Sunday, July 31, 2011

Late Night Snack: Wait, there's more!!!

Yes swim fans, just when you thought it was safe to return to your job, your family and your friends remember Nats start on Tuesday!  That's right folks, your National Team will stumble into the Avery Aquatic Center in Stanford jet-lagged, disoriented and exhausted.  I expect Ryan Lochte to sit his ass down, open a huge bag of In n Out, crack open a case of Bud and order Coach Troy to scratch everything.  At least Coughlin and Phelps had the wherewithal to just go home.  Our very own Chris DeSantis will also be on scene without the distraction of Team Denmark.

Here's the psych sheet:

The Viking takes a break and the whole world of swimming falls apart...

Michael's painful secret is out... his ass has dyslexia.

Dang, guys... the Viking gets too busy to blog for a week or two and everything seems to go crazy. (I haven't had time to even follow world championship results for that matter-- yes, feel sorry for me.) A partial list of what I found when trying to catch up on some of the old news I missed?: Mark Schubert got hired at a juco, they announced they are thinking about bringing body suits back in 2013, they let Cielo swim and he cried and pee'd everywhere all the time (you know, because that is what furosemide makes you do,) Chris DFLSantis made a crazy call about Dale Oen winning the breast and was actually right, more breaststrokers were caught on video cheating with dolphin kicks again, open water swimmers were withdrawing from their races, and now Phelps is swimming for Australia.

What?... Phelps is changing his citizenship?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shanghai Day 7: Don't Cry For Me

Well, I guess there was no avoiding it. After the top swimmer in the 50 free from 2010 (Fred Bousquet) missed out on the final we all knew where we were headed. Most notably, Nathan Adrian was far off where he was in Irvine. Cielo won handily, then shocked the onlooking crowd by quickly drawing a syringe and plunging it into his left bicep with a primal scream. I made up one of the two statements in the last sentence. Let's look at the rest of day 7 finals:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Is it time to start officially calling them "Textile World Records?"

Ryan deserves more credit for this one than he is gonna get.

After watching the replay of Ryan Lochte absolutely destroying the textile world best in the 200 back, I am a little saddened that we haven’t done anything official to recognize those achievements other than saying “while it is not a world record… it is a textile best.”  Just listen to the commentators.  It sounds like a let-down when they justify that the record he was chasing was "really fast."

He took it from a 1:54.0 to a 1:52.9. Before the days of tech suits we would have had our minds blown by that swim. It should be remembered in the same way that Mary T. Meagher was for being the first under 59 in the fly but skipping the 58’s completely in the process by hammering out a 57.93.  If not for the tech years, our world record progression might never have listed a 1:53! Instead of being a dominating swim that changed the face of backstroke forever, it is really something we could pass off as a “pretty good try” in comparison to the 200 IM, a swim where he has his rival Michael Phelps within a tenth of a second of him. Yes, it was a true world record, but it was not nearly the dominant performance that the backstroke was. Lochte owned that 200 back. He is in completely uncharted territory with that swim, except… oh yeah, it’s not a world record.

Shanghai Day 6: Another Great Day For Denmark

In other breaking news, Jeannette Ottesen is both TALL and BLOND. More to follow
Don't like overly patriotic Danish swimming coverage? Then go to another blog. The lead story for me in this morning/night final was Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark finishing in a tie for first in the women's 100 free. This makes two (!!!!) freestyle events where the Kingdom of Denmark is now faster than the United States with a third possible, despite the US's 60:1 population advantage and countless other resources. Here are my other thoughts from tonight's finals:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Live Pre-Meet Show 8:30 EST!

We'll be live from 8:30-9. Afterwards check back for a recording of what we discussed!


Swimgating Shanghai: Day 6

Before I say anything else- thank you for all those who joined Braden Keith AND THE ONE AND ONLY GARRETT MCCAFFREY and I yesterday for a live pre-meet show. We will be doing the same tonight at 8:30 pm et and we will commentate LIVE over finals at 6 am et on Friday.

I've now played this swimgating theme out far enough that I feel fairly ridiculous, almost like I am Brian Fantana trying to bring extra gravitas to a news story about a panda:

PANDA WATCH. Let's talk about Day 6 prelims:

Just Keep Swimming

I have made it very clear I'm not a technocrat when it comes to swimming but what I saw this morning, alone in my kitchen with nothing but the light from my laptop and the life-saving grace of my coffee was magnificent.

The Great, The Good, The Ugly: Day 5


Men's 200IM: I think Mr. Markus Rogan (@mahrqoos) summed up perfectly the men's 200IM with his tweet earlier today: "Competing with Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte is a bit like being a random third nation during the cold war. You're there, but that's it." I wrote my blog on USA Swimming's website earlier that every single swim fan in the world should mark their calendars for The Rematch on August 2nd, 2012. Because next summer, we could witness the biggest, most-hyped, and epicesterestnessfully AWESOME race in the history of Olympic swimming. Ryan Lochte is, now, the world's fastest swimmer ever -- shiny suits or not. He sliced one tenth off his 2009 WR and beat Michael in the process. Not that Michael has been training consistently. Which sets us up for next summer --- I hope NBC Sports Executives are licking their chops, because they just got a big juicy marketing steak literally handed to them.

Shanghai Day 5: Living up To Expectations

Nope, I'm not going with a picture of Phelps or Lochte here. Guess who?
If you thought the 200 free was a great race, I would guess you loved last night. The showdown between Phelps and Lochte in the 200 IM had chills going down my spine the entire way. It gave us our first World Record of the meet, which is also exciting, I guess. Remember what those felt like? Here's what else happened on night five:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pre-Meet Show and More!

Click on the box below to check in live at 8:30 ET:

Streaming Live by Ustream

Swimgating Shanghai: Day 5

I feel roughly like the individual in the blue following this meet right now. 
First of all, I want to repeat an announcement Yesterday, with relatively little fanfare or promotion, we debuted a live stream of commentary over the night preliminary session of the World Championship. All 14 people who listened thoroughly enjoyed it. Having worked out most of the technical issues, we are returning tonight at 8:30 Eastern Standard time for a pre-meet show. Braden Keith of will join me. When the action starts, Garrett McCaffrey and/or Justin Bieber will come on as well and we will discuss both the ongoing preliminaries and analyze all the angles of the upcoming finals. Biebs is a huge swimming fan if you didn't know. The livestream will be available both here and at The Swimmer's Circle. Now, onto your non-audio guide for the upcoming racing:

Breaking: LIVE audio webcast TONIGHT with The Swimmers' Circle!

It's true. Tonight at 8:30pm EST, our very own Chris Desantis will host a LIVE audio streaming webcast to "Pregame/Tailgate" the World Championships. He will be talking with another swim blog, The Swimmers' Circle, and they should have a lot of great things to say.

You can catch the live webcast here on this website. There is rumors of another "special guest" and it MAY or MAY NOT be Eminem. I don't want to ruin any surprises, but you shouldn't miss the webcast. It should be a lot more entertaining than Chris and Gus talking this morning about making coffee and how tired Gus is because he has a 25lb cat who sits on his head to wake him up at 4:45am every single morning and slowly ruins his life because he is never happy and always meowing and just wants love and attention and never-ending support and won't leave him alone.......

But I digress. Turn in tonight, swim fans, and rejoice!

View From the Stands: Day Four Ramblings From a Sleep Deprived Fan

Michael Phelps wins the Men's 200 Fly Last Night in Shanghai

Is anyone surprised?  I'm not.  Michael wasn't going to lose this race in an international competition.  In winning it Braden Keith points out this makes Phelps the swimmer with the most World Championships in any one race (5.)  No doggie paddling here.  Phelps wins gold and so the stars realign.  Volcanoes stop erupting, plate techtonics stop shifting, ph balances stabalize.

Phelps and Lochte will meet again for the Men's 200 IM final.  They haven't raced each other in this event since Nats last year when Lochte won.  Phelps didn't swim it at the last WC in '09 when Ryan broke the world record.  At the time, all the cameras pointed to Phelps in the stands who a good friend and sportsman and cheered him on but you know what he was thinking......

Grades: Day Four

Day Four is in the books. As always, we here at the Swim Brief break down the Grades, this time organizing them into the day's Great, Good, and Ugly. 

Shanghai Day 4: Phelps Is Ok, Pellegrini Shines

Michael Phelps won the 200 fly, ok? He's still pretty good at that event, in fact he's now never lost it at a World Championship meet where he's actually swam it. That's extremely impressive but also a reminder of the herculean standard that he always has to live up to. If he wins we all shrug our shoulders. If he loses we all go to Defcon 5. Here are my other highlights from Day 4 finals in Shanghai:

Finals Live Audio Stream

Streaming Live by Ustream

Nighttime Snack: It's Pal Joensen Time

Lest there be any doubt about who I am rooting for in the men's 800, let me state it now: Pal Joensen. If you're new to my blog, then you may not know the history I have with Pal. I probably shouldn't state it like that, because I've never had a direct conversation with him. It's more appropriate to say I have a history of writing about Pal. I hope to someday interview him (in Danish, of course). If you haven't heard this amazing story, let me give you a quick catch up.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Livestream Audio for World Championships

Hey folks, I decided instead of complaining about the quality of commentators Universal Sports was providing, I would just offer my own commentary with my old friend Garrett McCaffrey for tonight's prelims. Click the link to join in live and mute your video stream of the meet!

Streaming Live by Ustream

Swimgating 2011: Day 4

And you thought air pollution was a problem in Beijing.

Welcome to Day 4 of our running guide to read while having a few soda pops prior to watching night prelims night on your computer. Hold on, let me pop in some mood music first. Ah, there we go. NIGHT SWIMMMMMMMMMMMING....DESERVES A QUIET NIGHT. Bet you never heard that one before.

Day 3 World Grades!

We get it, Lochte should have been on the relay. Now MOVE ON!
As day 3 got rolling with a breathaking Ryan Lochte 200 free victory, I couldn't help but think back to the meet's beginning. I know I've already pointed it out, but Lochte definitely should have been on that 4x100 relay. Yes, I understand the process they used where he had a fair shot in prelims vs Walters, Weber-Gale and Robison. I just don't think it should have come to that. Lochte is a money swimmer- you put him in the big races. Alas, let's get on to the Day 3 Grades:

View From the Stands: Lochte Beats Phelps and Phelps Still Beats Biedermann

Americans Lochte and Phelps go 1-2 in the Men's 200 Free.  Swimgasm 

Well, it looks like someone read my blog while warming up head-bobbing to Weezy in the ready room.  While some here at Swim Brief were having a solo swimgasm over the Danes and the Chinese the rest of us were having a collective, sustained swimgasm over the Men's 200 Free.

Shanghai Night Three: Lochte Wins, Danmark over alle!

This pretty much sums up my feelings about Day 3 Finals
Let's start with the most important race first. She led from the opening gun, never looking back or letting her competitors smell victory. Lotte Friis pulled in gold for Denmark- the first of many (ok, maybe not quite). Don't you agree that was the most important race? Men's 200 free? Oh yeah, Lochte won. BORING. Let's run down some other highlights from night three:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Swimgating 2011: Day 3


Welcome back to your guide to this night's (Shanghai morning) preliminary session. Thing should be a breeze tonight, much to the relief of US fans that are staying up to watch and then quickly sneaking in a good night's sleep before the meet starts up again. I would also like to give you the update that we have totally canned that drug lover Mike Gustafson for all the mean things he said about Dunford. Shame on you Gus! On too what to watch for tonight:

View From the Stands: Swimgasm

                              Greased up and ready to go:  Swimgasm 

Swimgasm:  From the Greek term, "Holy ****."  The peak phase of swimfandom causing an intense sensation of pleasure that creates changes in brainwave patterns in the brain's limbic region, involuntary muscle contractions and metabolic changes in the swimfan.  (Actually, I think Gustafson said it first unless he stole it from someone.)

Fans, tomorrow at 6am EST we will have our first collective group swimgasm of this 2011 FINA World Championships.  Michael Fred Phelps and Ryan Steven Lochte in the men's 200 free.  The Baltimore Bullet vs. Reezy.  The golfer vs. the surfer.  The World's Greatest vs. The Little Train That Could.  For years Ryan Lochte has swam behind Michael Phelps.....that is until Nationals last year.  I was there.  In the shining California sun I forgot about my sore ass for 2 minutes and let my Coffee Bean Iced Blended melt as I watched Ryan pull away from Michael during the breast of the 200 IM.  The place went nuts and I think that was the moment Ryan Lochte fired the warning shot and shouted out loud, "NO MORE!" His showing at Pan Pacs was another warning shot and tomorrow morning is the first offense in the battle before the full-on assault in London next year.  Swimgasm.

For the swimfan, it doesn't get any better than this.  I'm old enough to remember when Spitz won his 7 gold medals.  It was exciting and historic.  My grandmother couldn't believe a nice Jewish boy could swim that fast.  This is the era of Michael Phelps, the greatest swimmer of all time, and one of the greatest athletes of any sport ever.  We are a part of it and it's a privilege.  I'm excited he's still swimming.  If it was me after '08 I would have taken my millions and retired to my waterfront condo with the hot tub and the hotties to never be seen or heard from again.  Okay, so he hasn't been the most dedicated of all swimmers and maybe it'll matter and maybe it won't.  I can still see him coming off the wall in the last turn and winning every event  he's entered in this week.  Swimgasm.

But I do think this is Lochte's time.  The keg-throwing, the Gatorade ads, the banana hammocks, the Martian shoes, the multiple injuries, the closet full of silver medals, all of it....the entire story culminates tomorrow morning with the 200 free.  Phelps proving it's not over and Lochte proving it's just the beginning.  Swimgasm.

Day Two Worlds Grades!

Day Two is in the books at the 2011 FINA World Championships, and we’ve seen some thrilling, nail-biting races. But what’s the bigger picture? Where do we stand, what do we need from Team USA, and where does this leave us heading into London 2012? We’ll grade the performers, performances, and major stories that we’ve seen through two days.

Missy Franklin: A++. The 16-year-old passed her first major international test with flying colors, swimming in the women’s 4x100 freestyle relay with a sizzling 52.99. Coming into the meet, I wrote that this meet was the most important meet for Team USA’s “Next Generation” to step up. Missy Franklin has done just that. With one relay performance, she showed poise, desire, talent, and – afterwards in the interviews – humbleness. She’s giving the women’s team the perfect “youthful spark” that they need, something that the men’s team could use in 2012.

5 Questions: Day Two

1. What's up with the "thumbs down"? According to TheSwimmersCircle Kenyan swimmer Jason Dunford gave Cielo a "thumbs-down" post-50m fly, presumably because he's upset with the decision to allow Cielo to compete after an alleged contaminated supplement. Though this could be for other reasons, I'm just not a fan of poor sportsmanship in general. That's all. Moving on.

2. Will Kukors be the hardest-finishing swimmer of all time next summer? Yes.

Shanghai Night Two: Rating the Teams

"Let's celebrate with wine after the final! Beer is for losers"
Just two days into this meet, it is very clear that some teams are swimming better than others. As I look at the final results on day 2, I was looking in particular for what teams are building confidence with swim after swim. Here are the teams lighting it up early on:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Swimgating 2011: Day 2

An exuberant Australian fan tailgates in Melbourne
Cheer up America! I know, we didn't win either of the relays on the first night. If you are a aggressively patriotic, I recommend not going to Aussie swim blog "Behind The Blocks" to read about night one. You've been warned. Let's move on and start talking about all the fun stuff that can happen during the second day of preliminaries in Shanghai.

View from the Stands: World Championships Day One

       Hi.  I'm a swim fan and I'm watching World Championships live from China!
From a fan's perspective it was an interesting first day at FINA World Championships.  The excitement and adrenaline from the prospect of this thing finally starting almost threw me into a manic episode as my children were settling into bed last night.  It took everything in my Mother's Arsenal not to throw them a bag of Doritos and lull them to sleep with the sweet sounds of Taylor Swift's new song (which I don't know about you but makes me want to just off myself.)

They went to sleep and I quickly ghetto-rigged my laptop to my t.v.  It's actually a quite impressive tangle of cables and for someone that can barely work the GPS in the car I'm pretty damn impressed with myself.  I have to admit, watching prelims during prime time is a let-down, I think.  I really appreciate Dick Ebersol making the athletes swim their finals at 7 in the morning during the Beijing Olympics.  These time zones are going to kill me.  In fact, I want FINA to listen up and stop worrying about open water safety (oh wait....nevermind.....) and worry about holding world championships in time zones that work for me.    Enough with the middle east and asia, I put my foot down at EST. 

Announcers, can we stop calling the women "girls?"  I hate to get all bra-burning and Gloria Steinem here but it's straight up condescending.  All those women can kick almost all your asses so have some respect.  We don't call the men "boys."  You gonna call Abby Wambach a "girl?"  No, you're not.  She'll head-butt you from here to the moon so don't call Vollmer one either.  

I'm going to let the experts coffee talk about what happened this morning, especially in the boys  men's 4x100 free relay (Ryan Lochte in the final?  Discuss.)  Garrett's quote after the race broke my heart.  I don't think it was his "fault" and I just want to fly to China and give him a big Jewish Mother hug and a nice loving and rejuvenating bowl of matzah ball soup.  

So with a huge amount of hope, excitement and a sprinkling of OCD- tinged obsession fans will stay up late and wake up early for the next week or so.  We'll all be completely sleep-deprived, our immune systems will crash and our white blood cell count will shoot through the roof.  Maybe we'll all get pneumonia and become better-than-ever versions of ourselves.  Now everyone,  go take a nap.  

5 Questions: Day One

As we peer into the double rainbow of Team USA's performance on Day One of the 2011 World Championships, we ask ourselves, "What does it meeeaaaannn?" This is, arguably, the most important swim meet in the past three years, as it definitely shapes minds and sponsorships leading into the all-important year of 2012. Here's the breakdown:

1.) You're Getting Older, Men's USA Roster. (Yes, I Stole This Title From A South Park Episode). While we watched teenage phenom Missy Franklin blaze out a lightning-fast 52.99 --- the only "non-professional" swimmer on both men's and women's finals relays and yet having the best split among them -- we watched the men take third place. While you can debate what this means, about leadership, about desire.... quite simply scan the men's roster. There's only one teenager on the entire roster, and that is an open water swimmer. While the women's side looks to be in good shape with Sutton, Franklin, Beisel, and Pelton, the men's side has literally no teenagers who are gaining experience here. Back home, I can only wonder what superstar-in-the-making David Nolan is thinking. It seems like Franklin has given a spark for the women, and that spark is youth + speed + desire. When Phelps and this current generation of mid-20-something swimmers retire after the 2012 Olympics, we're going to see a whole wave of next-generation male swimmers with little or no international experience. Should be interesting. 

Shanghai Night One: Australian Shocker; No Lochte?

I can't decide which is more unbelievable: the fact that I just watched Australia win the 4x100 freestyle relay, or the fact that the US got third (!!!!) behind France and didn't use Ryan Lochte on the relay. Being a coach myself I've tried not to second guess too many coaching decisions in this space but not putting the world's best swimmer on your 4x100 relay needs some explanation. I understand he wasn't great in prelims (in fact he was slower than not only Weber-Gale but also Walters). But still, I can't help but think the result might have been a little different with Lochte in the mix.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nighttime Snack: Staying Up To Watch Prelims

P.S Watchmen totally sucked

This post goes out to all the swim nerd night owls, who like me are braving the later hours of the night to follow the biggest swim meet of the year online. I kinda relish meets that take place 12 hours ahead. You wait all day for prelims, but then you can go to sleep for the entire time between sessions. What a treat! I am stopping at a random point in my following to give some thoughts on the first prelim session:

Swim Brief Classic: Are You Feeling Me?

Ya know that feeling?…

That feeling you get when you just did something amazing at a swim meet? A lot of you know what I am talking about, I‘m sure.

Last Minute Shanghai

This is not the pool. In case you were wondering
Ok folks, we're finally here. Although technically the meet doesn't start to tomorrow, prelims will actually be beginning at 9pm US eastern standard time tonight. I know what you're thinking- how rude of the Chinese not to schedule the meet around our prime time broadcast schedule again like in 2008. Everybody knows the best racing conditions for finals are first thing in the morning!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Nighttime Snack: This Week in Swim Brief

Drama! It's World Championship Time!

Swim fans rejoice.  The 2011 FINA World Championships is upon us.  It has been 2 years since a major international long course competition where the whole world is invited and the entire planet gets together in a chlorine induced orgy of pool madness.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nighttime Snack: Deep Breaths

Good evening Swim Briefers. I wanted to update you on guest blogger Tom Duke. He has been recaptured by the London Police and is currently in protective custody. I will update you as I find out more. No word on the status of his caps lock. I think if there's one thing we learned today, its that is time for the damn meet to start already. We're all getting a bit emotional waiting for things to start. Here are a few suggestions to help remain calm on Friday and Saturday:


The following is a Guest Blog from Tom Duke. Earlier today he broke free from the psychiatric ward at London General Hospital. As usual, The Swim Brief editors are totally not responsible for anything he says. For full bios of all our resident guest bloggers, click here.





Cielo Swims On, And Other Shanghai Stories

CAS did, however, rule that in the future his dress clothes could only extend from the hip to the knee. No word on chest coverage
Well, the meet hasn't even started yet and already one of my fearless predictions is wrong. CAS ruled yesterday to uphold just the warning in Cielo's case and he will be clear to compete at the World Championships as they begin in three days. Ordinarily, guest blogger Tom Duke would be here with a reaction but he is currently under 24/7 psychiatric supervision following the decision. The Cielo decision is getting my meet juices flowing just a little bit early for this competition. Here are a couple of other things I'll be watching for on day one

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nighttime Snack: The Missing Picks

So after last summers DFL finish in picking top 3 for Pan Pacs in Irvine, I resolved to do better. It was a wake up call for how much I had slipped as a student of international swimming. My brain made room for hundreds of 16-17 year old swimmers that I otherwise might not have cared about except they determine my fate. It kicked out some international results. This summer, I resolved to do my homework and be better. It was all going well until I wrapped up picking events and completely skipped the IMs. Whoops. Let's fix that.

Swim Wars: The Return of the Schubert

It's been quite a year for Mark Schubert. Just under a year ago, he was put on 60 day paid leave of absence from his job as US National Team Director. Rumors flew until finally it was revealed that Schubert had been canned from his position by Executive Director Chuck Wielgus. What followed was a bizarre press conference where Schubert came dressed in a USA Swimming shirt and seemed genuinely surprised by the whole thing. Finally a, petition to have him reinstated gained some traction online but ultimately yielded no results. Schubert appeared to have hit rock bottom.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nighttime Snack: Final Men's Predictions

First of all, I realized that in my meet induced  blur over the weekend I totally blanked on picking people women for the IM races in Shanghai. I will rectify this tomorrow night along with my men's IM choices. As for tonight, sit back as I regale you with flawless breaststroke and relay predictions. Or seethe in anger at my idiocy. There is no middle ground.

Recruiting Do's and Don'ts

Over the weekend, I attended the Southern Sectional meet in Athens, GA. My primary purpose for being there were the swimmers I had competing in the meet. I was also their to recruit. Earlier this month, the recruiting season opened fully for students graduating in 2012. July 1st was the first date these prospects could receive phone calls and have coaches talk to them at practice or at meets. In talking with other college coaches at the meet, we all agreed on one thing- there isn't nearly enough education of these prospects. So I'm going to use this blog to give a few of my own suggestions to swimmers looking to continue on in college.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Nighttime Snack: Fearless Shanghai

With World Championships just a week away, I wanted to make sure I got in one more fearless prediction before the meet starts. This one may be even less controversial than my last one. With his CAS hearing just two days away, I feel confident predicting what will come of Cesar Cielo in this meet.

Shanghai: Real Predictions (Men Part 2)

This is part 2 of my Men's predictions for the coming World Championships in Shanghai. Click here for part 1.

I will beat Peirsol not only in time but in beauty of hair

I am making these picks after spending far too long on a pool deck in Athens in super social mode. Basically I'm making this excuse right away- I may completely lose my mind over the course of writing this and pick Denis Pankratov to win the 200 fly because I'm convinced it's still 1996. So, in advance, forgive me. As we did with the women, we are saving the best (breaststroke and relays) for last. Here are the inferior strokes:

Mom or Dad? If you were an Olympic Swimmer Who Would You Choose?

Last month the blogosphere was buzzing with news and opinions about the London Olympics.  The big story was how most people who applied, no matter where they lived, were not able to access tickets to any events . The British press was especially vocal about the "failure of the system" to allocate tickets properly.  It was done by lottery, which I think was the fairest way to do it.  Demand was extraordinarily high.  CoSport in Australia said they received 9,129 requests for swimming and that's just freakin' Australia.

In perusing through all the bitching I came across another angle to the story which seemed pretty important.  It seemed due to the overwhelming demand for swimming tickets both the UK and Australian Olympic Committees were allocating one ticket per event per swimmer.  All other athletes were allocated 2 tickets per event per athlete.  A grandfather of one of the British swimmers was outraged and called for the public to contact The Royal Important People of the Olympic Thing of Great Britain and complain.

In Australia, things weren't fairing any better.  Stephanie Rice's mother didn't receive tickets through the lottery.  Her father received 2.  Stephanie Rice was quoted as saying, "I cannot believe that people who are on the journey with you are being snubbed.  I thought 2 tickets each for Beijing was pushing the limits but 1 is just outrageous."  Stephanie's mother said she couldn't afford the only other option which was to purchase deluxe packages  through CoSport which cost $20,000 AU.

In the UK the issue was quickly resolved and British swimmers were allocated 2 tickets.  I was unable to find out if it was resolved in Australia, too.  I also couldn't find information about how many tickets American swimmers will receive but I'm assuming it's 2 as well.  All's that left in the US through CoSport are the deluxe packages.  For $20,000 US I don't know what you get but I assume it's tickets, accommodations, your own fiefdom, lap dances from Pippa and/or Harry...I don't really know.

So here's the question.  Should seating be reserved for families?  My nephew just graduated high school and he got 6 tickets and even that was tough.  Some athletes may have to choose just mom or dad.  We've all watched the Bob Costas "up close and personal" stories during the Olympics.  Everyone makes tremendous sacrifices.  So should they get a seat?  Or like I tell my kids, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit."  You guys already know I'll be on my couch watching 24/7 coverage while eating Subway and power chugging G2s.  If Debbie Phelps wants to join me she's more than welcome.  I've got seats.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Late Night Snack: Swimoutlet is here to brighten up the deck!

I was looking online for my daughters for some new suits since theirs got eaten up at the water park by all the urine chlorine.  I was on one of my favorite sites for all things swimming, Swimoutlet, and found these suits.  They don't come in kids sizes (and I'm not sure it would be appropriate if they did) but I appreciate the humor.  Some of my favorites:
                                                The Bob Bowman Special

Anyone remember Wonder Woman?

For that special medal ceremony

A new twist on Lochte's pink Speedo

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Shanghai: Real Predictions (Men Part 1)

Cielo feels our pain about having to pick him.

Oh Cesar, what are we going to do with you. We all like you in the sprint events, but you've got this positive drug test and the resulting non-action by Brazil hanging over you. With a July 20th CAS (Court for Arbitration of Sport) date looming, we all basically have to pick a top three with you swimming and with you not. How annoying. Lets get started:

Friday, July 15, 2011

That's An Olympic Gold Medalist

The mood was a little different than your typical sectional meet. I wouldn't call it electric- the place was pretty quiet. But all across the pool coaches and swimmer were whispering to each other. They wanted to know what they were going to get from Laure.

Shanghai: Real Predictions (Women Part 1)

This is part 3 of my Women's predictions for the coming World Championships in Shanghai. Click here for part 1. Click here for part 2.

Alright, let's wrap this up, shall we? I waited to make these picks last because they are the hardest for me. I'm sorry: butterfly, freestyle and backstroke. Breaststroke is my favorite child I might as well admit it. It also makes it the hardest for me to distance myself from and be objective. The relays are also somewhat more volatile on the women's side than the men in my opinion. Let's get to breaststroke first:

Laure Manadou is At My Sectional

Laure was really excited to see Chris DeSantis at her sectional.

So I'm standing at warm up for the Southern Sectional when I notice a woman warming up. She looks familiar and out of place at the same time. Then I realize: that's Laure Manadou!

Laure is launching a relatively low key comeback at this meet. It feels strange to see her here because a part of me still feels like she should be getting ready for Shanghai in two weeks.

I wrangled Brett Hawke for a few minutes during warmup to pump him for information. He is trying to manage expectations. It is the challenge of elite coaching. On the one hand you are privileged to coach some of the most talented swimmers in the world. On the other hand you have enormous pressure to produce outstanding results.

Laure swam the 50 yesterday and took second. The 50 wasn't exactly a huge part of her repertoire when she was on top of the world. Today's 200 free and 100 back should be a much better indicator of where she is. It feels weird to call her an underdog but she is and that means I'm cheering for her.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Late Night Snack: Josh Davis in a Movie?

Hey kids, you can pursue excellence in life, even if your mom makes you wear a ridiculous hat and sweater vest like this.

Josh Davis is one of the most accomplished swimmers in history and in my opinion he may be our sport's greatest ambassador.  He is a real class act.  If you have never attended one of his Mutual of Omaha Breakout! Swim Clinics, you are missing out.  He is incredibly inspirational and after hearing him deliver his message to a large group of kids you will be left with no question about why he was chosen to be the captain of the 2000 American Olympic Squad in Sydney.

Even though he is the 39 year old father of five children, travels four days a week giving clinics and speeches, and is actually giving it another shot at picking up a trial cut in the 50 for 2012, Josh is not too busy to take on a new project.  He is now officially an actor.

Shanghai: Real Predictions (Women Part 2)

This is part 2 of my Women's predictions for the coming World Championships in Shanghai. Click here for part 1.

In these picks, I am going to cover the women's backstroke and butterfly. I am saving the best- breaststroke and relays, for last. Lets get right to it:

Shanghai: Real Predictions (Women Part 1)

Will I pick Gao Chang? You'll have to scroll down to find out
So far, I've only ventured so far as to make some predictions via our nighttime snack. I've been holding off on making real predictions for two reasons.  I don't want to predict too far out and have some last minute injury or illness ruin my plan. I also needed some time to catch up on the swim geeks since my mind is currently housing as many 16-17 year old rising seniors as it possibly can. Today, I'll start with the women's freestyle:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Manly Manual: How To Shave Your Hairy Gross Legs

The overarching question when I was in high school was, “Do you really shave your legs?” The only way to respond to this are, “Don’t you?” or “Wanna touch and find out?” But for many years, while feigning confidence and entering things like “Best Legs Competitions” at high school talent shows, being a male with no body hair was a difficult and trying experience. Which is why male swimmers tend to be the craziest, psychotic, most confident group of athletes in school. They have to do things no other male has to do during the awkward and insecure "growing years": shaving heads, legs, body, Speedos, etc..

But it takes a while to gain that confidence. And when you shave your legs for the first time, it's tough. No doubt about it. When I grew up – like many readers of this blog – there was no Google. There was no Internet. There were no blogs, and certainly there were no swimming blogs. The first time I shaved my legs, it was a crash-course, one that ended with a sliced calf, three bloody towels, and utter, wild confusion.

Which is why I’ve created The Manly Manual: How To Shave Your Hairy Gross Legs.

NOTE: This manual will be a free-running manual, which means I’ll edit in good comments or changes or points from commentators. The goal here is to provide 14-year-old boys who have never shaved anything before with some solid, proper instruction.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Late Night Snack: The Adolph Kiefer Comic

Believe it or not, at the Berlin Games in '36 Adolph Kiefer might have been more famous to Germans and Americans than David Hasselhoff
I once joked with my girls high school team that some day I might be considered amazing enough to have an action figure of me made.  (If we ever get off our lazy butts and try to monetize this site it is gonna happen.  You know you want a Chris DeSantis action figure.)  My girls felt sorry for me and my sad delusions and actually put a cape on a Ken doll and cut out a picture of my face to glue to it.  Sweet gesture, I guess...

Anyway, my other fantasy is to have a comic book made of me, so you can imagine how jealous I was when I happened upon the Adolph Kiefer comic on-line.  Comic book history fascinates me as much as swimming history, so I double drooled over this golden age gem telling the story of one of the most iconic Olympic gold backstrokers in history.

Braden Keith Loves Chinese Backstrokers

Mmmmmm...Gao Chang with whipped cream

I seriously can't believe what I just read. I went over to The Swimmers Circle to do my usual trolling for something to link to here for the afternoon. What do I find but Braden Keith's World Championship predictions?  I'll save you the time of reading the entire post. He picks the Chinese to sweep gold in women's backstroke. He's also been spending the last year mocking me for picking Gao Chang last year in the 100 back. As you might imagine, everyone has their opinion

Lisa's Water Park Ramblings

I just spent 3 days at the world's largest water park.  I'm not exaggerating, it's the world's largest water park at 500,000 square feet.  I went down 4,432 slides, jumped waves in the wave pool like I was Kelly Slater,  had 6.3 million gallons of water splashed, sprayed and dumped on me. I don't even remember "The Hurricane" which shot me into a funnel with the same force  it takes to launch the space shuttle and then spun me around the edge in nothing more than an inner tube while my bowels contracted and exploded.  I spent 3 days with thousands of strangers wearing basically nothing.  I saw things bouncing and dangling...I can't close my eyes to sleep... and from it all I give you the following:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Nighttime Snack: Fearless Shanghai

I will drink the entire ocean just like Thor did for the Ice Kings!

After my first fearless Shanghai prediction was roundly mocked by a bunch of nerds with protractors (Braden Keith and David Reider), you might have thought I would call it quits. Well not only will I continue on but I will also continue to use dead horse nerd analogies that haven't made sense for roughly 25 years. I just don't care. Today's fearless prediction: Alexander Dale Oen is winning the 100 breast.

It's a Good Thing Chuck Wielgus Doesn't Read Blogs

Earlier this summer, I criticized for teasing pieces of information that they didn't have. I was tired of hearing about two things in particular: a sealeddeposition from Chuck Wielgus and a purported letter of recommendation from John Leonard for George Gibney to enter the United States. Well, today, the site has what it says is the sealed deposition from Wielgus. As usual, I will summarize the most crucial parts for those of you who do not want to power skim through 40 pages.

Nighttime Snack: Paralyzed Cat Goes Swimming

This is not the cat that swam. This is another cat
I'm a cat man. And I'm a swim fan. Put them together and this story is tailored just for me.

For the animal lovers out there: Check out this story about a somewhat-paralyzed cat going through swimming therapy to help his nerve damaged front legs recover. Poor little guy. Seems like the little kitten was hit by a car.

One more positive aspect of swimming: if you have a paralyzed cat, put him in a pool and let him swim!