Friday, September 27, 2013

U.S. Naval Academy Men’s Swimming and Diving Team Senior Class recreates the Marine Corps Memorial at Bottom of their Pool

CBS reports:

Swim team members reenacted the raising of the flag at the bottom of a pool and posted the photo on Twitter Wednesday. The caption reads simply, “Navy Men’s Swimming and Diving at its finest.”

Rosenthal’s photo won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Photography and became the inspiration for the Marine Corps War Memorial.

The memorial is also called the Iwo Jima Memorial and is a dedication to all the marines that lost their lives in service to the United States. As mention above the sculpture itself is also a recreation of a photograph that Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal took of marines raising the flag after the battle for Iwo Jima Island during World War II

At the time it was considered a meaningless battle in that it had no strategic importance whatsoever or so said the Chief of Naval Operations William V. Pratt during an interview he gave in April of 1945. Others argue that the island was of strategic importance because Japanese fighters stationed there would harass B-29 bombers and one of those bombers would have been the Enola Gay which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima

22,000 Japanese soldiers died versus 216 taken prisoner. The American losses were much higher. The reason for the high casualty numbers on both sides was that the Japanese refused to surrender and the Americans refused to leave.

This sort of ethic happened often during World War II; neither side would retreat, surrender or take prisoners. It is an accomplished fact that he Battle of the Bulge was the European version of "Iwo Jima."

I commend these swimmers' dedication and the love for what they are supporting. It's noble, commendable, and certainly appreciated. I will say that I am gravely disappointed at how badly our armed forces are paid. How poorly they are utilized when sent into harms way. How unappreciated they are by the last few sociopaths who have held the presidency. If the last four Presidents truly cared about our soldiers then the Veterans Administration wouldn't be the slow motion train wreck that it is.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) Police arrested a swimming coach at Mountain View High School on child porn charges.

Sent to me late this evening by a regular reader:
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Police arrested a swimming coach at Mountain View High School on child porn charges after an investigation by the Tucson Police Department.

Sgt. Chris Widmer from TPD tells KGUN9 that Bruce Rock, 49, was arrested after an investigation showed he was uploading child porn to a social media site.


Here is his bio at the Pima Aquatics Site:
"...Coach Rock was raised in Orange County CA. He started competitive swimming at the age of 4 and continued to the age of 18. Coach Rock played competitive water polo in high school and one year of college, at Santa Ana Junior College. After his swimming career ended he started training and competing in sport of triathlon. Coach Rock completed numerous triathlons including Iron Man California in 2000(2.4 mile swim 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run). 
Coach Rock moved to Tucson in 2004. He started coaching the Pima county league team at the Northwest YMCA in 2007. He built the team to become a SAAA team and eventually a USA swim team. Taking many age group and senior swimmers to swim at the AZ state meets, sectional and junior national qualifying times. 
Coach Rock is ASCA level 3 qualified and has many years as a USA head coach and high school head coach at Mountain View High school. He is married and has 2 kids attending college in Tucson. He is looking forward to building Pima Aquatic Club to be a very competitive team not just in Tucson but in the state of Arizona.

It was also suggested that a child may have been exploited. Any witnesses or people connected to this club who may have information regarding this arrest or incident of alleged abuse should contact the Safe Sport arm of USA Swimming right away.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

More on shallow water start dives - Pre-publication excerpt from the Journal of Aquatic Research & Education

A reader who has extensive knowledge on this subject has submitted a pre-publication excerpt from a research paper authored by Joel M Stager and Andrew Cornett that will appear in the Journal of Aquatic Research and Education.

Regarding shallow water mandates:

"...There are, however, two separate desirable outcomes of these water depth mandates:

(1) Having enough water depth to eliminate the chance of a swimmer hitting the bottom and...
(2) Lowering the chances of a swimmer being injured should contact with the bottom occur.

The second outcome seems to be the more achievable and certainly more realistic. With this in mind, we draw several conclusions.

The swimmers at the greatest risk for experiencing a catastrophic injury during the execution of a competitive swim start are the physically mature swimmers with limited practice and start experience. We make this conclusion based on two major findings. First, older, taller, and more massive swimmers have been repeatedly observed performing starts with greater maximum head depth and head velocity (Cornett et al., 2010, 2011). At the same time, swimmers lacking in competitive experience have been shown to be inconsistent in terms of controlling or modifying start depth (White et al., 2011; Cornett et al., 2012). This combination of deep, fast starts and a lack of control can have catastrophic consequences. Surprisingly, the younger, novice swimmers, in general, seem to be at a lower risk in this regard. The young, novice swimmers simply do not attain head depths and velocities great enough to place them at the same level of risk as equally inexperienced but physically mature swimmers. This is certainly not to say, however, that they are risk-free.

Next, we conclude, similar to previous authors on this topic, that the empirical evidence suggests that the current minimum depth of 1.22 m needs further careful consideration. It appears that there is very little margin for error at this depth, particularly for the older, physically mature swimmers due to their depths and velocities. A significant number of swimmers closely approached the pool bottom at this depth (Cornett et al., 2010) such that the potential for contact appears unacceptably high. Unfortunately, data from competitions held in 1.52 m (5 ft) are not yet available making firm recommendations on “how deep is deep enough?” difficult. "

It is certainly possible to require deeper minimum pool water depths than what is called for by current regulations. Doing so would likely help to reduce the risk of injury due to pool bottom collisions during the swim start. The studies presented in this review lead directly to this conclusion. However, while the risk can be minimized, increasing minimum water depth within the range of feasible water depths cannot eliminate it.

Our study of ‘worst-case scenario’ swim starts demonstrated that the potential for catastrophic head and neck injury existed at water depths as deep as 2.5 m (Stager et al., 2013). Thus, changes in minimum water depth requirements are less a matter of eliminating the possibility of contact and more about learning how to reduce the incidence of contact and severity of injury through coach and swimmer training and education. ..."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

11-year-old kid loses her two-front-teeth on a failed start dive in the shallow water (3.6-feet deep)

Though this happened in New Zealand it should be a sufficient warning to parents, clubs and governing bodies that a set standard for height & weight versus pool depth be maintained for safe start dives.

From New Zealand at

Swimming Wellington says it isn't to blame for an 11-year-old losing her two front teeth diving into the pool at the recent Wellington short course championships at the Kilbirnie Aquatic Centre.

Emily Irving was one of four swimmers from Jon Winter's Raumati Swimming Club, who suffered injuries at the meet.

A 10-year-old girl grazed her face and two other juniors suffered scrapes to their back and heels, respectively, after finding the entry points at Kilbirnie shallower than they were used to.

For international competition pools must be a minimum of 1.35m deep out to 6m, according to world swimming body Fina.

Kilbirnie was 1.25m for the Wellington short course champs, however it was not operating illegally because it was only a provincial meet.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013


This is extraordinary news. I did not think that the USA Swimming House of Delegates would do it but they have seemingly turned the corner.

I applaud the USOC for their use of economic sanctions to facilitate this as well.

I think this vote is a huge win for the kids, my particular side of the issue, and if this policy is executed whole heartedly and aggressively enforced, then this may perhaps be considered sufficient atonement for [...] Chuck Wielgus? Let's see what happens.

From Swimming World:

"... [Rule] R-12 proposed, for the second year in a row, that consensual adult relationships between coaches and athletes be banned from the sport, where coaches have direct control over the athlete. Not only is this standard regarding sexual harassment laws throughout the country, it also is required by the United States Olympic Committee. This item was previously voted down by the House of Delegates, but passed today with zero discussion.

If this item had not been passed, it would have led to a showdown with the USOC regarding high performance funding as well as potential issues with USA Swimming continuing to be certified as the national governing body for the sport of swimming.
The article contains more information about loopholes, definitions and what it means for the "Banned for Life" list. ..."

Sunday, September 08, 2013

A reader asked me if Diana Nyad cheated on her swim from Cuba to Florida

Got a letter this afternoon asking me what I thought of Diana Nyad's crossing from Cuba to Florida and whether I thought it was legit? - This is my reply.

Hello ******,

The skepticism is looney; If she followed the English Channel ruleset she would be dead. It's a monstrous distance and even refugees in cheap boats with 15-horsepower motors have died trying to make that crossing.

She absolutely swam that 110-mile "channel" and she did it with the aid of a strong current and lots of tech support: She utilized GPS technology, a wetsuit at night I believe, a mask to protect her face from lethal jellyfish stings and some sort of "Soylent Green" drink at feeding stops.

I see nothing wrong with any of the above for we will never see someone swim that "channel" without the aid of technology. Never.

Diana Nyad has essentially created a "Cuba/Florida swim ruleset" and now it is up to someone else to redefine this ruleset or create their own.

The next swimmer may do it as a stage swim with no GPS, perhaps swim it in one of those specialized full body-&-face "techsuits" like the one used in the FX Cable series called American Horror Story. They may even wear fins, or simply float across in some sort jet-stream that some computer software correctly calculated

She deserves credit and those showing skepticism should ask her for process she used and her specific definitions rather than be ad hominem.

I for one would like to see a stage-swim race or perhaps a team stage swim race with set 4-hour rest periods for food breaks, sleeping, and medical exams.

Thanks for writing.


P.S. I just did a wikipedia search on what those full bodies suits are called. They are called Zentai Suits and they are made out of lycra so they would work as a swim suit.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Three reasons why Tokyo won the 2020 Olympics games.

1. Istanbul is one hour away from a war zone
2. Spain has economic troubles and the build-up to the games could have resembled the Olympic riots in Brazil
3. Though Tokyo has the Fukushima radiation about 100-miles away they were the best looking "horse" in the "glue factory" and have better access to loans to finance the Olympics

Monday, September 02, 2013