Sunday, July 31, 2011

Phillip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune and myself on are on the same page: Michael Phelps is not a good sport!

Lindsay sent this to me and she has been one of the few readers to agree with my criticisms regarding Michael Phelps rhetoric post a humiliating loss. Thanks for posting this article in the comments section, Lindsay:

From the Chicago Tribune:
"With the training I have had in the last six to eight months, that's all I had in the tank. . .The reason why I haven't been able to swim as fast as I wanted the last two years is: It's all my fault. . .That time (Lochte's) won't win a gold medal next summer."

And this is what Phelps said after the 200 IM, when Lochte became the first swimmer to set a world record since the 2010 ban on the hi-tech suits that had made record performances meaningless:

"I didn't win because I wasn't as prepared I should have been."


The last two sentences of the article totally kill and it is a must read. Ryan Lochte's retort was gracious and accurate as well.

Now, if I am going to illustrate a negative, I have to offer a positive: how should an athlete act post a devastating loss?

Maria Sharapova was favored to win Wimbledon. Throughout the quarterfinals, the semifinals, throughout all her matches she never lost a set and she was seemingly unstoppable. Then in the finals she met a teenager named Petra Kvitova who displayed no fear and was hitting balls right at her feet. When Sharapova lost the Wimbledon final, she was devastated. She was seemingly holding back tears as she paraded around court side with both her trophy and a smile. Later, when interviewed by the press she said nothing but flattering statements about her opponent's serve and ability.

To hate losing that much and yet see her mind fight her body and control both her anger/sadness displayed an athlete taking the high road rather than succumbing to alpha-female narcissism.

The photo above is Phelps doing breaststroke. I chose it because he looks like he is crying. ;-)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

YouTube Video: Michael Phelps wins the 100m butterfly!

His comment afterward: "...I'm not in the right shape physically right now, and I want to be faster."

Eureka, the first positive, forward-thinking, statement to come out of his mouth in a very long time: "...I want to be faster." Perhaps the giant has really awoken?

This statement was made after he logged a 50.71 in the 100-fly.

From Swimming World:
SHANGHAI, China, July 30. MICHAEL Phelps became the first man in FINA World Long Course Championships history to threepeat the men's 100 fly.

Phelps clocked a 50.71 for the victory tonight, defending his 2007 and 2009 titles in the event. Heading into tonight, he had been tied with Ian Crocker as the only men to have defended a title. Crocker won in 2003 and 2005. Phelps' time this evening is the 17th fastest effort all time, and nearly a personal textile best for Phelps, who clocked a 50.65 at U.S. Nationals in 2010.

"I'm not in the right shape physically right now, and I want to be faster," Phelps said. "It was a tough race. I just need to look for what I can do better, and I definitely need to push the first 50 meters. I will keep working on it, and think about how I can be faster."


Friday, July 29, 2011

Sending out good vibes and prayers for Chloe Sutton in the 800m Free!

Chloe was originally predicted in Swimming World Magazine to medal in her events but I suspect some sort of physical adversity has beset her. Her times at these 2011 FINA World Championships have been well off her average meet times for the events she swims and that includes meets she was swimming through.

Subsequently, I am hoping she is not ill, suffering food issues and/or time-zone problems so I am sending out good vibes and prayers her way. Go Chloe, Go Natadores, Go California!

YouTube: Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay Final - Shanghai 2011

Note the "loping" stroke of both Phelps and Lochte. Note their head up position. They are looking straight across the pool. This will be my new distance stroke.

As far as I am concerned, stick a fork in Terry Laughlin's: Total Immersion head down philosophy. No winner is looking down as they swim; prove me wrong!

Winners swim with their heads up and they spend as much time as possible underwater when driving off the walls. Lochte has even bested Phelps in his ability to push off the wall under his own wake, and then triangulate in such as way that he leverages his "float" to get back into the game. He gained as much as a body length or more on the French.

Realistically we are seeing more talent at these Championships that has ever been displayed before. All countries even.

Vintage Swimsuit Friday: Maurice knows how to match gloves with a swimsuit!

If today was 1955 this ensemble would simply be called "resort wear" - calling it a swim suit is something I can't wrapped my mind around; though the gloves would make for a quick sunscreen solution.

Originally found at Lulu's Vintage: [Link]

Since when did FINA establish something called a "textile best?"

A team member of mine sent me the following observation:
"... I'm reading Swimming World reports of the 2011 FINA World Championship results. When did FINA establish something called a "textile best?" it seems the only phrase the mag knows. Is there an agenda?..."
YES! I think so! - Without world records there has been way less press and that means less interest. Hence, rhetorical devices such as "beat the American textile best, swam on top of the world textile best," are a cheap gimmick of making the performance sound more special thereby by degrading the previous effort that set a world record.

Swim bloggers who have grabbed onto these phrases following the lead of the swim press continue to hurt swimmers who have legally set world records in tech suits.

When a swimmer crosses the finish line "fair & square" and sets a world record, they are entitled to that record without any qualifications or asterisks therein.

For instance, my team member went on to say better than I could:
"...It reminds me of the controversy when Roger Maris broke Ruth's single season home run record. They wanted an asterisk because it was a 162 game season not the 154 when Ruth played. However, it is the "single season" record just as the swim records are as simple as who navigated the waters from one end of the pool to the other in less time, for as many lengths as the race is. To wit, there are not two categories of 100 meter free records, one with and one without. ..."
The best thing that ever happened to swimming was the tech suit. Read that last sentence as MORE press, MORE Television, MORE exposure. The best thing that ever happened to a professional swimmers' bank account was the tech suit. Ask yourself how many American swimmers are making more than $100K. Can you say only two or so?

Consequently, future swimmers will be hurt financially as well for Governing Bodies don't pay WR bonuses for "textile records" only for world records and I bet they like that.

YouTube: A silent victory over Federica Pellegrini in the 200m Free?

Though Federica Pellegrini won the 200m Free at the 2011 Fina World Championships of Swimming, there was a girl there who swam a faster 200m free in a different event. That girl was Melissa Franklin on the USA women's 4x200 relay. This girl "beasted" it dropping the pack by several body lengths.

Franklin led off the race and logged a 1:55.06 versus Federica Pellegrini's 1.55.58 but most of you knew that, huh? Will we see Frankloin swim the 200m Free in London?

YouTube: Sun Yang effectively dominates the 800m Free for the gold!

Sun Yang; (pronounced 'Soon Yang) drops the 7-swimmers beating the pact by about three body lengths. Look at the kick on that beast. I have to say that it rival Ian Thorpe.

YouTube Video: Ryan Lochte Gold 200m Backstroke - Tyler Clary bronze!

Ryan Lochte storms the 200-back; Tyler Clary in the mix as well. What I am seeing at these world championships is that the world ha caught up to us. We are no longer the greatest swimming supper power. Could it be time for some of our talented athletes to train outside our borders?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Speedo Promo: Ryan Lochte & Michael Phelps race mini speedboats against each other!

Can you name all the swimmers in this video besides Phelps and Lochte?

YouTube Video: Shanghai 2011 World Championships - James Magnussen wins the 100m Free with a quick 47.63

The Australians strike back: James Magnussen wins by 1/2-a-body length. Cesar Cielo did not medal.

Magnussen has a great pull: Note how he first he bends his hand at the wrist, then the elbow. and finally uses his hips to help pull a LOAD of water behind him.

YouTube Video: Ryan Lochte sets WR in the 200 IM

Ryan Lochte defeats Michael Phelps and sets a new world record in the 200 IM at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai. Note on the last lap that both Lochte and Phelps share the same "loping" freestyle stroke.

YouTube Video: Lochte wins the 200m Free

Compare Lochte's turns to Phelps on this race: More exuberant and vicious. This race was won on the turns.

YouTube Video: Michael Phelps wins the 200m Butterfly!

With only 90-days of serious training Michael Phelps rises back to the top in his signature event. If he can remain interested in swimming or "going to work" so to speak for the next 365-days, he would be unstoppable in London.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Top Day 3 Highlights, featuring Phelps vs. Lochte in the men’s 200m freestyle final and more...

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Top Day 3 Highlights, featuring Phelps vs. Lochte in the men’s 200m freestyle final.


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Ryan Lochte catches Michael Phelps to win gold in the men’s 200m freestyle


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Friis Lotte wins gold in the women’s 1500m freestyle; Kate Ziegler takes silver


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Rebecca Soni wins gold in the women’s 100m breaststroke... (Who saw that coming? I'm shocked! ;-)


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French teammates Camille Lacourt and Jeremy Stravius tie for the gold medal in the men's 100m backstroke final.


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Michael Phelps finishes second in his 200m butterfly semifinal.


Ryan Lochte spanks all in the 200-free!

I was worried that Ryan Lochte was building too much muscle. I was proved wrong. When you have that much talent and the amount of strength he has created for himself through hard work and dedication, how can he not be unstoppable.

Last night Ryan Lochte spanked the world in the the 200-meter free and it must have tasted so sweet for five of his competitors all within 1/2-second-or-so from victory. His time: 1:44.44, Michael Phelps: 1:44.79, Paul Biedermann: 1:44.88

He was gracious in victory and credited his competition like a true gentleman.

From Swimming World:

Lochte clocked a 1:44.44 for his first men's 200 free world title. Lochte's time stands 13th all time, and jumped Lochte into fifth on the all-time performers list. He used a 26.29 split to separate himself from the field and held on down the stretch, fighting off a late charge by Phelps.

"While everyone tried to go out, I just worked at what I am used to," Lochte said. "I've done all the training that I can. I guess it is my time tonight. It's the most challenging competition (I've ever raced)."


The photo above was taken by Mark Savage at last years Pan Pacs I believe. For more groovy photos of swimmers and celebrities check out his blog here: [Link]

Monday, July 25, 2011

Highlight videos from 'Universal Sports' - You will need Microsoft's 'Silverlight' plugin to view these!

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Top Five package, featuring Phelps vs. Lochte, Dana Vollmer’s gold medal in the 100 fly and emotional wins for Cesar Cielo, Alexander Dale Oen and Ye Shiwen

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Dana Vollmer wins the USA’s first gold medal of 2011 Worlds in the women’s 100 fly

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Cesar Cielo breaks down in tears after his gold-medal win in the men’s 50m fly

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Federica Pellegrini wins gold in the women’s 400m freestyle

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Michael Phelps shares a moment with girlfriend Nicole Johnson

To subscribe for’s LIVE streaming and on-demand coverage of every race from the 2011 FINA World Swimming Championships, click here now: [Link]

Friday, July 22, 2011

FINA conducts open water marathon in hazardous conditions!

2011 FINA World Championships, Shanghai: A 25k open water championship took place today in water temps hovering around 86-90-degrees.

Even pool temperatures are not safe at that temp especially for elite swimmers who generate higher core temps then normal.

FINA & USA Swimming have proven conclusively that swimmers come last. In fact, so much so that all the promises about rules, safety and follow through post the Fran Crippen death in Dubai was nothing more than a "dog & pony show."

From Swimming World:

This all takes place against the backdrop of the death of Fran Crippen at the UAE stop of the FINA Open Water 10K World Cup less than a year ago in October 2010. Calls for rules to enhance athlete safety were met with a slew of recommendations from two separate commissions (FINA, USA Swimming), which included a recommended maximum temperature of 31 degrees Celsius. Again, these recommendations have yet to be codified into the rule books.


So Swimming World is as outraged as they should be. Even Associated Press was astonished:

From Associated Press:

"... Italy's Edoardo Stochino was pulled from the water 4 hours, 50 minutes into the race and taken away on a stretcher as officials poured cold water over his chest. Thomas Lurz of Germany withdrew and defending champion Valerio Cleri of Italy withdrew after four hours, saying it was "too hot and too dangerous" to continue. ..."


The American team here is wearing "FC" on their warmup suits in memory of Crippen.

Where were the USA Swimming coaches during this fiasco? Where were all the world's coaches? Hello? Anybody home? to wit: When has a national governing body been a bastion of trust and honesty? The coaches should have unionized right there on the spot.

I heard that even Steve Munatones, former FINA open water official who was "canned" after complaining that FINA really has some work to do regarding open water safety, was asked to be an ad hoc lifeguard because the situation escalated that quickly.

From Reuters:
Six swimmers, including Germany's Thomas Lurz, who won the 5-km race and took silver in the Olympic-qualifying 10-km race, did not even start the men's race, while nine withdrew during it. A total of 35 had entered the race.

"... A Reuters witness said the German team had tested the water temperature at the dock, and said it had reached 32 degrees.

They said the maximum temperature allowed to compete is 31 degrees and there were complaints from other teams that officials should have stopped the race. ..."


If I was a swimmer in that race and I ended up on the business end of an "IV needle" so as to hydrate my body, and next to me in that emergency room were other swimmers who were sick, overheated and in mortal danger I would effect change!

Obviously the death of Fran Crippen was absolutely no inspiration at all for something to be done at the governing body level so as to improve safety in an open water race. Hence, the only way to get national and the international governing bodies to pay attention is most likely the courts, both civil and legal.

If I was a sickened swimmer after attempting that race I would sue in civil court for bodily and emotional injury. If I had a family member die in that race I would call for a criminal investigation to punish those that allowed that unintentional homicide.

What is amazingly frustrating about governing bodies, they want as few rules as possible when it comes to health and welfare of the participants. We are seeing that with USA Swimming's child protection policies; (i.e. No one-on-one coach/swimmer contact which they won't implement), and we are seeing it with open water policies as well.

No safety rules means no rules they can inadvertently or intentionally violate and that means no lawsuits or criminal investigations like I am suggesting.

It is time for athletes to loudly call for change in a venue these people can definitely understand - the only place they can understand: The courtroom.

Fran Crippen? who was Fran Crippen?

Vintage Swimsuit AD: Cole Swimsuits of California - For the descriminating woman who wants to objectify herself!

Cole was founded in 1923 and they are still around today. I find this distasteful when compared to today's standards and had to see if the company still existed today and if they evolved.

The answer is YES!

What offends me most is not the dolled woman wearing a sleek Cole swimsuit but rather the four lascivious males in the water the water lusting after her in a highly suspicious manner. You know trouble is about to ensue and he I don't like how men are portrayed as such lecherous cliches.

They were eventually absorbed bu Warnaco! That's right, the same company that own the Speedo brand.

"...Then I hear LeBron go, ‘Wait, you got a brother on the team?’ -- Cullen Jones

Awesome profile in the New York Times on American Sprinter, Cullen Jones:
From the New York Times:

In Santa Clara, Jones stripped down to a Mondrian-patterned practice suit and warmed up next to Phelps. Phelps, of course, exists on a different plane, one that includes two security guards to fend off the Sharpie-wielding children thrusting swim caps at him to sign. Jones’s agent hopes, as agents do, that Jones, too, will eventually rise above his swimming peers, that he’ll win big in the 2012 Olympics and become not just the unexpected brother on Phelps’s team but a cultural hero like Serena or Venus Williams or Tiger Woods, the black champion of a white sport. But Jones doesn’t think that grandly, not before a race. “Baby steps,” he told me, toweling off from his warm-up. “I just try to beat the guys in my heat.”

I am going to go on record as saying that Cullen Jones has the best dive of any American sprinter.

'Gatorade' meets Lochte: No question Ryan Lochte is strong!

Lochte appears unstoppable as a physical specimen. the strength he illustrates in this video is almost incomprehensible for a swimmer. His unique dry-land regimen is featured here and his physique looks more akin to MMA/UFC fighter than your standard issue Olympic Swimmer.

I do question whether he is training like a sprinter rather than a middle distance specialist. Is his current muscle volume exceeding what is needed thereby creating more weight in the water than efficiency?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Diana Nyad is ready: Cuba to Florida in 60-hours! - Here is how she has trained for it

Diana Nyad is training so hard that she has to eat 9,000 calories a day and on Friday's she bikes a "century" or 100-miles.
Details at [Link]
What about technology? GPS systems, navigational software, chartered boats, shark shields and electric shark prods and it all isn't cheap. The swim will cost $500,000 and she has depleted her bank account but is still $150k short. :-(
Details at the New York Times: [Link]

Finally some dryland training stuff from ESPN:
"... On land, Nyad's workouts are simple and targeted, and work in opposition to the swimming: The more she swims, the less she does out of the water. At the height of her land training, up until about January, she'd do 100 burpees a day: a perfect-form military-style push-up paired with a vertical jump to engage and strengthen just about every muscle in her body. Early on she would bike 100 miles every Friday, but by April it was time to put the bike away. Too much of virtually any form of cardio other than swimming builds the legs too much -- counterproductive when you're trying to be as buoyant as possible over some 60-odd hours of swimming.

You can follow Diana Nyad's twitter account here: [Link]

Craig Lord says: "...women have breasts, so they cover up; men have chests and they don't need to cover up. Very simple."

To put it in context Craig Lord is referring to the possibility that FINA is now considering that mens suits be allowed to have the same coverage as the womens suits. (i.e. Short-john coverage.) In some bit of sexist logic Lord states that since women have breasts, therefore they must cover them up whereas men don't and should leave them exposed. See his article here: [Link]

Above is a Photo of Olympian Johnny Weissmuller on the medal stand at the Paris Games in 1924. Note his choice of swimsuits: both his chest and core area are covered. Below him is obviously Michael Phelps circa 2009 illustrating that full coverage suits have been summarily allowable for almost a century.

From the website:

"... At the Paris 1924 Games, he won gold in the 100m freestyle, 400m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay. We see him here after his 400m freestyle surrounded by his fellow medal-winners, Sweden’s Arne Borg (2nd, on the right) and the USA’s Andrew Charlton (3rd, on the left) ..."

All three men are covering their chests and torso. Perhaps we should put an asterisk next to their accomplishments?

Per Craig Lord's twisted moral logic, men should NOT be allowed any right whatsoever to cover their chests since they don't have breasts. Well, should women swimmers be forced to wear two piece suits because both men and women have stomachs?

It really gets down to this, what if a male swimmer wants to cover his chest? Why should male swimmers be denied the same modesty and/or coverage that are afforded to women?

Lord is seemingly protesting swimsuit rules that were not only valid in late 2009 and into the early part of 2010 but rules that were also allowable circa 1924. Men have been swimming in "techsuits" a lot longer than they have been swimming in briefs.

So, in Craig Lord's universe we men that want to cover up our chests like Ian Thorpe and Johnny Weissmuller are just a bunch of "naughty, naughty boys," huh?!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vintage swim ad Friday: This one for 'Catalina' circa 1951

Welcome to vintage swimsuit ad Friday. Every Friday I pull an ad from our past to either marvel or laugh at.

I was contrasting this Catalina swimsuit ad from 1951 to an Armani swimsuit campaign circa 2011. Ads that were placed 1/2-a-century a ago, Catalina, Jantzen, and others were seemingly positioned as "honey traps" for lonely men rather than having to do with actual swimming. Note the Cupid suspended above her head read to spear the parietal lobe of her brain with a golden tipped arrow.

The Armani swimsuit ads of today seem more oriented towards status, sex, power, and function. Sand is on the body, men are worn as corsages and of course the girls are healthy and generally either very blonde or very "Moroccan-esque."

See these Armani swimsuit ads as evidence at Zimbio: [Link]

Does Victoria Beckham want to stay put in L.A so that her kids can swim all year round?

Apparently David Beckham wants to play soccer in Europe but Local girl, Victoria Beckham, is digging L.A. so much that she does not want to move back to cold and rainy Europe. Not only is she pro sun but pro water activities for her kids as well.

This quote from X-17 Online:
"Victoria has told David she has never felt happier and that they now have the perfect family. She wants Harper to grow up in a place where she can have the amazing childhood the boys have had. Where they live now, they can play on the beach at the weekend, swim outdoors every day and have a great lifestyle growing up in the sunshine."

Check out the water mark on the photo to the right: Yes, Mark Savage! He also photographed me on the masthead above. Isn't Victoria Beckham just so lucky to have my personal friend and favorite photographer photograph her. He can shoot you too and he loves doing swim photography. Check out his blog here: [Link]

Thursday, July 14, 2011

CBC Sports: Has the world caught up to Michael Phelps? - YES and the world has caught up to America too!

"People always thought it [was] Michael's pure talent, but it wasn't," said CBC Sports swim analyst Bryon MacDonald. "He has talent, there's no question, but he also trains harder than anyone else in the world. And he hasn't been lately.

"He gained his belief in himself off of his training, and so he lost a little bit of that belief."

Phelps, who is coming off a month of intense training in Colorado Springs, Colo., agrees the key is how he prepares for competitions.

"I wasn't really that good," Phelps told MacDonald in Montreal last week of his two losses to the Chinese swimmer. "I think it's frustrating but I think that it's something that will help me in the long run. And I think I needed that one to use as motivation. It's something that I would like to keep for the next two years. But it's going to make me work that much harder to get back."

How many times have we heard him say a variation of the above?

So, has the world caught up? I think they met him two-thirds of the way and Michael Phelps has demonstrably capitulated the last third.

I predicted that we wouldn't see Phelps next week at the 2011 Fina World Championships nor would he swim in the London Olympics in 2012. When I made these predictions Phelps was playing golf, failing to show up for workouts, having hostile back-and-forth exchanges with his coach, logging sub-standard times at places like: France, Pan Pacs, and the races USA Swimming calls a "Grand Prix." His performances as of late have not been inspiring, just adequate. That is a weird contrast when you compare his 7-world records at the 2007 FINA World Championships.

If Michael Phelps leaves this sport in 2013 I suspect USA Swimming will lose half it's potential medal count at the Brazil games in 2016. America will no longer be a swimming "super-power" which in a sad way reflects what is happening to the US economically as well.

Take a look at the photos above. That is a before-and-after photo of the Shanghai Skyline. China has "150-Shanghais" cities built with the $500-billion dollars a year the USA sinks into their economy via Wallmart, Target, Costco, etc. etc. etc. We are the only westernized economy to sacrifice our industrial base to China. In exchange for such kindness they finance our national debt.

So, not only has the world caught up to Michael Phelps, the world has caught up to the US as well and we too have seemingly capitulated the last third if not more than that. Other sports and industries will follow.

From Gizmodo:
"... But it wasn't until Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms; [read as capitalism - Tony], that the city exploded. Only fifteen years later, it became the largest cargo port in the world. Twenty years later, it's the megalopolis you are seeing in this photo. ..."


Take a look at your skyline, has it grown as exponentially as Shanghai's? Has China's swimming and diving programs grown exponentially along with Shanghai's? Is the ability of USA Swimming to maintain that "super-power" status degrading in the exact proportion to our economy and national psyche? I think so and I think Michael Phelps is an analogy to that lack of growth.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When you swim into shore, this is what you are really stepping on: Grains of sand photo-magnified 250-times their size!

From the Mail Online:
Viewed at a magnification of over 250 times real life, tiny grains of sand are shown to be delicate, colourful structures as unique as snowflakes.
When seen well beyond the limits of human eyesight, the miniature particles are exposed as fragments of crystals, spiral fragments of shells and crumbs of volcanic rock.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Place your bets: '' sees Phelps and Lochte winning three gold medals apiece - Is that too ambitious a claim?

I so think that is an overly ambitious prediction! Have they not seen the world rankings? From
Phelps is scheduled to compete in three Men’s events including the Men’s 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m butterfly. Initially, Phelps will be up against Tae Hwan Park and Ryan Lochte in the Men’s 200m freestyle meet. More importantly, he has an absolute chance of winning the gold medal in this event. Hwan Park is expected to grab silver, while Lochte is deemed to win bronze.

I think an ambitious accomplishment for Phelps would be if he wins "just" two of those events.

If I was a betting man, and I am not, I would bet Lochte to win all his events since I do not beleive that Lochte has ever "phoned in" any race he has swam but rather comes to his meets prepared, dedicated, and hungry.

Finally, I think that the 2011 FINA World Championships will send a harsh memo to USA Swimming... This is a wake up call and we have work to do... Wait, who else has said that?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Federica Pellegrini to Laure Manadou: "...I'll be waiting for her in the pool if she really says she wants to swim in the 200m freestyle..."

Italian champion, Federica Pellegrini, has some passive aggressive rhetoric for French swimmer Laure Manaudou:


"...Rivalry with Laure? The press have built this up, I'll be waiting for her in the pool if she really says she wants to swim in the 200m freestyle, which is my specialty. I'm pleased that she is enthusiastic about swimming again. I'm not sure she's an all out sprinter because with Philippe she started off as an 800m swimmer and swam backstroke too, however, as I've said, she'll be just another opponent to worry about and we'll see how she does in the pool. ..."


Keep in mind that both the French and the Italians have a long rivalry with one another and when the press adds to mix a real or imagined love/former love interest they are going to go to town. With that said, I still hope all of the above is still true anyway and that must likely is the Italian part of my DNA speaking.

The Center for Disease Control has several suggestions to prevent swimmer's ear.

Raise your hand, how many of you have gotten this? I get it at least once every other year but I suspect the majority of the time it is from ocean related activities.

From the Center of Disease Control (CDC):

Swimmer's ear (also known as otitis externa) is an infection of the outer ear canal that can cause pain and discomfort for swimmers of all ages. In the United States, swimmer’s ear results in an estimated 2.4 million health care visits every year and nearly half a billion dollars in health care costs (1). The good news is that there are a few simple steps swimmers can take to prevent swimmer’s ear.


DO keep your ears as dry as possible.

  • Use a bathing cap, ear plugs, or custom-fitted swim molds when swimming to keep water out of your ears.

DO dry your ears thoroughly after swimming or showering.

  • Use a towel to dry your ears well.
  • Tilt your head to hold each ear facing down to allow water to escape the ear canal.
  • Pull your earlobe in different directions while your ear is faced down to help water drain out.
  • If you still have water in your ears, consider using a hair dryer to move air within the ear canal - Be sure the hair dryer is on the lowest heat and speed/fan setting, hold the hair dryer several inches from your ear.

They have a list of "Don'ts..." as well. Be informed!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Japan and Israel shut down nuclear reactors after the possibility of jellyfish infilitratration into their sea water cooling systems!

From the International Business Times:

A nuclear reactor in Japan was forced to shut down due to infiltration of enormous swarms of jellyfish near the power plant.

A similar incident was also reported recently in Israel when millions of jellyfish clogged down the sea-water cooling system of the power plant.

[Photos of the invasion are at the site.]


Four months ago I was pro nuclear power considering it a possible alternative to both coal burning and oil burning electric power plants. Nuclear was seemingly a cleaner option to me, the technology had evolved, and our country is now summarily competing for oil with both China and India. Ultimately, that means possible shortages in the future if we don't lighten demand but that was then...

On March 11th. 2011 two "black swan" events; (I don't mean the movie - look it up), occurred on the same day: An earthquake of Biblical proportions; (a 9.0 Richter scale magnitude), and a subsequent tsunami of incomprehensible force that shredded a whole town.

Currently a wide swath of Japan is radioactive and a whole city is still homeless. Presently there is no hope in sight and that to me as a scarlet, red, flag in regards to my nuclear hopes of a cleaner way to produce electricity.

One could argue that these were indeed "black swan" events right up there with a proverbial Noah's Flood or an Arkstorm; (See USGS link), and that these events will never happen for another 1,000-years or so, but Jellyfish?

Nuclear waste has obviously been the "Achilles heal" of the nuclear industry but jellyfish? JELLYFISH? This is an incomprehensible sort of nuclear problem and also reveals an absurd vulnerability which in itself looks like a potential port of sabotage and way too big a risk to assume it could rarely be a problem.

The photo above was taken by Scott Belland; (If you use it you have to credit him and link to his Flickr page.) at the San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf Aquarium. Go there sometime. His stuff kicks butt and he will license, sell, or simply allow his images to be used.

Friday, July 08, 2011

'blueseventy' expo vehicle stolen - several wetsuits to be worn by open water pros in the 'Great London Swim' the likely target! - Help Find them!

A social math formula called "six degrees of separation" states that we are only six contacts away from anybody in the world. That means both you and I know somebody that knows somebody, that knows somebody, etc, etc, that knows who stole this stuff. We can find these guys that ruined a great open water race!

Please check auction sites, Craig's List etc. etc. and see if you can help out blueseventy with getting their suits back.

Note the markings, the names on the suits and good luck. Perhaps you will get a free suit out of it?

blueseventy Press Release:

Elite athlete suits stolen from capital.

Theft has left Blueseventy, the worlds leading wetsuit swimming company without a selection of Elite suits used at the Great London Swim.

After another successful Great Swim, Elite athletes returned their modified Helix wetsuits to the safe hands of the blueseventy event team. The theft of the blueseventy expo vehicle from outside their Docklands hotel has left staff scouring online sales sites in search of the suits. The series of custom Helix suits feature unique arm colors and are printed with the surnames of the worlds greatest swimmers, designed for ease of recognition during television broadcast.

Dean Jackson of blueseventy stated. “To come out of the Ramada hotel in the Docklands and see an empty space where the vehicle was left is quite sickening, especially knowing all the effort that went into ensuring the elites had custom suits of their colour and size choice, and not forgetting all the stock destined for Great Scottish Swim athletes in September”.

Blueseventy request anyone with information to come forward. Jackson also stated “if you are buying a suit from through a private sale please be vigilant and ask searching questions when being offered any suits for sale, either in person or online. An authorised blueseventy dealer is the
only fully legitimate place to buy a suit.”

Anyone who comes across these suits, particularly those with the following elite athlete surnames, should contact blueseventy immediately.

Helix elite suits with rear surname printing:

Allen, Lurz, Carry, Patten, Haerle, Wolfgarten, Oberson

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Old swimsuit ad evokes utter dismay and bizarre innuendos!

The horror! Look at the unattended toddler at the "tippy-edge" of the pool just waiting to fall in as the sexy blonde and presumably her husband jump in. Also note that the suit the man is wearing which is pulled well above his belly button, is made of 100% worsted wool. Double horror: Worsted wool worn "wedgie-style"certainly would make one's "$1.50" itch a bit don't you think? From Jezebel: [Link]

I just found the mother load of vintage Jantzen swimsuit ads. All these advertisements are seemingly filled with over-sexed women and ambiguously gay men most likely to appeal to all gender identities.

Flickr collection of Jantzen ads [Link]

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Rickey Berens signed by TYR!

In 2009 Ricky Berens, gained not just national attention outside of the pool but rather international attention. Even the Huffington Post declared him a de facto celebrity filing him under "celebrity skin" and five other "tags" so people could easily find him after he suffered a tech suit mishap.

Circa 2008/2009 techsuit failures with the moral equal of a NASCAR crash but the stands and the fans loved them. (Now read those last four words slowly: "...the fans loved them.") In fact there were 31-pages of comments regarding the incident with most, if not all of them, flattering in a low brow sort of way. Rickey Berens sold the crowd and the Huffington Post with both his body and his accomplishments.

To really show how impressed Huffington was with the incident, they even created a photo gallery dedicated to the mishap featuring 9-stock images from Getty and if you have ever dealt with Getty, they are expensive. That photo gallery must have cost the Huffington Post presumably $1,000 since Getty will never charge less than $100 for a sports photo and if they do charge that little they insist you take it down within three months. The Berens' gallery is still there today.

The techsuit failure was covered by AP News, The Telegraph, The Advocate, The Washington Post, and dozens more. Google searches turned and burned and went ballistic!

Best of all, he was demonstrably a good sport about it, he handled it in a genuine charismatic way, and the next best part is that he is still a contender. TYR got themselves a star!

Huffington Post article and photo gallery: [Link]

TYR Press Release snippet:
"... At the 2009 FINA World Championships, Berens was again part of the Gold Medal-winning 800m freestyle relay team, breaking the world record they had set at the Olympics by .01. Berens’ relay split of 1:44.13 was the fastest split on the American team and their total time of 6:58.55 is still standing as the world record. In addition, Berens earned his second World Championship medal by being a part of the preliminary round of the 400m freestyle relay that later went on to win gold.

Berens also claimed international victories at the 2007 Pan American Games where he captured three medals; a gold in the 400m Medley Relay, and two silvers in the 400m and 800m freestyle relays. ..."

TYR Press release: [Link]

Monday, July 04, 2011

Attention US National Team members: White courtesy telephone please...

This July 4th weekend the Wimbledon Championships held on the grass lawns of the All England Club saw two tennis stars, Novak Djokovic, and Petra Kvitova, earning $1,600,000 for winning their final matches. Both Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova placed second to these opponents took home a "mere" $800,000 for making it into the final round.

What did you make at your last meet?

In the 1960's both tennis and swimming were both on equal footing as "amateur" sports. There was no prize money back then and tennis players supposedly played because they loved the sport. It only took a couple decades to change all that and players like Maria Saharpova, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer are now making as much or more than USA Swimming.

Roger Federer: $47-million per year
Rafael Nadal: $31-million per year
Maria Sharapova: $31-million year

Imagine if you swimmers were able to make just 1% of those amounts?

Tennis has completely surpassed swimming both culturally and economically and all the while the national governing bodies that managed the sport did what they could to prevent the athletes from profiting.

How did tennis change? In 1966 female tennis player, Billie Jean King, defeated Maria Bueno of Brazil at the All England Club in the town of Wimbledon. She would go on to win 5-more Wimbledon titles setting up a de facto dynasty that few have matched. The prize money at Wimbledon circa 1966 was summarily non existent. Players played for free. Female singles players after winning their game would simply receive a replica of the Venus Rosewater trophy, a fast handshake and that was it!

Isn't that what they do at the Olympics as well?

Now, contrast that fast handshake and the Venus Rosewater trophy delivered to Billie Jean King on plushy grass at the All England Club to the cool, white, tile on the Beijing Aquatic Center's deck during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Keep in mind that this is an aquatics center that took $200-million to build so the world could watch Jason Lezak swim the fastest 100-free in history; an astonishing 46.06 which had never been done before. Imagine what the governing bodies made in TV rights? The result of Lezak's efforts ultimately helped his team win not only a gold medal and a "firm handshake" but an eighth gold medal and a huge $1,000,000 bonus for Michael Phelps from the marketing bosses at Speedo for accomplishing such a feat.

So, what would Billie Jean King say about that?

In 1967 "... King criticized the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) in a series of press conferences, denouncing what she called the USTLA practice of "shamateurism", where top players were paid under the table to guarantee their entry into tournaments. King argued that this was corrupt and kept the game highly elitist. King quickly became a significant force in the opening of tennis to professionalism. "

Now here is a question I have for the members of our US national swim team: Does our Michael Phelps receive appearance fees? If so, how does that make you feel?

Billie Jean King appreciated fairness and this quote was quite stinging to the governing bodies of the day and I think it is applicable now:
"... In America, tennis players are not people. If you are in tennis, you are a cross between a panhandler and a visiting in-law. You're not respected, you're tolerated. In England, you're respected as an artist. In Europe, you're a person of importance. Manuel Santana; [A Spanish tennis player], gets decorated by Franco; [Former dictator]. The Queen leads the applause. How many times have I been presented at the White House? You work all your life to win Wimbledon and Forest Hills and all the people say is, "That's nice. Now what are you going to do with your life?" They don't ask Mickey Mantle that. Stop 12 people on the street and ask them who Roy Emerson is and they're stuck for an answer, but they know the third-string right guard for the Rams. I'd like to see tennis get out of its "sissy" image and see some guy yell, "Hit it, ya bum" and see it be a game you don't have to have a lorgnette or a sash across your tuxedo to get in to watch. ..."

[Reference: "Huck Finn of Tennis: That's Billie Jean", featured in the Oakland Tribune, September 26, 1967, page 38:" ]
In an act of "mutiny" she and World Tennis magazine founder, publisher, and editor Gladys Heldman founded a pro league for women's tennis. Paying the women players only $1.00 each to play in the league, she convinced Houston Racquet Club to sponsor the tournament and persuaded her friend, Joseph Culiman, then CEO of the Phillip Morris company, to put up the prize money. Hence the Virginia Slims circuit; named after a cigarette line aimed at young women, was founded. Five games were played, prize money was delivered to the winners and then the concept exploded.

The governing body of Tennis was pissed! The USLTA suspended all nine-girls that had the audacity to go pro and try to make a living. By the end of 1970, the USTLA had 31-more-girls to worry about and by 1971, the Virginia Slims Circuit became an institution. The resulting branding image for the cigarette still resonates today.

When the suspensions were handed down to the original girls who thumbed their nose at the governing body, talking points were seemingly handed down to the some of the players that skipped this new pro league: Chris Evert, Margaret Court, Virginia Wade all made statements that "We play because we love the game, they play for the money." [Link]

Guess what changed their minds? I think his name was Benjamin Franklin?

So where is swimming's "Billie Jean King?" Where is the "white knight" that has the "means to production" or the capital to organize a pro league?

So where is our "devil"; (read as a cigarette, alcohol, or gambling consortium), that can come in and provide actual prize money, a reason for people to watch, and thereby take advantage of the branding possibilities that the Phillip Morris company did?

I suspect that swimmers like Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps are perfectly happy with the situation in swimming as it is - i.e. Let the governing bodies run the show and the suit companies send them checks.

The only potential white knights I can see in this national governing body morass who has the means to production to produce a pro circuit are suit manufacturers and gambling bodies. I also foresee that a pro league in the US may soon be a dead option if the sport doesn't evolve soon. Unfortunately swimming is now crumbling in America and this month may provide the evidence at the FINA World Championships.

There is no income for swimmers in the sport as it is conducted today. Swimming needs a face-lift. It needs a technology lift, a management lift. Colleges and universities are shuttering programs with not even a perfunctory "peep" of upset emanating out USA Swimming. The sport is rife with lawsuits, lousy management, and over paid executives in Colorado Springs.

If all this is to be averted, then swimmers needs to become political and embrace change rather than "purism." Obviously affluent "Prima Donnas" (Italian for "first ladies"), getting appearance fees and huge paychecks have no reason to want to see change or do anything to elevate the swimmers around them. There are no "Billie Jean King's" in swimming but there could be... Couldn't there?

If not what will you be doing with your second act in life once you are done with swimming?

Finally, why can't I see you being a brand ambassador for Tag Heuer like Maria Sharapova is as featured in the photo above? Check out all of Tag Heuer 'ambassadors" here at the MagXone Beauty Pages circa 2009: [Link]

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Everybody is either a writer or a designer: "Mad Mens Christina Hendricks to design swimwear line!"

"... Christina Rene Hendricks (born May 3, 1975) is an American actress known for her role as Joan Holloway in the AMC cable television series Mad Men, and as Saffron in Fox's short-lived series Firefly. Hendricks was named "the sexiest woman in the world" in 2010 in a poll of female readers taken by Esquire magazine..." - Wikipedia

From Monsters and Critics:

'It's really hard to find a bathing suit if you have breasts,' she told Lucky Magazine. 'You either get smooshed down or there is no support at all. I want to start my own line, with good bra support.

“My husband and I have sketched out designs.'


So, resort wear and swimwear designed by two actors using Christina Hendrick's body as the template? Sounds like a bad business plan to me.

For a photo album of Hendricks, Pop Crunch has one: [Link]

Saturday, July 02, 2011

How to spot symtoms of "Dry Drowning" from 'eHow'

Swallowing even a small amount of water into your lungs is dead serious! Children have been known to have died latter in the day or in their sleep after aspirating water into their lungs earlier in the day. At WedMd they tell the story of one child who was 10-years old and after a suffering an undisclosed mishap at the pool, walked home from the pool complained that he was tired and died in his sleep that night.

Dry drowning defined by Web MD:

Dry drowning is basically drowning without water. With dry drowning, you are not drowning from an immediate immersion in water; it is more of a delayed effect of a small amount of water in the lungs. This can result in laryngospasms, which minimize the amount of water aspirated into the lungs. Respiratory arrest may follow, leading to an inadequate supply of oxygen in the blood, cardiac arrest, and eventually brain death.

Several other mechanisms can cause dry drowning, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is an acute, severe injury to most or all of both lungs or electrolyte abnormalities resulting from a dilution of the blood after aspirated water is absorbed into the blood, leading to heart rhythm abnormalities.


Translation: the water in the lungs decreases the hearts ability to move oxygen into the blood thereby causing the victim to slowly asphyxiate which results in heart failure, brain death, etc, etc.

eHow has an article on how to spot symptoms of dry-drowning here:

ABC News: 18-months and no world records in swimming!

Both Massimiliano Rosolino and Milord Cavic state the obvious. FINA raced back to the past with the outlawing of techsuits and suggest swimming is the worst for it. Rosolino constructive criticism seems to be workable and a solid economic option for swimmers at large.:

From ABC News:
"... I think it would have been better to go back 15 months, not 10 years," said Italian swimmer Massimiliano Rosolino, who has won 60 medals in Olympics, worlds and European championships in a career spanning three decades.

Cavic and Rosolino are not the only ones who point out that men's swimming has taken a 10-year step backward.


Making men's suits cover the chests would also appease manufacturers, who are upset that they can no longer display their logos on men's chests.

Less brand-visibility, they say, means less success for the companies that support swimming the most.


You come away from the article with the feeling that FINA World Championships will be summarily off the radar this month.

Now, ABC mentions that FINA is going to revisit the techsuit question in 2013. which is coincidentally when Michael Phelps' contract with Speedo is complete and Phelps will go lazily into retirement.

Though Wounded, Phelps has proven that he is still big than USA Swimming or FINA itself. He is their movie star, the guy who draws in the cable deals. That was proven during the 2009 World Championships when after Phelps lost to Paul Biedermann, Bow Bob Bowman threatened their pocketbook directly if the "techsuit problem" was not addressed:

From ESPN:

"...We've lost all the history of the sport. Does a 10-year-old boy in Baltimore want to break Paul Biedermann's record?" Bob Bowman said after the race. "The sport is in shambles right now and they better do something or they're going to lose their guy who fills these suits. ..."


FINA and the national governing bodies went on to accommodate both Phelps and Bowman but United States Masters Swimming (USMS) delayed appeasing FINA for a few months allowing techsuits to be used in short course yards racing for just one more season. Since then, membership numbers have fallen circa 2011

Hazmat suits: Trendy summer wear for swimmers in the Anacostia River at the Waterfront Park in Bladensburg, MD.

BLADENSBURG, Md: The Anacostia River river is so polluted that politicians and protesters wanted to point out all the garbage that is flowing freely into the Chesapeake Bay to the press but they had to put on "hazmat suits" before going into the water.

From the Home town Annapolis website:
Warm, sunny weather. Hardly a cloud in the sky. A light breeze.

But then again, there was trash - and lots of it: bottles, cans, a container of instant noodles, a tennis ball, a condom. (In its wrapper, thankfully.)

And there also was a slick, oily sheen on the water.


All these people want is water that you can safely swim and fish in. Our water is a resource and should be treated with the same reverence and attention that is reserved for crude oil.

This river is a mere mile or two from our nations capital.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Cesar Cielo tested positive? - Say it isn't so!

According to the Brazilian media, Cesar Cielo, Olympic champion and world champion in the 50 and 100m freestyle, tested positive for furosemide; ( a diuretic and a masking agent), this past May. The Brazilian Swimming Federation gave him a only a warning but may conduct an investigation.

From Sport 24:

Tested positive in May" "...World champion of 50 and 100m freestyle in 2009 in Rome and a favorite in both distances at the end of the month at the World Shanghai has indeed been a positive drug test with furosemide, a diuretic banned because it allows in particular to mask making other products. Control took place at the Maria Lenk Trophy in May in Brazil. Three other swimmers (Nicholas Santos, Henrique Barbosa, Vinicius Waked) also tested positive for the same product. A monitoring committee, set up by the Brazilian Confederation of water sports, Cesar Cielo and auditioned three swimmers complained of having to explain what their positive control.