Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sean Hutchison resigns Fullerton Aquatic Sports Team (FAST) - Bill Jewel: "I didn't ask him to leave. I asked him to solve this problem. . . . "

Wow! A relationship with a swimmer? Bill Jewel confronted Hutchison about it and he apparently resigned.

Right now at Colorado Springs - USA Swimming headquarters, I bet the majority of execs there are flipping out right now as you read this - in fact they may have been the last to know.

Sean Hutchinson denies any relationship with a swimmer so we must give him the benefit of the doubt, but Bill Jewel... What does he think?

From Amy Shipley at the Washington Post:

"...Hutchison acknowledged that his decision to leave came shortly after a club official confronted him about rumors that he was having a relationship with one of his female swimmers, but he said the rumors were untrue and did not compel his departure. ..."


UPDATE: From USA Today:
"... Jewell insisted Hutchison wasn't fired, though he did acknowledge "rumors surfaced that made me feel really uncomfortable."

"I brought these issues to Sean's attention, and Sean denied these things," Jewell said. "I, in turn, was relieved with his denial. But still, I'm a guy running this club and I've got rumors flying around out there. I've got parents saying, 'Is my child safe in your place?' I have to address these kind of issues." ..."

I don't know if it is me but both the Washington Post and USA Today keep alluding to Ariana Kukors and Katie Hoff in a "dog whistle" sort of way.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Unusually cold water off Florida has caused manatees to huddle near a power plant outlet for warmth!

I remember surfing near an electrical plant ocean outlet in Seal Beach one summer and the water was 75-degrees plus. The downside is that the heat generated more bacterial growth in the water than average.

From the BBC via AP:

Manatees cope poorly with cold conditions, which can affect their immune systems and lead to death.

'Cold stress' killed large numbers of the gentle sea creatures in 2010.

The waters of the Tampa Electric plant are "like a warm bathtub for them," Wendy Anastasiou, an environmental specialist who has been watching the mammals loll about there, told the Associated Press agency.


Shane Gould: "Apex Freestyle Swimmer" - The greatest the world has ever seen.

"Apex predator" is a term used to describe an animal that is the dominant predator throughout their territory and has no known predator. Killer whales are apex predators within their ocean space. Dogs, when working with humans, become a food chain unparalleled apex predator. The Arctic fox is an apex predator, so is the bald eagle, the osprey and American alligator too.

There is no freestyle swimmer who has ever matched Shane Gould's extraordinary accomplishments. Not Michael Phelps nor Ian Thorpe. After retiring at the age of 16-years-old Shane Gould had held a world record in every single freestyle category of the day. From the 100 to the 1500-LCM, Shane Gould was an apex predator in the pool; ergo, she is the greatest apex freestyle swimmer ever.

Denki Groove's music video for the song, "Fake it! - The video features hundreds of Japanese divers in an endless high diving spectacle!

A diving loop of Japanese divers, one after the other, seemingly hundreds of them in all in a non-stop, high-diving, spectacle. Think lemmings and you get the idea.

But wait, there is more, it's a music video by Denki Groove for a techno beat song called, "Fake it."

This video won the Japan Media Aerts Festival Award for Excellence.

Found originally at: Denki Groove via friandises's YouTube via Hiburo via Ze Frank via Laughing Squid via The Submitterator via Amy Gee

Monday, December 27, 2010

Massive airship hangar converted into massive water park hang out!

The "beast" of a hangar cost $110-million to build, could house a fleet of 747s but instead of over-sized jets, the hangar housed an airship capable of lifting of 60-tons. When the airship crashed in a storm, the company that owned both the hangar and the ravaged airship, CargoLifter, lost the building in bankruptcy to a Malaysian company, Tanjong, for $24-million.

Tanjong converted the hangar into a water-park. The water-park: Tropical Islands Resort, host some 900,000 people a year mainly from northern & eastern Europe, features a 3,000-square-yard pool, an indoor rain forest with 50,000 trees in 600-varieties, a "bajillion" deck chairs, and best of all: a nine story slide that can propel users up to speeds of 44-miles-an-hour. That is a seriously awesome thing to experience I bet.

From Then and Now:

The Bali Lagoon has a grotto and waterfall, as well as the world’s largest indoor rain forest, with 50,000 trees in 600 varieties—from palm to papaya—that thrive in natural light. Its most popular attraction is a nine-story waterslide that propels sliders to 44 mph.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

London open water sprint cancelled after the lake froze!

The 100-yard lake sprint held in London's Hyde Park was introduced in 1864 - by 1904 the creator of Peter Pan, James Barrie, awarded the winner with a "Peter Pan Cup" which has carried on to the present.

From AP:

He added: "It was disappointing as it's obviously a big event. We have races every Saturday morning but this is the one everybody wants to win."

The winner is awarded the Peter Pan Cup, which was introduced in 1904 by novelist James Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up.

Meanwhile on England's south coast, members of the Brighton Swimming Club took part in their annual Christmas dip in the English Channel, where the temperature was a refreshing 3.3 degrees Celsius.


Friday, December 24, 2010

TMZ reports Michael Phelps at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa coming out ahead in a poker game!

Three days ago TMZ reports that Michael Phelps was spotted in a high stakes poker game finishing the game by coming out ahead. [Link]

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TYR renews their contract with the French Swimming Federation!

France will be a formidable competitor for the US come London 2012. Their freestyle relays on paper look unstoppable.

With this renewed deal it will essentially be TYR & Arena versus Speedo&Lochte. (Let's wait and see if Michael Phelps decides to participate in FINA World Champs next year let alone the Olympics. I have my doubts for I feel who has moved on in his life to newer and fresher pursuits.

s for the "TYR/Arena/Speedo Showdown" Where people see flags at the Olympics, I see both brands and flags. If next years Olympics has no Michael Phelps, I think this will be the first Olympics where Speedo is considered a brand name and not an icon.

Huntington Beach, Calif. – December 9, 2010 – TYR Sport, Inc. is proud to announce a renewed agreement as the official sponsor of the French Swimming Federation (FFN) for swimming, diving, open water swimming, and synchronized swimming, through the year 2012. TYR has held a successful partnership with the FFN since 2002.

One of the top federations in the world, the French dominated the 2010 European Championships this past August and were named European Champions in swimming for the first time in history. Over the course of the competition, the French delegation earned medals in both the pool and the open water, for a total of 23 medals. Eight gold medals were won, which included performances from champions Alain Bernard (100m freestyle), Frédérick Bousquet (50m freestyle and 50m butterfly), Camille Lacourt (100m backstroke and 50m backstroke), and Yannick Agnel (400m freestyle).

Three French swimmers currently hold the fastest recorded times in 2010 in their respective events: Bousquet (50m freestyle), Lacourt (100m backstroke and 50m backstroke), and Sebastien Rouault (800m freestyle). The world’s top ranking for 2010 in the 4×100m medley relay also belongs the French team consisting of Lacourt, Bousquet, Hugues Duboscq, and Fabien Gilot.

“I am thrilled to have TYR continue its alliance with our national team,” said Francis Luyce, president of the FFN and former world record holder. “In our time together, the FFN has developed and transformed into one of the best contingents in the world. TYR has always been recognized in Europe for its expertise in technology and we’re looking forward to their support for many years to come.”

TYR has a storied past with the FFN. In December 2008, at the European SC Championships in Croatia, Amaury Leveaux set the world record in the 100m freestyle. Leveaux’s time of 44.94, while wearing TYR Tracer™ Technology, still stands today.

“This renewal, along with TYR’s substantial growth and advanced technology development, will allow us to continue our progression in Europe through the support of swimming federations and their athletes,” stated Franck Horter, TYR’s European General Manager. “I am excited to work with the federation as we focus on the London Games.”

The French Federation boasts a nationwide team registration of more than 295,000 participants with more than 1,300 affiliated clubs. TYR will receive exclusive rights to develop an authentic FFN Collection available through the federation’s online store.

In addition to the FFN, TYR expanded its European commitment earlier this year by signing a sponsorship agreement with the German Swimming Federation (DSV) and also continues its partnership with the Danish Swimming Federation. 
Other key relationships include sponsorship of U.S.A Triathlon and the Italian Triathlon Federation, as well as partnerships with Ironman® and U.S. Masters Swimming.

USA Swimming sex abuse debacle wins ABC News an Award: ABC News 20/20 Wins duPont Award for 'The Coach's Secret'

The media, the press, and finally us "peons"; (pee-ons?), the news bloggers are suppose to be a "quality control" mechanism for the public. Most of the above news media sources; (except for me), profit by uncovering screw-ups, malfeasance, and corruption.

With that preface in mind, the best press or media is a non-profit media. Once a media outlet accepts advertising and any other monetary compensation, then, in my humble opinion, that media becomes biased! NBC News would have never run this story since they profit from the Olympic Games and swimming is a big part of that profit. ABC was able to do this story since they had no direct or indirect monetary ties to the IOC.

I congratulate Megan and the other contributors who received the duPont award, it was so well deserved and it created a tsunami-like shift within USA Swimming and how children are protected. I would like to say that USA Swimming has all the right policies in place now and all is perfect; (it is not), but I can say that the parents are closely "watching the watchmen" and for that I sincerely thank you for making the sport better.

Congratulations Megan - it was nice speaking with you! :-)

From ABC News:

An ABC News 20/20 investigation that uncovered a sex abuse scandal involving dozens of male swim coaches of teen female swimmers today received one of journalism's most prestigious awards -- the duPont Silver Baton from Columbia University. The report by ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross and producers Megan Chuchmach and Avni Patel found some 36 coaches for USA Swimming, the sport's national governing body, had been quietly banned from the sport for sexual abuse of young female team members.


Follow Megan on Twitter: [Link]

Monday, December 20, 2010


Swim meets and international competitions are hard to put on. Think about it: each race is an historical artifact and consider the what it takes to get the timing right, the officiating, the scheduling of the talent, the contracts, the venue, the posting of the results in real time and all of the other details to make a successful meet?

Why not learn from the best?

What USA Swimming does better than 99% of for profit entertainment organizations around; (this includes music festivals and even special events like the Oscars and Emmy Awards), is event planning!

When I saw this, I really wanted to go but I am located on the wrong side of the country; but if you can go, think what you can learn.

From the USA Swimming website:

The USA Swimming Event Management and Marketing Symposium will take place January 26-27 in Sarasota, Fla. The two-day symposium is designed for meet hosts, club business managers, and anyone with an interest in improving their events.

The symposium features a particular focus on event operations, risk management, sponsor relations, facility improvements, marketing and promotions, and financial opportunities. This symposium provides an excellent opportunity to meet and network with other event directors and staffs from around the country.

For more on the symposium, click here.

The photo above was taken by me at my most favorite swim meet, the TYR Swim Meet of Champions. An event that is put on quite well. I will be there next year.

Deborah Hambly can swim butterfly farther and longer than you can - She "beasted" 3.3-kilometers worth in an open water race!

So, I am sitting down with world famous photographer Mark Savage and I am telling him that for me to get back into the pool racing again without a tech-suit, "I gotta swim some off events." I would still swim the 50-free since I can still swim on top of my tech-suit time but the 100-free, 200-free and 100 IM are sidelined.

So, I would do something crazy again like swim a 200-fly LCM and the 400IM LCM. Events that are so ridiculously punishing that even if you make it out of the water without a DQ it's like you finished the Ironman and nobody cares how how you placed.

So, taking this insanity a bit more further, New Zealand swimmer Deborah Hambly transcended all my goals, she swam 3.3 kilometer, open water swim, butterfly.

From the Northern Advocate in New Zealand:

"... She has done it again - Dargaville swimmer Deborah Hambly, 38, has swum herself into another record by butterflying the Russell to Paihia ocean race - the first swimmer to do so.

Last month Ms Hambly was the first swimmer to complete Auckland's 2.8km Harbour Crossing Race using the butterfly stroke.

It is not favoured by distance or ocean swimmers because it is an intense and energy-burning stroke. Last Saturday's 3.3km swim, in what Ms Hambly describes as very choppy conditions, took her one hour 21 minutes. ..."


If you know someone with fibromyalgia, encourage them to swim: New study suggest swimming as potential treatment.

The study below was a collaborative effort between fibromyalgia researchers in both Spain and Portugal. The results were extracted form the journal, Arthritis Research & Therapy.

Essentially, they put these people into a Masters Swimming program from the sound of it... From the Environmental Illness Report:

"... Narcís Gusi and Pablo Tomas-Carus, both experts in sports science, conducted a randomized controlled trial which involved a thirty-three women with fibromyalgia. Their aim was to find an alternative aporoach to the treatment of the disabling condition based on their knowledge of sports science. patients to find an alternative approach.

The participants were split into two groups with seventeen then taking part in a swimming pool exercise program with the remaining sixteen living as they normally would.

The supervised training exercises took place in a heated swimming pool and each session lasted for an hour. During each session the women stood in waist-high water while an instructor guided them through a warm-up, strength exercises, aerobics, and a cool-down period. The participants attended the pool for these exercise sessions three times per week over a period of 8 months. ..."

So, if you know any fibromyalgia suffers, hook them up with swim coach.

USA Today: "Lochte looking like an 8-medal threat for London"

Ryan Lochte had an impressive SCM World Championship. I was very surprised that he was able to capture 6-gold medals in all. Even USA Today is pronouncing that Lochte is an "...8-medal threat for London" come 2012, which after such an amazing SCM World Championship, is not hyperbole nor exaggeration, but... BUT.... Yeah, BUT! Some forget that the eighth gold medal that Phelps won in Beijing was hand delivered to him by Jason Lezak and the rest of the great swims put forth in the 4x100 relay. He is going to need fellow world record holders in all the relays he swims to match or beat Phelps gold medal haul.

"If he brings his A-game to the Olympics I don't have a chance," said Austrian rival Markus Rogan, who handed Lochte a couple losses at a recent short-course meet.

Rogan, Hungary's Laszlo Cseh and Clary are shaping up as the top challengers to Lochte in the medley events, where Phelps' status is in question.

"He has nothing to prove, that's the problem," said Rogan, who is not even sure Lochte's performance in Dubai will motivate Phelps. "He needs a little bit of a bigger jolt." (Adrian) that are eager to get into that category."

"I'm going to get right back in the pool," he said. "I'll take two or three days off for Christmas, but other than that it's right into training and then get ready for Shanghai."

I have no doubts that Lochte can achieve the same individual medal count as Phelps; (Read as sole-individual medal count as Phelps not including the relay medal count), but we are weak and losing ground in several disciplines as of late, namely: Breaststroke and backstroke. This will create significant adversity for our relays.

We need more breastrokers: "Paging, Ed Mosses, white courtesy telephone please!"

Aaron Peirsol has been to three Olympics and with medals earned in each of them he is definitely paced in the express line for the Swimming Hall of Fame but he is not immortal.

Matt Greevers is his current "American heir apparent" but in 2010 Greevers remained third-best in the world whereas, Camile LaCourt, and, Liam Tancock, owned the number one and two position respectively. In the 200-back it's all Ryan Lochte, Tyler Clary, and Rryosuke Irie. Consequently, we need to amped up Greevers in the sprints and find more backstrokers.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Did Michael Phelps demand 12,000 calories a day due to "thermal dieting?"

Your body generates a temperature on average of 98.6 degrees, duh!, but what if you challenge it with cooler temperatures? Would cooler temps force your body to burn more calories to heat itself?

A NASA scientist thinks so and believes that Michael Phelps was forced to consume roughly 12,000 a day just to maintain his weight due to the thermal challenges he faced while swimming hours-upon-hours a day..

From RedOrbit:

"The body wants to maintain a balance, a homeostasis of 98.6 degrees," author Tim Ferriss, the man who penned the best-selling book 'The 4-Hour Body,' told ABC's Sarah Netter during a December 15 interview. "If you make it cold, the body will do everything it can to get back to 98.6. And it has to burn calories to do that--heat equals calories."

The technique is known as 'thermal dieting' and according to Ferriss, people can burn up to 50 more calories simply by forcing their bodies to endure sub-freezing temperatures. Doing so forces a person's system to work harder and burn a type of fat known as brown adipose tissue (BAT) to produce heat.


Ryan Lochte's father and sister have been removed from their coaching positions at Daytona State College!

Ryan Lochte's father, Steve Lochte, was the head coach of Daytona State College swim team. His sister, Kristin Lochte, was the assistant coach. On December 2nd, that all changed. Both have been removed from their coaching positions at DSC and have been "reassigned" due to administrative concerns regarding positive drug tests, low student swimmer grades, the fact that Coach Lochte was arrested for a DUI last July and in the words of the Daytona News Journal: "...Offensive and racially charged posters lining the walls at the pool at an intramural competition in October..."

Since a lawyer is doing some of the talking in the article, I suspect Coach Lochte is going to fight this reassignment. From the Daytona News Journal:

Steve Lochte, who said he made a mistake and is in counseling, said the college removing him as coach is "very unfortunate and unfortunate for the swimmers who have traveled from around the world to swim for me." He continues coaching for his Daytona Beach Speed Swimming club where he is the executive director.

"I'm not going to fold up and die," Lochte said.


If the allegations in the article are true, I am so unimpressed. I have said it many times, what is it with swimmers and alcohol?

USC is doing something amazingly right: Soni, Mellouli, Lefert All Medal At SCM Worlds in Dubai!

From USC Trojans:

"... Former USC greats Rebecca Soni and Ous Mellouli won gold and silver medals, respectively, while Trojan sophomore Clement Lefert earned a relay bronze on the second day of the 2010 FINA Short Course World Championships on Thursday (Dec. 16) in Dubai, UAE. ..."


Above is a file photo of a Rebecca Soni lift off shot in 2009 by Mark Savage.

China makes a doping statement - NO TOLERANCE even if WADA insists on cutting a doping sentence short!

Cultures are funny: For some, the concept of shame is a viable and even a morally respectable motive to commit suicide and for other cultures it is simply a non-existent emotion. (Wall Street, Banking and Washington DC are places that come to mind.)

Ōuyáng Kūnpéng is/was China's best backstroker. He's 28-years-old just before the Beijing Olympics he failed a drug test which infuriated Chinese officials to no end. They simply banned the swimmer for life and made it clear he humiliated his country. Even WADA pressured the Chinese to only ban the swimmer for two years but the Chinese would have no of that. This guy was DONE!


"... "We won't let him represent China in any competition," swim official Yuan Haoran told The Associated Press by phone. "He won't enter the Chinese national team again because of the very bad precedent he set."

WADA's director general, David Howman, says there's not much the agency can now do to help the swimmer, even though it and FINA, swimming's world governing body, did intervene against China's initial decision to suspend Ouyang for life. They leaned on China by filing an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, eventually prompting China to reduce the ban to two years. ..."

There you have it, China has set the bar higher than anyone else in regards to doping penalties and restrictions and consequently many Chinese athletes will have their lives sullied with career ending infractions for inadvertent doping.

Ironically enough, the Chinese will be now have the moral authority to point fingers at the United States and others for allowing swimmers who took the wrong antihistamine or supplement; (read the word "swimmer" as Jessica Hardy), and can morally label the world's athletes as dopers in their press.

Monday, December 06, 2010

I nominate Bob Bowman to be USA Swimming's National Team Director!

Bob Bowman has "street cred" with the kids as well as helping to produce the greatest swimmer of all time: Michael Phelps.

Bowman began his career in the trenches at the Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club and also served as the assistant coach at Florida State University. Florida State was, Bob Bowman's, alma mater and it was there that he got a degree in developmental psychology; (A perfect education for someone whose job it is to wrangle ADDHD middle schoolers like Michael Phelps into realizing what they can become.)

He was a swimmer himself displaying leadership qualities while swimming for Seminoles in 1983-1985 by becoming the the team captain his final year.

In 1992-1994 he designed a club program for the Birmingham Swim League and during his tenure became a top-5 club when previously was ranked as a top 20.

Then there are stints all across the country from California to Ohio and finally the Michael Phelps years and history has shown us that he took a difficult teenager and inspired him to realize his greatness. That is an accomplishment.

Though I don't like what Bob Bowman did to my beloved tech-suit, I have to give credit where credit is due and right now, Bob Bowman, is the best man around managerially to replace Mark Schubert, a coach who day has come and gone.

He not only coaches but he manages. He is the perfect person for the job and he is the peron USA Swimming should consider post haste.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The United States is OUT as a sports hosting nation for possibly the next couple of decades! - The world laughs!

As I write this; (Update: before I got Bell's Palsy hence the lack of blog posts and a grumpy and depressed attitude), the United States just lost a bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Why did we lose? Because we, (according to Slate magazine), would not pay the alleged bribe money to the FIFA execs. Qatar won the bid instead with an imaginary stadium rendering:

From Slate:

The American bid featured more potential revenue, more media exposure, and vastly more feasible planning than its Qatari counterpart. The infrastructure to host the tournament is already in place here, while Qatar will be starting from closer to scratch. But FIFA is both legendarily corrupt—in October, two members of the executive committee were suspended when the Sunday Times caught them offering to sell their votes, and they're just the tip of the iceberg—and desperately in love with the idea of "legacy." Its eyes light up for opaque governments, bizarre legal exemptions, huge construction projects, and regions that have never staged a major international soccer spectacle. The United States offered none of those things, while Qatar, like Russia and South Africa, offers them all.


What about an Olympics - we will ever try an host an Olympic Games? This is what Mr. Scott Blackburn had to say at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics:

"... The (IOC) sent us a message, loud and clear, that they don't want the Games to be in the United States" and that potential cities in the United States cannot afford Olympic bids just to be spurned like New York and Chicago were in the 2012 and 2016 races respectively. ..."

Anytime a major construction project is begun in an emerging country that includes millions or billions-of-dollars, shoveling money into a project of that magnitude is like shoveling "fleas" across a barn yard floor. Notice how every Olympic project has cost over runs; even the bidding process as well? Where do you think the money is going?

Consider Brazil for the 2012 Olympics: Do they have an airline infrastructure that can handle the visitors? Not yet. Do they have security within their own "ghettos" or favellas that would ensure the safety of visiting travelers? Not yet. Is their current economy stable? NO it is not - They are currently offering 10% interest rates to attract investment since inflation is starting to get out of hand.

So why were they picked? Why? They have no stadium that can house 65,000 seats, not that many airports, nor do they have security. Los Angeles on the other hand has it all: Three airports within a 1/2-hour of each other and every venue needed yet an emerging country was picked.

The IOC has it's own issues with corruption as well and it was the United States organization that bribed them but United States law enforcement that uncovered it as well. From the BBC Sports blog:

So it is fair to say that, when it comes to corruption, the IOC does not have a track record of which its members can be proud. Salt Lake City won the right to host the 2002 Winter Olympics by offering scholarships to the children of IOC members, land in Utah and other lavish gifts. It is hard to hold any discussion about corruption in sport without referring back to a scandal that could have brought down the Olympic movement.

Personally, I am not convinced they have changed for why would they have too? Why does the IOC and FIFA pick countries that have yet to prove themselves with adequate infrastructure and security? Why do they take $2-billion chances; (the funding NBC gave them), on imaginary stadium renderings and the promise of a safer political culture?

But I am just a blogger, right? What do I know? Well, the Swiss don't trust them either - From the Swiss news agency ATS:

Switzerland will look into the activities of international sports organizations based in the country, including the football associations FIFA, UEFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Swiss news agency ATS said on Tuesday.

The country has decided to hold an investigation amid recent bribery scandals, the Swiss Federal Council said adding that it is looking for the eradication of corruption and bribery on all levels.

It's time the United States looks inward and realized we are nothing but a resource to these greedy people and maybe it is time to create our own sports movements from the NBA, to Skateboarding, Snowboarding, Surfing and all the other sports we invented? Instead of handling out gold medals, we hand out real gold.

Maybe it is time to embrace the X-Games as our own sports movement?

The artwork above is my wallpaper on my computer at work. I did the art and consider it a gift if you would like to use it on your computer, a blog post or any editorial. However, You must credit my name with any usage or I will hunt you down with a "gun" and a "spear" if you don't.