Thursday, September 30, 2010

This cheesy water park is now located inside the Beijing Aquatics center or "Water Cube"

SCAQ tried to organize a trip and swim meet at the water cube but was denied since nobody was allowed to swim it. (And China will be the new number one this century?)

Manta ray sneaks up on a videographer, steals his rig, and flees the scene with a graceful back flip!

The best part is he swims around with filming his getaway and then when he is done drops it off right under the boat. There was no malice in the theft since the ray never tried to use his tail to whack the diver.

Retractable fins- perhaps a great lifeguard aid?

From at Here are some notes from the designer:

  • Carbon fiber blades provide increased propulsion over current rubber fins.
  • Elastomer blade covers direct water over the blades ensuring maximum control in the water.
  • The retraction system is unique offering the lifeguard improved flexibility, control and speed throughout the rescue process.The two products can be separated, ensuring maximum comfort when a rescue is not in progress.
  • 10% glass filled Nylon 66 body moldings provide the required flexibility and spring when running but stiffness when swimming.
  • The fin module heel clip system is quickly adjustable for different sizes from 5-13 (UK) and holds the shoe securely in place.
  • The fin module is easy to disassemble for cleaning and maintenance.
  • Design development and testing alongside the Royal National Lifeboat Association (RNLI) and Loughborough Lifesaving Club.

Designer: Edward Shelton

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The slowest US Masters swimmer can probably swim farther, faster and better than 85% of society if not the world!

I suspect lane-one swimmers in any given Masters swimming workout can out swim 85% of the population. With that said, don't ever think that you suck or you can't compete. You are in the upper 15% with or without fins and paddles. Here is my reference that I based that claim upon:

From the USA Swimming website:

"... As Memorial Day Weekend approaches marking the traditional opening of the summer pool season across the country, a recent study commissioned by USA Swimming and conducted by the University of Memphis exposes some alarming statistics for many of our nation’s children. The Constraints Impacting Minority Swimming Participation, Phase II study found that nearly 70% of African American children and 58% of Hispanic children have low or no swim ability, compared to 40% of Caucasians, putting them at risk for drowning. According to the study, parental fear is a major contributor to a child’s swimming ability.

I am in an odd mood, I have not been blogging much due to some situational depression issues in my personal life and my upsets with swimming governing bodies on both the local and international level.

Leaving my personal life out of it, subjects of upset include: USA Swimming sex scandals, cronyism, the eradication of tech-suits which is killing the suit companies, no money for athletes, inflated salaries for swim monopoly execs, politics within all the swim acronymed monopolies, and ultimately the "feudal" or "Machiavellian" values that is holding our sport back.

So, there has to be a pony in there somewhere, hence I figured I would define that overused adjective known as the word: "great," and pat everybody on the back that can do a sport that 85% of the population can barely do if at all.

This is my standard of greatness defined:

Can Swim at the beginning level: The beginner swimmer can swim 25 feet, stop, return to starting position. That is defined as a beginning swimmer in the Boy Scouts Manual: [Link]

Knows how to swim: If you fall off a boat or go to the beach you can swim unassisted for 75 yards. That is the test you have to do if you want to graduate at Cornell University. If you can't swim, you can't graduate. [Link]

A competent swimmer: Can do all of the above four or five times with some rest.

An good swimmer: Can swim a 1,000 yards in a pool and in an open water setting without stopping.

An excellent swimmer: Knows all four strokes, can enjoy a swim workout almost every day. Probably competes but does not have to compete to be an excellent swimmer.

An outstanding swimmer: College team or university swimmer. Places above the 51-percentile in their age-group. If they don't compete, they are swimming in the fastest lanes.

A [elite] great swimmer: Top 10-percentile of those they swim with or against. This includes Masters, NCAA, age-group swimming etc. etc.

An [great] elite Swimmer: NCAA champion, or the moral equivalent. Great is an overused adjective but if you made it to an NCAA final or qualified for an A-0r-B final at Nationals. You are now officially a great swimmer. You have won many races to get there. This applies to Masters as well who medaled on the world stage.

A sublime swimmer: You have made an Olympic team or a FINA world championship team or have set an international record.

An Olympic or FINA World Championship medalist: You could not be any better. You are the best in the solar system.

These are my definitions which I made up on the fly. Personally, I fall in the outstanding category as do most Masters swimmers. I probably won't get any better than that but it is so fun trying.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Athletes to USA Swimming and the USOC: Please, sir, can I have some more?

1000-years ago the western world had only three employment options: Peasant, religious, or royalty. Some 300-years later technology, but mostly the bubonic plague, changed all that. That is when the peasant class said to the royal class, "I am not going to plow your fields today because tomorrow I may be dead." Hence, the royal class was forced to pay the peasants to do the work that they needed completed so as to support the society around them and avoid anarchy and starvation. Capitalism and the Renaissance followed thereafter.

USA Swimming is a government certified monopoly and all the athletes within their umbrella are their "peasant class." What gives the governing body so much power is not their government sanction to be a monopoly but rather the exploitation of how much these athletes love their country and want to swim.

Garrett McCaffrey wrote a disturbing article for Swimming World in regards to the economic disparity between governing body officials and the athletes that bring in their salaries.

From Swimming World:
One year ago, the Pro Swimming Task Force was formed. Its main objective: financial support for the professional swimmer through the Athlete Partnership Plan. Had it passed, the original plan would have increased the annual $21,000 stipend and extended the reach of financial support from 42 members to 55 members of the national team. All athletes who placed in the top six in any Olympic event at U.S. National Team Trials, who also are top 16 in the world, would have made $50,000 this year from USA Swimming and the United States Olympic Committee. The proposal would have accomplished the goal of financial support for professional swimmers, but yesterday it fizzled out at the United States Aquatic Sports Convention.

[...] "What went wrong with the Athlete Partnership Plan?"

In the end it appears that the deal breaker came down to name and image rights. The athletes' agents argued that the athletes already do enough for the governing bodies with their name and image rights, and the 2008 profits for USA Swimming and the USOC would back the agents' argument. [..]

My Take: USA Swimming, CEO Chuck Wielgus makes close to $700,000 a year. Coach Mark Schubert makes $250,000 or more. God knows what USOC, IOC and FINA execs make?

Mathematically it has come to a point where swimmers should forget going pro and accept a scholarship instead. They should forget swimming all year long as well and devote those six, long, hours, each day during the summer and the off season enhancing themselves, their families, their churches and communities. I think by doing so would not only reap lifelong economic and social benefits but swimming would remain a positive, life long, recreation rather than another burnout story as illustrated by Ian Thorpe, Alexander Popov, and our own, Michael Phelps.

Take a swimmer like, Dagny Knutson, who has effectively lost the potentiality of a $200,000 scholarship simply for the potentiality of a gold medal and supreme aquatic glory for our country? Is it an exaggeration to say that a gold medal won't mean a thing to the average American some 6-minutes after her event?

All the swimmers wanted; just 55-0f-them in total, was a middle class income. They won't get it but the suits in the NGBs will get that and more.

The video above is a scene from the movie, Oliver Twist, with Oliver asking for more "swill" for both himself and the other kids in an industrial age orphanage. they got none!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Glenn Mills makes smart phones even smarter: Updates Go Swim iPhone app and submits the GoSwim app to the Android marketplace! - Get his app NOW!

Glenn Mills' presentation of the finest swimmers displaying the more refined technique of our day is unmatched. Now available on both the iPhone, iPod Touch and the new Android smart phone. The first screen-shots above are of the iPhone/ iPod Touch interface, the fourth one is the Android.

From Goswim:

We've spent some time restructuring our app with swimmers and coaches in mind, and we'll be continuing to put new materials within the app. The big news of this latest update (which isn't really an update in the sense that you have to go to the iTunes store and redownload... it'll just happen), is that we've added categories.

Categories, as simple as it sounds, will make it so much easier for you to get to videos, pictures, and news stories much quicker. For swimmers this means a couple quick clicks and you'll be watching a video on the freestyle catch, or an image of Brendan Hansen's head position as he starts his pull. It's all in there already, we've just make it much easier for you to get to.

In addition, the news section is also revamped. With quick access to your favorite swimming news sites like Swimming World, Swimnetwork, and USA Swimming, as well as our favorite swimming blogs, and of course, quick access to ongoing discussions here on, as well as all our regular posts.

We've also submitted this same app to the Android marketplace and will hopefully be hearing good news in the next few days.

What do you have to do to get this update? If it doesn't show up automatically, make sure the app is shut down (if you're running software that allows for multitasking), then restart your device. The next time you start up the app, the new features should show up.

For a direct link to the iTunes app store for details:


For Android Store info:


Monday, September 13, 2010

Mike Saltzstein: Anonymously accused of being a paid consultant for the law firm that is suing 'USA Swimming' - Saltzstein vigorously denies it!

Former USA Swimming Vice President, Mike Saltzstein, gave an interview to a reporter of a multinational newspaper based in here in the US. The newspaper is a "household name" and after interviewing him, the reporter came back for a follow up interview stating that they had in their possession a letter being circulated within the USA Swimming ranks stating that Mike Saltzstein was being paid as a consultant by the law firm Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P., the law firm who is representing, Jane Doe, a minor and a child abuse victim in the San Jose Aquatics/USA Swimming lawsuit.

Said letter may contain the name of a USA Swimming executive who obviously is either completely misinformed or has timed such an allegation just before the USA Swimming convention in Dallas, Texas, where Mike Saltzstein may run for a USA Swimming office. If I get the letter and can confirm it's authenticity, I will publish it.

Statement from Mike Saltzstein:

I have volunteered more than 30 years within this sport, and always want it to improve. Many people have come forward to provide information on the abuse issue and done "what is right". Sport teaches us to learn from our mistakes, and grow from them.

As I have done for those 30 years, when asked a question, I respond - a standard of which I made Swimming aware, in writing, immediately after the 20/20 initial story. Mr Allard's team had no contact with me until after the "White Paper" was written, same with my original OpEd.

When an athlete asks, I listen and do my level best to help them to succeed.

When Swimming took actions against me that violated federal law and acted arbitrary and capriciously, the Arbitration Case against Swimming was filed with the USOC. Attorney's did represent me. You will recall I won the case before the AAA, and the arbitrator found against Swimming and in my favor. Ed Williams, counsel in New York, and a member of Mr Allard's team was lead counsel. I am personally paying those bills from personal funds.

I fully expect to be called as a fact witness for both the plaintiff and defense cases. And if Swimming asked, I would certainly take their calls, and answer what I can - still absent any financial compensation.

Mike Saltzstein has been slandered before. Only recently has he fought back; even ESPN even covered the event:

BlockquoteFrom ESPN:

A former USA Swimming vice president who complained about the organization's handling of sexual abuse cases is back on the list of potential judges at major international events after winning his arbitration case.


Here is the Arbitrator's decision in the case noting the capricious nature of Mike Saltstein arbitrarily being removed from the deck of an international event after a baseless acusation.


1. The Parties submitted post-hearing closing briefs on July 17 and post-hearing reply briefs on July 20, 2010.

2. The Arbitrator closed the hearing on July 21, 2010.

3. The Parties agreed that the Arbitrator could announce his decision by July 22, 2010, and thereafter issue a reasoned award.

4. On July 21, 2010, the Arbitrator announced his decision that:

a. The Arbitrator has concluded that the Respondent’s decision—to nominate Mr.Broyles as a FINA Referee rather than re-nominate the Claimant—was arbitrary, capricious, and in violation of the Claimant’s legally protected opportunity to participate as an international referee under the Sports Act, which affords him due process rights in being fairly considered as a nominee for FINA List 16.

b. The Arbitrator therefore orders the Respondent to immediately replace Mr. Broyles with the Claimant as a Referee nominee for FINA List 16 and so inform FINA immediately.

July 21, 2010


James R. Holbrook

Critics of USA Swimming should stop being punished for constructive criticisms. They should not be slandered nor lied about. Perhaps it is time for more arbitration hearings and that such unjust vilification and/or slander be heard in court?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Massive numbers of sharks engage in a feeding frenzy - Great Whites involved too!

How about that great white that swims towards shore, kicks up a bunch of sand as a "smoke scree" and then storms the school of fish? What an awesome display of intelligence from a creature that is supposedly a "reactive" animal.

When I see films of animals solving unique problems like this "on the fly" so to speak, or more accurately, "in the swim," it makes me believe that every living thing has some degree of self awareness.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Stephanie Rice Apology and press conference!

I believe her but I am both astonished and flabberghasted that someone that articulate and who had the ability to pen such a well thought out and heartfelt apology was both stupid enough and unmeasured enough to say something that socially bankrupt on Twitter.

She must have gotten drunk during the game and found a keyboard.

I believe her. Now it is time for her to make amends.

Also, to my critics who feel I am covering an "off the radar story", MSNBC, Associated Press and USA Today are covering this story as well

Stephanie Rice offers a tearful apology!

Greg Proops -US comedian, a regular on the TV show, Whose Line is it Anyway?, once said: "I'm always looking for that place ... , that place where we all get along, and I never find it. I went to Australia..., I thought Australia was going to be a groovy, surfnoid, G'day mate, no worries [place], and it's like Arkansas with a beach. It's a whole country with a "No fat chicks" sticker on it!"

To say that Stephanie Rice totally reinforced that stereotype is not hyperbole.

Having said that, I actually believe her apology and I am sure the people at Jaguar Australia do too but they won't be giving her that Jaguar XF back. She probably won't be picking up any new contracts until she proves otherwise for in the end don't you think that apologies are simply just starting points for the atonement process and the atonement process requires Action?

So, as they say in America, the second mouse gets the cheese, and I hope this will inspire other swimmers to carefully measure their words when they get near a keyboard because if you are under 30-years-old, your fingers are "loaded."

Here is a link to the usual, perfunctory, apology she gave when a celebrity screws up: [Link]

Monday, September 06, 2010

Australian Swimmer, Stephane Rice, tells her Twiiter fans that the South African rugby team should: “Suck on that f*ggots”

I so missed this story; thank you, Kate, for putting it on my radar - Let's see if Swimming World or Swim News pick it up:

Some days ago I was slamming Michael Phelps for making excuses after each mediocre swim, (some of these swims he even won too), stating that he had a PR issue and he better wise-up. Well, there is a new PR crisis in town and this one boggles the mind as to how this individual can be so completely incapable of understanding the consequences of a making simple, hateful, slur on her Twitter account.

Stephanie Rice, Beijing gold medalist in the 200 meter IM, 400 meter IM, and 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay, just took the subject of PR issues well beyond "nightmarish" proportions and well into sports-agent hell; that special place where "all hope abandoned ye who seeks a sponsorship here."

Here is the context of what she said:

Australian competitive swimmer Stephanie Rice has been dumped as the face of luxury car brand Jaguar after she called the South African rugby team “f*ggots” on her Twitter account, Australia’s Herald Sun reports.

I am not going to go off and write 500 words why that was so incredibly stupid and unforgivable because Australian actor and former rugby payer, Ian Roberts, explains it far quicker and smoothly articulates just how radioactive she now is:

Ian Roberts, who is a former rugby player who is gay, told the Herald Sun: “She is an idiot and anyone who continues to endorse her as an athlete is an idiot as well. … And I say that with a very sad tone in my voice. What a fool. And if her sponsors don’t do something about it, they’re fools as well.”

As soon as she figured out there was an outcry about her Twitter message, Rice quickly deleted the tweet and issued a statement of regret: “I did not mean to cause offense and I apologize. I have deleted it from the site.”


That apology is so weak, that she might of well have said "she didn't know her mouth was loaded."

One gay teammate rose to her defense stating that, Stephanie Rice, is not homophobic and that he supports her. Well, maybe Stephanie Rice is not homophobic but her words definitely are.

I have to agree with Ian Roberts; it is tough being gay in Australia as Australia's The Age reported:

THE appetite for ''outing'' gay AFL players is putting lives of young Australians wrestling with their sexuality at risk, says an expert in the field who has advised the AFL Players' Association on the topic. [...]