I love Allison Schmitt's "all-or-nothing, go-big-or-go home," and of course her "turn-and-burn-and-go-ballistic," approach to swimming. It's refreshing to see someone completely unmeasured and primal in regards to how they approach the pool. Will Rebecca Adlington or Federica Pellegrini chase her or will they swim a metronomic pace ignoring the turbulence well off in the distance?
The Italian in me says Pellegrini will say "game on" and we will be treated to the best race of the Olympics.
Jason Lezak finds out the next day he's an Olympian. The emotional bell-curve on that one was extraordinary for me that day. I admire his fortitude, his ability to shake off rejection, to stay focused and deliver. His work ethic and what he has contributed to American prestige within the Olympic movement will be talked about for decades.
Michael Phelps: It's official: I completely underestimated his greatness. I just thought he was simply just the "greatest swimmer ever" rather than an adjective that transcends that overused phrase called "greatness." We may never see a swimmer like Phelps evermore.
I am in awe as to how a person can spend 1/4-of-the-time preparing himself for the Olympics when compared to the time his noble competitors spent and still be able to "hand most of them their bums" when the horn goes off! That is just jaw dropping.
I was "schooled" in a hour long conversation about Phelps by an Olympian... Actually it was only 6-minutes worth but he went over the same 6-minutes ten-times in a row.... (Silver medalist, Montreal in an IM relay.)
Then Mark Savage spoke to me about what Phelps possibly had to give up to be the best. It was actually very depressing. When you break down, it probably works out to be most of best experiences one can have in life. For instance, I went to my first dance when I was in the sixth-grade. I kissed my first girl when I was 15. Perhaps experiences like that or the social equivalent were largely postponed, delayed or never happened for him? Maybe that is why he wants out?
If Phelps wins a "mere" three-or-four gold medals in London... Well, the city of Baltimore should erect a larger than life bronze sculpture; (say like 15-feet tall), and create a square around it for people to mingle. Call it the Michael Phelps Square as a reminder that a regular guy from Baltimore, albeit overactive, possibly socially awkward too, can rise up and do something nobody else will ever be able to do after following through on a decision he made as an 11-year-old child.
Anthony Ervin has an amazing attitude and was quite inspiring: he leaves the sport in 2000, cashes in his medal for $17,101 and gives it to the Tsunami efforts circa 2004. The first word that comes to mind when I think of his approach to life and sport is... Zen.
Yes, he is a swimmer, a rocker, and a humanitarian and I look at him as source of inspiration as well.
Ryan Lochte: He deserves all the success he has garnered. I hope he makes a fortune and I hope he keeps it too. He can put together a solid interview. He is charismatic, charming, and legitimate. He should be selling people in my demographic $5,000 Jaeger LeCoultre timepieces and starring in movies rather than wearing shoes with wings or high-tops made out of "kryptonite". He should forego the "grills" too and concentrate on selling Toyotas and eventually the Lexus brand. He could be formidable personality. (Look up Kathy Ireland; she is worth $350-million dollars now which is more than Martha Stewart and it all started with a line of Kathy Ireland socks.)
Rebecca Soni is a good sport and she looks pretty in pink. Her breaststroke seems effortless but as usual, a craftsman always makes thing look easy. I love it that she goes to USC but I hate it that she loves Ayn Rand.
Rickey Berens: I was so rooting for him and he made it. Happy guy too. Soni got a good catch!
Melissa Franklin: Wow! Honesty and enthusiasm drips off her like hot fudge off a Sundae. Impressive talent too and the whole package is refreshing to see as well. I thought people like that only existing on TV circa 1964. Her parents did a great job; well done guys! BUT... here it comes: it frustrates me how much money people will make off of her goodness, honesty and integrity. I define this as exploitation for the money she is currently raising for a "non-profit" governing body is not a non-profit in my opinion.
Dara Torres: Dara got more people into Masters Swimming than Michael Phelps. Dara, please reconsider retirement and swim one FINA meet a year - make the finals and inspire middle age women on the shopping network to look as good as you.
Janet Evans: You're heroic, fun and an icon! - I love your book too. Perhaps you and Mark Schubert should start a club?
Amanda Beard & Craig Lord: Thank you both for putting me on the radar!