Monday, November 23, 2015

A gossipy book about strife and "fat shaming" on the Australian Olympic swim team leading up and into the 2012 London Games

Leading up to the 2012 London Olympics, Leisel Jones and Stephanie Rice were the "gold medal" candidates for the Australian women's team. According to Leisel Jones they were also friends as well. However, 2012 would be a disappointing Olympics for both Leisel Jones and Stephanie Rice for only Leisel medaled in 2012 Games, earning a silver in the 4x100 medley relay, and Rice missing out on a bronze medal in the 200 IM.

Though Australia did have a standout athlete on their women's team, Alicia Coutts, who won five medals at the London Games, both the men's and women's team under preformed and produced their worst Olympic showing in a long time.

Consequently the Australian "swim lords' freaked out over this debacle and demanded an internal review. After what I presumed to be a lot face palming and carefully parsed rhetoric the results were refined down into two words: Toxic Culture... So what is a toxic culture?

What was revealed was severe athlete unprofessionalism, anemic leadership, low morale, bullying, hazing, recreational prescription drug and alcohol use, unmeasured and hyperbolic social media use, and team acrimony. I found these strong words at the Daily Mail—which is ironic since it too is  a "gossipy" newspaper: [Link]

Leisel Jones has written a book which includes her take on her former friendship with Stephanie Rice. Leisel blames Rice's gossiping and fat shaming behavior for destroying that friendship and details conversations even. Again, more irony here since writing a book about personal relationships when the other person was not offered a rebuttal qualifies as the same thing that Rice is being accused of: gossipy behavior!

Snippet form the Daily Telegraph:  
“...What is your problem? — What is it? — I’m not competing against you. ‘I’ve done nothing to upset you. I’m no threat to you in any way. We don’t like the same boys, don’t swim in the same races. So what is it? Do you just not like me? Do I annoy you? Is that it? Well, that’s fine. But for God’s sake just leave me alone.’ ” 
Jones said her words were met with silence from Rice, a three-time Olympic gold medallist. 
“She looked everywhere in the room except at my face. ‘Huh? What do you mean?’ she asks impassively. Apparently she has no recollection of the past few months, no memory of making comments to the others girls about my weight, my clothes, the way I walk or the way I swim,” writes Jones. ..." 
This alleged dialog was said in a changing room at the London Olympics. (Bad timing, Leisel, really bad timing.) To Rice's credit she refused to continue this conflict by pleading dumb. This was a good option for Rice considering the time and place. This convo definitely fits the definition of a toxic culture and a huge blowout argument would not have been productive and probably led to more "toxic waste."

If all of the above is true, the accusations and Rice's response as well, demonstrates that swim teams need mentoring on communication and rhetorical skills via an employee handbook or classes.

Let me get this out there first and foremost. Even at my age I am very unmeasured, hyperbolic and impulsive. It has been good in ways and it has been bad. These girls have accomplished more than I had when I was their age, but as the saying goes, the second mouse gets the cheese, and swimmers and coaches can learn from these potential situations.

TULSA, Okla Former Bentonville Swim Coach Wanted In Tulsa For Soliciting Child Porn

Sigh, Though Stephen Duwel is on the banned list, USA Swimming's Safe Sport program appears to be mostly an after the fact regulatory body. They rightfully punish but the education aspects of the program are not working. Kids have to educated not just parents.

This guy is still getting in trouble.
"...Stephen Duwel, 50, is wanted for lewd molestation and soliciting child pornography, according to court records. The charges were filed on Wednesday (Nov. 18). According to the district court in Tulsa County, pending arrest, a bond of $65,000 has been set for Duwel.
  1. Duwel has been arrested before in Benton County, on a charge of sexually assaulting a juvenile.
  1. Duwel, the former Northwest Arkansas Aquatics Sharks head coach, was arrested in July, after police said he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy.
  1. Police documents showed Duwel had met the Northwest Arkansas teenager on the application “Grindr.” [Link

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Trailer for "Go Swim Freestyle with Kara Lynn Joyce" with a music overdub — This is the best swim instruction video ever made!

I watch this DVD often for entertainment purposes rather than instructional learning more times than not. I really enjoy athleticism and grace. Watching Kara Lynn Joyce instruct is like watching Bolshoi Ballet dancer Svetlana Zakharova warm up.  Am I wrong?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

USA Swimming Video: "Missy Franklin Super Happy To Get Back Into Win Column" — My take, more like super relieved!

Missy Franklin gets a win with a very strong swim! This is the post race interview.

The pitch of her voice when questioned is very interesting; she is speaking in a lower octave, speaking more slower than usual and providing what I perceive to be honest answers. (Her first win in five meets)

This may have been her wakeup call — I hope so! We're eight-months out to Olympic trials and it's going to take her at least 3-months to get down to a "fighting weight" as they say.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Katie Ledecky is an outlier much like Michael Phelps — Missy Franklin needs a "wake-up call..."

*Edited 8:07 PM PST to clean up some typos and to come out and state my real opinion.

A craftsman, or a craftswoman, can make their art look so amazingly easy when performing their craft. Katie Ledecky is an example of having such command over her work. Well done, Grrrl!

At the ARENA Grand Prix Ledecky beat Missy Franklin in the 200-free by swimming a 1:55.37 or swimming .64-of-a-second faster than Franklin. Definitely not a "spanking" but if Franklin is going to match or beat Ledecky in 2016 at Olympic Trials she is going to have find a way.

On the blocks Franklin definitely did not look as athletic as she did in London 2012. (Look it up) Arguably is she sporting an unhealthy weight gain. How to tell if you have an unhealthy weight...
From The International Journal of Obesity
"... The waist-to-height ratio might be a better indicator of overall health risks. Put simply, your waist should be less than half your height."  [Do a waist measurement, times it by two and the number should be less than your height. If it is more, you are potentially unhealthy.]  
Am I fat shaming? — No, I don't care how overweight she is nor do I care how overweight Kevin James is. Both are talented people who give back to the community and should be commended. There is no "Willie Wonka" factory that produces perfectly shaped people but I question her diet and how her body looks today compared to 2012. Is her added weight slowing her down or are her times getting better?

Perhaps her weight gain can be attributed to a quote of hers whereas she mentions how much she appreciates Chipotle (which is an extraordinarily high calorie, junk food, diet) and I am wondering if this luxury is holding her back? Most meals there are more than 1,000 calories each and contain almost a full day’s worth of sodium.

Ryan Lochte | Butterfly Turn Technique - Just turn the sound off and enjoy the turn in slow motion!

Ryan Lochte doing a butterfly turn. Turn off the sound play some ambient music instead and enjoy every little detail from a performance enjoyment point of view rather than a lesson.

Bubble artwork inspired by observing bubbles as I do flipturns

I made these bubbles one-by-one using a math program called Fractal Architect 4. The creator of the software inferred to me in an email that I am doing stuff with the program no one has is doing or has been done before. #Stoked

Ronda Rousey modelling swimwear for SELF Magazine down under

We are only half-way into fall and I am missing summer all ready. It is going to be a loooong winter for me but for Australia it is almost "June." Ironically enough, the sun is actually closer to the earth in the northern hemisphere's winter than it is in the summer but I digress...

The fitness magazines down under are rockin' stylish swimsuits and resort wear but these suits with Rhonda Rousey in them in a SELF magazine layout are not hard to look at. (There is a gallery at the site.)
"... Just a month after becoming the first woman to ever be featured on the front of Men's Fitness Australia, Ronda can now be found rocking a variety of ultra-sexy swimsuits and fierce poses for the publication which celebrates health, wellness and exercise each month. And in case you'd somehow forgotten just how badass Ronda's judo moves are, the magazine also showcases some of her best moves in stills.... " 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

How to: Freestyle Turns with Australian swimmer Ben Treffers

I am really impressed with his push off; great strength and streamline.

Hanalei Reponty (pro surfer / IMG model) has come out with a wetsuit line

Hanalei Reponty is a pro surfer and she has come out with a line of wetsuits for female surfers called Abysse. So, why am I excited about this line and why did I post it this to the blog? The material for these suits is not neoprene but rather a material called Geoprene. This material has component layer within the rubber that is actually limestone making it practically water-phobic, more flexible and "summer warm" inside
Geoprene specs:  Neoprene made from limestone, is 98% water impermeable! This is a huge improvement over petroleum-based neoprene which is only 65% water impermeable. 
Low Water Absorption – Normal wetsuits absorb significantly more water than those made with the new material. If you jump in the water with an old neoprene wetsuit, when you get out you’ll notice that the suit is much heavier. This is because of all the water that it absorbs. Limestone neoprene suits absorb almost no water at all and will be noticeably lighter after getting out of the water. ..." [Link]

I am going to see if I can talk to her about this and ask about the floatation. I'm thinking since the suit will absorb less water I really want to hear about the floatation?  I will ask if I can get a hold of her.

These suits could be an option for not just female surfers but for those female Masters Swimmers when doing early morning workouts or when swimming at night after work.