Suspects" From Lane 9 News:
Women's 100 IM
Sweden's Therese Alshammar lowered the world record in the women's 100 IM with a time of 58.51. Her performance wiped out the record of 58.54 set by Emily Seebohm in August.
[...]

Women's 50 fly
Sweden's Therese Alshammar followed the world record performance in the 100 IM with a top-seeded time of 25.68 in the sprint fly. The Netherlands' Hinkelien Schreuder grabbed second in 25.74. [...]

Men's 50 free
It took a 21 to make the finale of the men's splash-and-dash. Sweden's Stefan Nystrand captured the top seed with a time of 21.45, while Russia's Sergey Fesikov took second in 21.47. Sabir Muhammad of the U.S. placed third in 21.56, while South Africa's Roland Schoeman touched fourth in 21.70. [...]

Men's 50 back
Peter Marshall of the United States earned the top seed in the sprint back with a time of 23.92, while Brazil's Daniel Orzechowski placed second in 24.03. Russia's Stanislav Donets finished third in 24.18. [...]

[Link]
I am really looking forward to Berlin!

The photo above was taken by Mark Savage at the Mission Viejo Pool during the TYR Swim Meet of Champions last summer. His celebrity stuff can be seen at Corbis but here are some links to a couple of his sites:

Mark Savage Photography [Link]

$95 headshots [Link]

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Britta Steffen out, Paul Biedermann may skip the 'FINA World Cup' in Berlin as well!





Britta Steffen out of the Berlin FINA World Cup. From USA Today:

The two-time Olympic and world champion was scheduled to swim at a World Cup meet in Berlin on Nov. 14-15 and the European Championships in Istanbul in December.

Steffen says her preparations have not been up to her personal "high standards."

[Link]

Paul Biedermann may skip Berlin as well. Hence, no rematch for Phelps. From AFP:

"... German swimmer Paul Biedermann has a thigh injury that could prevent him from facing Michael Phelps this month.

The short-course World Cup competition is Nov. 14-15 in Berlin. Biedermann beat Phelps in the 200-meter freestyle at the world championships in Rome in July. ..."

[Link]

Clay Evans: "Mr. Mann could have beaten me in his sweatsuit and I had on his tech suit."



Above is an interview with Michael Mann with Swimming World.

Clay is distressed that the Wall Street Journal article portrayed him a "sore loser" or was trying to diminish Michael Mann's swims. Here is a response from Clay Evans that he wanted me to publish:

A couple more words on the swim suit topic and the WSJ article today: I would like to apologize to Michael Mann. The article made it appear that I believed I could have won had if I had worn a better suit. That is so far from true. Mr. Mann could have beaten me in his sweatsuit and I had on his tech suit.

I applaud his efforts and his talent. "Good job Michael". I am sorry that this controversy and the notoriety has possibly blemished your outstanding swims. Keep it up!

Not really that sore a sport,

Clay

Monday, November 02, 2009

Clay Evans: SCAQ Founder and Olympian, was quoted in the 'Wall Street Journal' today regarding tech suits!

Clay Evans; (SCAQ founder and Olympian), was quoted in the Wall Street Journal regarding his antipathy towards tech suits!

From WSJ.com:

Competition was fierce at a July swimming meet in Thousand Oaks, Calif. At the starting buzzer, Clay Evans, 56 years old, dived into the pool, dressed in a get-up like the one he wore in the 1976 Olympics: a flimsy nylon Speedo bikini.

[He didn't wear goggles either - tony]

It took less than 2½ minutes for the Los Angeles athlete to fall hopelessly behind the times.

Michael Mann of Centennial, Colo., flew past his opponents, swaddled shoulder-to-ankle in a black neoprene bodysuit. Mr. Mann, 55, won the 400-meter individual medley race and set a world record for his age group, 55 to 59. Mr. Mann set new world marks in the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyle while Mr. Evans steamed. ..."

[Link]

I was there, I swam with him and just to explain he's suit position further... he's wrong! ;-)

UPDATE: I am going to add some thoughts and criticisms here. Being The Wall Street Journal, I am very surprised that the business end of tech suits was not discussed. There was a lot of money connected to tech suits and I would like to have read about the the business aftermath.

Another glaring point is that there was no rebuttal argument as to why suits should stay. When I was interviewed, the author was having problems finding swimmers who were passionately negative or positive about tech suits for most swimmers were sanguine; so I gave the writer Clay's phone number.

Another issue: As a USMS swimmer, I want to vote those people out that in my estimation did not have my best interests or the sport's best interests in mind when they suggested tech suits in masters swimming should conform to the FINA international standard.

Now, with that said, I don't want to get on an airplane and fly somewhere to go vote either. I think the USMS voting policy should be a membership vote by way of a mail-in ballot not a delegate vote.

Multi-billion dollar companies allow tiny shareholders who may only control 10-shares of stock or less out of tens-of-millions of shares to vote on serious issues like mergers, acquisitions, and board members, The USMS should do the same. A "blow card" could easily be inserted into the USMS magazine and the average USMS member could put on a stamp to mail it back.

If that is too complicated, There is always Internet voting through Club Assistant.

UPDATE II: Q-Swim sent me this in regards to "cheating" as defined in the article:

It would be useful if the writers on the subject, and the opinionated commentary, would keep in mind the definition of "cheating": Cheating is an act of lying, deception, fraud, trickery, imposture, or imposition. Cheating characteristically is employed to create an unfair advantage, usually in one's own interest, and often at the expense of others, [1] Cheating implies the breaking of rules.

1) There is no trickery,
2) There is no deception, i.e., the suits are visually observable,
3) The rules - currently - allow the use of the suits
4) Even Tiger uses a wood that is more metal than wood with a head twice the size of the woods Ben Hogan used; is he cheating?

Guido Mocafico photographs really neat things - Best of all he has a jellyfish gallery!



You can buy books of his as well. Now, Christmas is coming and I will pretend I did not see this site whatsoever. ;-|

Guido Mocafico: [Link]

Originally spotted at NotCot.org

Sunday, November 01, 2009

It's November 19th 2004 and Roland Schoeman storms the 100-meter Free at the FINA World Cup!



What I find ironic is that if this race took place in January 2010, more than half-a-decade later, all participants would be DQed for improper suit attire.



Twisting a quote from Gary Hall, the Australians "smash the Americans like guitars" in 4x100 relay at the Sydney Games in 2000. It was the first time we Americans ever lost that relay.