Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Diana Nyad examined: We want to believe our heroes are better than us, more often then not, they fail.

I like Diana Nyad, (she looks good in that Rolex too) I think she produces great sports op-eds. However, she is not immune to scrutiny, and Irv Muchnik and fellow SCAQ swimmer, Daniel Slosberg, have done just that. They scrutinized her accomplishments. Therein, they outline embellishments and de facto lies she has made as a public figure.

When one becomes a public figure, (especially politicians) they mostly sell out and become actors. What do actors do? They recite imaginary lines to tell a story. Examples include Hillary Clinton tall tale of dodging bullets in Bosnia, Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News broadcast, stating he had "…The great honor of flying into Baghdad with SEAL Team 6." Don't get me started on Donald Trump.

Diana Nyad has now faced that same fact-checking shame. 
From Irv Muchnick on Concussion Inc: 

Nyad’s story is distinct from others’ because her ethos of hype seems fundamental to every angle of her public figure. At his website Diana Nyad Fact Check, Slosberg takes on various keystones of her self-curated biography: not just the state championship meet discrepancy of the Jack Nelson abuse anecdote, but also things like Nyad’s shifting explanations of the illness that is said to have cost her a shot at making an Olympic team. Perhaps most sensationally yet persuasively, Slosberg argues technical irregularities in her epic and celebrated Havana-to-Key West swim.
Slosberg says, “Nyad is not so much a cautionary tale as she is a compulsive liar/con artist/sociopath for whom alleging sexual abuse is just one more way to get attention.” One of the motivations for his project is that he believes the Nyad industry deflects credit and honor from other marathon swimmers he knows, such as Penny Dean and Cindy Cleveland, who are far more accomplished than Nyad and far more generous to other athletes, but suffer from self-effacement. Sarah Thomas swam a legitimate 67-hour current-neutral 104 miles in 2017. In her motivational speaking, Nyad denigrates the great Dutch swimmer Judith de Nijs, a far more accomplished athlete. Australian ChloĆ« McCardel crossed the English Channel 29 times; Britain’s Alison Street, 43 times. By falsely claiming to be the first swimmer to complete the loop around Manhattan Island, Nyad attempts to erase from history the six women who preceded her. 


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Michael Phelps gives strange criticism over Olympics adding 3 new swimming events!

Meant to blog this 2-plus years ago.
Business Insider:
"... "What else are we going to add? Are we going to do, like, 75-meter frees? How many other events are we going to add? It's just like what we had in 2009, after world championships, having those high-tech suits [that were banned in 2010]. It's not swimming anymore. We've had this event schedule for so long, and now we're just going to pick and choose what events we want? I could go into more detail, but I'm really not going to. It's a touchy subject. I hope swimming takes the turn for the right direction, and we continue to grow. ..."
Not to cynical...ahhh, why not! — The more events there are the more chances to win more than 8-medals in an Olympic Games —Perhaps Missy could have in London if these event were added?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Michael Phelps on water conservation...

"Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting." — Mark Twain

At least somebody is talking about this. Right now China, India and Pakistan may go to war over a river called the Yarlung Tsangpo due to China's desire to divert and the river and dam it which would ostensibly cut off both India and Pakistan.

I could go on, water is that politically volatile.  The site is amazing and I hope the campaign wins  a Cleo award.

From WTOP in Baltimore: 
"WASHINGTON — Olympic gold medalist and Baltimore native Michael Phelps knows his way around water, and he’s helping Colgate get out the word to stop wasting it.

For the second year in a row, Phelps has signed on as Colgate’s global ambassador for its water conservation campaign aimed at encouraging people to turn off the faucet.

Colgate says 42 percent of Americans leave the water running while they brush their teeth and it has a number of initiatives to get us all to stop doing that. ..." 

James Ian McGlothlin, 41 — A swim instructor and child pornography sentence to 18-years and lifetime supervision!

Another monster caught and placed in a cage. Not only a child pornographer but an abuser whose victims were infants, toddlers, and disabled children. I have no idea how human beings become this broken and this cruel but apparently complete isolation from society is the only answer thus far. What is frustrating about this is that it costs an "upper middle class" per year to warehouse these monsters and and pay no restitution. 

The article is quite lurid and reminder that custodians of our children must have custodians themselves. Much like a Fortune 500 company that has one accounting firm to do the accounting and another/others to make sure the accounting was done correctly.

 From CBS KOIN 6 in Oregon: 
James Ian McGlothlin, 41, was first arrested in February, 2016, after federal agents served a search warrant at his home where investigators found "thousands of files containing child pornography, including videos and images McGlothlin created himself," the release said. Billy J. Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, said in the release that producing child pornography is "an appalling crime." 
 “It is unthinkable that someone would prey upon infants, toddlers, and disabled children, yet that is exactly what James McGlothlin did," Williams said. "He was supposed to be safeguarding his victims, but he took advantage of them instead for his own sexual gratification.”


Postscript: We like to think that evil people have horns, froth at the mouth, yell a lot and have evil laughs. Even I wish to believe that when I see images of some political leaders. However, case in point, Hitler cried like a baby when his mom died, a sign he was NOT an unfeeling psychopath. He loved animals so much he would not eat meat. He was an artist, well mannered, and well groomed and he had clothing designer, Hugo Boss, design all the NAZI uniforms. What made him so evil is that he believed everything rounding up "...Jews, Slavs, Roma, political opponents, communists, homosexuals, Jehova Witnesses..." was totally ok and the right thing to do.

So how we defend ourselves? Perhaps solid accountability policies and gender segregation within instructional settings when it comes to teaching children, teens and the disabled?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Swim illustrations I created that look great on a smartphone

I would be most flattered if you put these on your phone, Enjoy!

The most amazing aquatics 'playground' is about to built in Copenhagen...

Titled: the "Water Culture Houseserious swimmers will have access to the open water of the Copenhagen harbor, which boasts having one of the best water quality grades in Europe, and less ambitious or younger swimmers can explore and swim through a 'castle' like structure for play.
From Deezen:

Kengo Kuma's office won a competition to design Water Culture House. It forms part of COBE's regeneration of Chistriansholm – an artificial landmass also known as Paper Island, as it was once used by the Danish press to store their reams of newsprint. 
The glazed base of the 5,000-square-metre building will afford indoor bathers panoramic views out to the harbour, while a series of tapered brick forms above will partially protect smaller pools from the elements. The building will also include a gym and facilities for sports associations.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bar opening up in Montreal with pool theme circa 1935 — An odd mix!

I don't get this at all save for the fact that swimmers generally like alcohol.
Club Pelicano is its name, and it should be opening in the next few weeks with a focus on natural wine, local beers, and bar snacks from two excellent Montreal chefs, Marcel Larrea (who spearheads the upstairs kitchen at Tiradito), and Fabrizia Rollo, of Mile End Italian counter Fabrizia
Managing partner David Schmidt tells Eater that while the history of Pelicano’s basement space is unknown, it has a distinctive lowered concrete rectangle that suggests it could have once been a swimming pool. 
“We decided that we would do an ode to the Montreal bathhouses that are turned into cultural centres.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Momma don't let your babies grow up to be Olympians!

Malcolm Gladwell: Journalist, best selling author,TED speaker stated that it takes 10,000 hours to master a subject. Many have disagreed with Gladwell's ten-thousand hour assessment. One of whom is, Josh Kaufman, another best selling author claiming that it only takes 20-hours or so to get good at most chosen subjects. The difference between mastering a subject and becoming great at it is extraordinarily minute. In fact, statistically speaking, there is not much difference at all...

Mastering a subject means you are an expert and retain complete control and produce consistent effects. Caeleb Dressel swam a 18.39 for a 50-yard free at the 2016 Southeastern Conference Championships. An amazing swim never accomplished before. With that accomplishment in mind how many Americans can swim 50-yards straight which includes a flip-turn at the wall in under a minute? Probably only 15%.

The Red Cross had this to say in a recent swim study:
"... [The Red Cross] found that while 80 percent of Americans said they could swim, only 56 percent of the self-described swimmers can perform all five of the basic skills that could save their life in the water. ..." 
These critical water safety skills, also known as “water competency” are the ability to:
  1. Step or jump into the water over your head
  2. Return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute
  3. Turn around in a full circle and find an exit; swim 25 yards to the exit
  4. Exit from the water. (If in a pool, you must be able to exit without using the ladder.)
The average triathlete who may take 45-minutes to swim a mile may be considered a "great" swimmer by the average person walking down the street. We all know that the average person at large cannot swim all four strokes, nor do a flip turn, nor swim more than one lap in a 50-meter pool without the real possibility of cramping up or drowning. Swimming all four strokes is beyond an art form to these people,  in reality it's more like a "super power" straight out of a comic book. Thus,  revel in your glory if you have ever swam an IM for time. You are an elite individual within the population but what about Olympians? What are they to us, to society and to themselves?

Here are some names, Allison Schmidt, Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte? I could name more but it would not be polite. Here we have of the greatest swimmers of their day and what they have in common is not the medals they shared or the memories of Beijing and London but rather severe depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges. Why is this?

An Olympian works full-time for perhaps a dozen years or so at just one thing so as to be the best. After suffering a gauntlet of competitions proving again and again that they are in that one-billionth percentile of excellence they receive a medal, a wreath and their name possibly craved in marble. All this accomplished without adequate compensation, appreciation and/or real love. Once their times get slower and their teammates get younger they are summarily told to go home or perhaps make a lower middle class income passing on their knowledge to another Olympic hopeful but most likely never an Olympian like themselves. 

I want to get back to how long it takes to master a subject for therein may lie the key to avoiding depression and low self esteem that many Olympians suffer. Self esteem is all about feeling how effectual one can be as a result of past contributions and accomplishments. Self esteem is earned and it is not a individual sport. It's an individual that honor, dignity, and self respect... So how does one become effectual?

Imagine during that dozen years of showing up to practices at 5:30 AM, thereby up taking up six hours or more of their day, our Olympic hopeful took three of those precious hours to master three separate subjects they could never be absolute greatest at but could at least master?

These subjects could include such endeavors such as fine art, music, comedy, writing, filmmaking, acting, journalism, dancing, all those things that involve people by touching lives and inspiring others! — How about that? 15-hours a week away from practice is 780-hours a year. In one year alone our ad hoc Olympic hopeful could master so many things in those 12-years…  Most notably numerous noncompetitive accomplishments that bring happiness and a diversified friendship base in all walks of life and probably great wealth with it.

So, I hope you liked this post. I have been gone a while an accomplished a lot but I am back blogging agsain. How about that illustration?  Gatorade did that for me. A DC artist did the artwork and they published it. Been a long time, huh?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Watch this mesmerizing timelapse of penguins swimming in their new cente...

I impressed how hydrodynamic these feathery "bowling pins" can swim. They turn so quickly seemingly without friction or care.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Notice how the USA Swimming Website never mentioned one great swim at the NCAAs?

USA Swimming is a de facto governing body monopoly. They own the sport and they own the elite athletes therein. They tell these athletes where to be (enforced charity events if you want your full pay) and what they can or can't say in front of a camera.

Worst of all they subsidize their trafficking of elite swimmers by raising an incomprehensible amount of money off the backs those families with 12-year-old little girls and boys who have no chance, or in most cases, a desire to be an Olympian.

Yeah, that's my premise, accept it or get over it.

So why no NCAA coverage? — Here it comes... ready?—There was no NCAA coverage because the NCAA is a better governing body than USA Swimming and subsequently should take complete control over  the sport of swimming. The NCAA for the most part services adults, and though not perfect, they have fewer abusive coaches, far fewer rapes, they don't have a secretive insurance company sequestered in the Caymans, (like USA Swimming did) and far less money grubbing.

The NCAA should be the sports governing body, period. The NCAA could offer scholarships to young kids at nationals, be more race inclusive and be far more benevolent than USA Swimming ever has.

Remember when USA Swimming hired lobbyist to protect the Catholic church and themselves form pedophile lawsuits.  Yeah, that's why the NCAA should select Olympians.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Full body techsuits are making their way into other aquatic sports leaving traditional competition wear behind

Though FINA disqualified techsuits from swim competitions the technology is finding it's way into several aquatic sports at large. Slip Ins is a swimwear company that has taken the techsuit and adapted to to surfing, paddle boarding, pool swimming and yoga.

When I was racing in a TYR Tracer Light techsuit the material composition was 70/30 Nylon-Lycra, Slipins are 82/18 suggesting they may even be more hydrophobic and faster than the TYR Tracer Light was....

God, I miss that suit. It's a shame that FINA is not as evolved as the marketplace and refuses to acknowledge that techsuits provide protection, speed and comfort.

Slip Ins are amazingly affordable when you compare what we were paying for techsuits. I was spending between $250 and $500 each (I use to wear Blueseventy and TYR Tracers) but prices for Slip Ins sell for: $75 -$150.

I encourage masters swimmers with sensitive skin who swim outdoors at the beach or the pool to consider wearing Slip Ins. Same goes for winter evenings so as to stay warm.

From the Slip Ins press release:

"...Slip Ins were born in the heart of the surfing and exercise mecca of Southern California. and make you feel beautiful and fabulous when joining in life’s adventures.
Choose from many brightly colored, sensuously soft styles designed for active, fun lifestyles. Full- and short-size SurfSkins, DiveSkins and SurfSkin Minis are the best body-fitting suits for getting in and out of wetsuits easier whether surfing, paddle boarding or scuba diving. SlipIns can also be worn on their own.

Slip into the soft, silky SAND PANT for heading out into a warm, gentle summer night. The palazzo-style pants flow beautifully around the legs without wrinkling and are very comfortable for heading out sightseeing, relaxing poolside, dining and dancing the night away, or even falling sleep in them!

Slip Ins feel luxurious and come with lots of benefits [most notably] "...Protects against sun-baking with a 60+ SPF rating ..."
Wake-up FINA and embrace speed, comfort and cancer prevention.

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