Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More GHJ Please (And No More Dave and Gary)

In case you haven't noticed by my semi-frequent hyperlinking, I'm a big fan of Swimswam. It's probably the coolest swimming website to be created in recent memory. It's got great content and great perspective. It's not perfect, of course, but what is. Lately, I can't help but notice that one part of the site is going completely underdeveloped while another mostly just takes up space. I'm talking about Gary Hall Jr, specifically and in both cases. So consider this as an open letter to the all powerful gods of Swimswam: please make a change.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me Anthony Ervin Was in Battleship?

Seriously, no one told me??
(Warning: the following article may or may not contain fictional information about Liam Neeson's swimming career and/or Anthony Ervin's acting career)

It's been a while since we've had a post here at Swimbrief. I'm coming off my yearly trip to the motherland (Denmark) so I've been a bit off my game. But lest I bury the lead, let me say this: on my flight home from Denmark, I had plenty of time to catch up on bad movies that I had deftly avoided paying money for in the theaters. Among them, the summer "blockbuster" Battleship. In case you didn't see it (it seems that means most of America), you probably shouldn't. It's a terrible movie. However, the best part of the entire movie is that Anthony Ervin is in it and he is totally amazing!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Florent Manadou: The True Most Unbelievable Performance

Of all the amazing things that happened in London, I feel that the most amazing of them all got severely underplayed. Sure, it was considered somewhat of a shocker when previously unheralded (or shall we say "less-heralded") Florent Manaudou walked away with the "world's fastest swimmer" crown towards the end of the meet. But it was more than a little shocker: Manaudou stripped huge chunks off his lifetime best in an event just one year. His swim was the most unbelievable performance in the 2012 games.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pacing: Why Women's 200 Breast Took The Big Leap

Watching the Olympics is an awesome experience for a coach. It is the highest level competition for our sport, and there is a lot to admire and aspire too. But even the most elite swimming in the world is not perfect, and the Olympics are a reminder that we are still really far from the limits of swimming performance. One of the events that best tell this story is the women's 200 breaststroke. All three m
medalists were faster than the medalists in the previous "suited" Olympics. How could that be?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Jumping Back on the American Bandwagon

I had a lot of conversations with coaches and swim fans leading up to the trials and the games.  I read a lot of stuff, including things from Olympic Gold Medalists like Mel Stewart and really smart multi-lingual people like Chris DeSantis.  I was forming opinions based on all of my inherent brilliance plus all of the information I have absorbed through those conversations and various media, and found myself in the same place I always seem to always end up when nearing the end of each Olympic cycle, thinking:

1.  We are crazy for having our trials so close to the games and we need to just start being like everybody else.

2.  We are watching the decline of American Olympic dominance.

...but of course, after the dust settled on swimming in London, it is pretty clear that I, and many of the other pessimists I surround myself with in the world of swimming, don't know what the hell we are talking about.  This was a pretty damn good meet for the USA.  It wasn't just the Missy show on the women's side, and no one is walking away feeling like if it weren't for Phelps and Lochte we would hardly have won a medal for our men.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Olympic Look Back: Take it Down a Notch Australia

The following is the first in a series of retrospectives on the 2012 Olympics. A lot happened during the meet, and I wanted to have the chance to put the meet in the rear view before discussing it. Because talking about Denmark's medal free performance is still too raw, I'm starting with Australia. The consensus is that they had one of their worst Olympics. I wont disagree with that. But what do we make of it?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Watching the End of An Era

Thanks for the good times Michael.
Phelps, Hansen, Kitajima... As the names rolled out for the final race of the London Olympics, I started to feel pretty nostalgic. Cseh too...the final race of the 2012 Olympics was going to be the end of an era. This is truly the first generation where the best of one generation all stuck around to race the next wave. It made for probably the most exciting Olympic racing I have ever seen. Many of the story lines are not new- young stars breaking through and veterans making one last stand. It just seemed that, in 2012, there were far more of both than there has ever been.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

John Leonard Through Swimming History

With John Leonard doubling down on his comments regarding Ye Shiwen in the last twenty four hours, we decided to go through our swimming archives, to chronicle Leonard's reactions through some of the most dramatic events in swimming history. Enjoy!

Still Feel Good About the Danes?

A member of the Danish Olympic squad, pictured on part of his 21 year visit to a semi-autonomous island in the Atlantic
Yes. A month ago I wrote a blog about the remarkable results Danish swimming has achieved since the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Some of you may be following the results of the meet wondering if it was all a bunch of hot air. After all, the Danes have yet to medal with just three finals sessions left in the entire meet. Still, their best chances for a medal are all yet to come over the last three days. That's why I'm choosing to plant my feet again and proclaim it will be a banner Olympics for the Danes. In many ways it already has been.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I have actually been able to watch some of the Olympics this time around!

My wife has even been watching it with me!
It has been an awesome ride so far.  It has been weird watching bits live and more bits delayed.  For a little while I tried to avoid all the spoilers out there in social media, but after NBC decided to intro a clip with "will Missy Franklin win her first gold medal?"  and then 30 seconds later show a picture of her with said backstroke gold, I figured what the hell... no one can avoid the results with them running the show.  Even after knowing that Allison Schmitt was gonna win the 200, when I saw it I was so excited that I wanted to tweet about it, but then realized that everyone else probably tweeted about it seven hours ago.  I didn't want to be that guy...