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Paul Smith
June 30th, 2008, 06:56 PM
Mark Shubert from the NY Times article on Dara:

"But -let's face it- compared with the Olympics, even the Master's World Championships is a glorified losers' round, and holding a master's world record is hardly an exciting achievement. . . "

KeithM
June 30th, 2008, 07:02 PM
It's easy to be the haughty snob when you're the old man on the mountain.

scyfreestyler
June 30th, 2008, 07:04 PM
Mark Shubert from the NY Times article on Dara:

"But -let's face it- compared with the Olympics, even the Master's World Championships is a glorified losers' round, and holding a master's world record is hardly an exciting achievement. . . "

Yeah, real nice commentary huh! I guess if exciting means valuable in terms of dollars earned in endorsements, he is probably correct. It's difficult for me to place the title of loser on any USMS or FINA Masters record holder. But then again, what do I know...Schubert is the USA Swimming Head Coach after all.

ande
June 30th, 2008, 07:06 PM
I invite Mark to swim in a Masters Meet or a USA Swimming Meet
Let's find out what sort of times he can swim

here's the link to the NY Times article
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/magazine/29torres-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

to make his quote a little eaiser to find:

EVEN TORRES KNOWS that if she manages to earn one of the two spots available on the Olympic team for the 50-meter freestyle, or one of the six available on the 100-meter freestyle (which includes a relay team), this will be her last trip to the Games. Mark Schubert, the national team’s coach in 1984, told me he’s sure Torres will hold master’s swimming records in freestyle sprints at age 50 and 60 and 70. But — let’s face it — compared with the Olympics, even the Masters World Championship is a glorified losers’ round, and holding a master’s world record is hardly an exciting achievement for an athlete who hit the world stage just as she entered high school and who has nine Olympic medals to her name. Driving home one night from a sushi dinner, Torres’s partner, David Hoffman, admitted that he’ll be relieved when Torres emerges from her Olympic training tunnel. “We don’t spend as much time together,” he told me as he idled his car outside their home. “We can’t go on a vacation.” Torres had driven home separately with Tessa. Hoffman watched the swimmer standing in their driveway at dusk, her mind clearly turned toward getting Tessa to bed, so that she could get nine hours of sleep herself. “I can’t wait until this is over,” Hoffman sighed. “It’ll have been two years.”

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scyfreestyler
June 30th, 2008, 07:07 PM
I invite Mark to swim in a Masters Meet or a USA Swimming Meet
Let's find out what sort of times he can swim



And swim with a bunch of losers? Please! ;)

Chris Stevenson
June 30th, 2008, 07:33 PM
The context of the quote is that this is Torres' last shot at the Olympics and that competing at the elite masters level -- which Torres could obviously continue to do -- just isn't the same.

The wording is irritating but can anyone disagree with the larger point?

And it isn't clear to me that it is SCHUBERT calling masters swimming a "glorified loser's round," or if those are the author's words.

I bet the LAST time DT competed in the Olympics, everyone was sure it was her last time competing at that level...

tjrpatt
June 30th, 2008, 09:27 PM
From the famous words of Whitney Houston, "Aww, hell to the naw!!!".

There are alot of talented people in Masters Swimming. Plus, there are some Masters swimmers who could compete at Torres's level but might not have the time to pursue Olympic and World Rankings. They are too busy with work and families or don't have the resources to put all their energy into swimming.

gshaw
June 30th, 2008, 09:56 PM
I read the article this morning and the posts. I think C. Stevenson is right. These are probably not Shubert's words but the author's. It might be even more interesting to see her in a Masters meet. I think her "glorious losers" remark seemed out of place in what I found to be an interesting article. I am looking forward to seeing Dara Torres qualify in the 50. She really is an amazing swimmer.

As to Tom's remark: "...there are some Masters swimmers who could compete at Torres's level but might not have the time to pursue Olympic and World Rankings. They are too busy with work and families or don't have the resources to put all their energy into swimming." I don't buy it. I think that kind of talent is very rare and she has the hunger to go after it...which is also remarkable. There are some absolutely amazing Masters swimmers, old and young, and I watched some incredible swims in Austin, but swimmers like Torres, Phelps, Lochte are on another level, and I don't think it's taking care of our kids or businesses that keeps some Masters swimmers from competing at that level. Tom sounds a bit too much like Stanley Kowalski "I coulda been a contenda...." instead of a parent...which is what I am.

The Fortress
June 30th, 2008, 10:06 PM
I read the article this morning and the posts. I think C. Stevenson is right. These are probably not Shubert's words but the author's. It might be even more interesting to see her in a Masters meet. I think her "glorious losers" remark seemed out of place in what I found to be an interesting article. I am looking forward to seeing Dara Torres qualify in the 50. She really is an amazing swimmer.

As to Tom's remark: "...there are some Masters swimmers who could compete at Torres's level but might not have the time to pursue Olympic and World Rankings. They are too busy with work and families or don't have the resources to put all their energy into swimming." I don't buy it. I think that kind of talent is very rare and she has the hunger to go after it...which is also remarkable. There are some absolutely amazing Masters swimmers, old and young, and I watched some incredible swims in Austin, but swimmers like Torres, Phelps, Lochte are on another level, and I don't think it's taking care of our kids or businesses that keeps some Masters swimmers from competing at that level. Tom sounds a bit too much like Stanley Kowalski "I coulda been a contenda...." instead of a parent...which is what I am.

Greg, I agree (and so nice to meet you at Nats, BTW!!). No way are the vast majority of masters swimmers as talented as Dara. But for Mark Shubert to make that comment or say something that could be that mischaracterized is rubbish. I completely admire true masters swimmers competing at the level they do. I think it's amazing, whether they're like you or Tall Paul and setting WRs or like Stud, kicking ass personally. It's easy to be a superstar when you're young and unhindered; not so easy when you're older and have so many demand on your time and energy.

nyswimmer
June 30th, 2008, 10:27 PM
And it isn't clear to me that it is SCHUBERT calling masters swimming a "glorified loser's round," or if those are the author's words.

It looked to me as if they were the author's words, not Schubert's. It's possible the author was trying to paraphrase Schubert. But the sentiment is certainly consistent with the sometimes haughty attitudes New Yorker's have come to know and love from the NY Times (particularly the sports section).

TheGoodSmith
June 30th, 2008, 10:45 PM
Hard to tell if the author is paraphrasing what came out of the interview with Mark or it's the author's own thoughts. Either way, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of what masters swimming is about. Face it, masters swimming exists as an alternative to USA Swimming. Comparing the two and calling masters swimmers "losers" is simply a waste of time.

If the author surmized this on his own, it makes me wonder if the rest of the article could be equally opinionated and flawed.

Chris..... I do not agree with "the larger point" and calling masters swimmers losers because they were mentally mature enough to make the tough choice to move on from the sport years ago and pursue other areas of life with equal fervor.

Tell me again why making 5 Olympic teams is so much better than 4 ?


John Smith

Chris Stevenson
June 30th, 2008, 11:39 PM
Chris..... I do not agree with "the larger point" and calling masters swimmers losers because they were mentally mature enough to make the tough choice to move on from the sport years ago and pursue other areas of life with equal fervor.

Tell me again why making 5 Olympic teams is so much better than 4 ?

Sure, good point. And the number that is impressive is "41," not 4 vs 5. Still, I continue to believe that SVDL's accomplishments in masters (based on her training) are at least as impressive as Torres'.

I was irritated by the "losers" comment, sure. But the parts of that paragraph that REALLY raised my eyebrows were David Hoffman's comments ("he'll be relieved when Torres emerges from her Olympic training tunnel" and "I can't wait until this is over.")

"Other areas of life," indeed.

Paul Smith
July 1st, 2008, 12:02 AM
Sure, good point. And the number that is impressive is "41," not 4 vs 5. Still, I continue to believe that SVDL's accomplishments in masters (based on her training) are at least as impressive as Torres'.

I was irritated by the "losers" comment, sure. But the parts of that paragraph that REALLY raised my eyebrows were David Hoffman's comments ("he'll be relieved when Torres emerges from her Olympic training tunnel" and "I can't wait until this is over.")

"Other areas of life," indeed.

Chris...not sure if your a "drinking man" but love to think someday we'll sit down, have to many beers....and you'll let your "hair down" and ditch all the math-stats/PC stuff and fire away with how you really feel!

USMSarah
July 1st, 2008, 01:52 AM
Wow, that comment has me all fired up. Whether it was Schubert or the author... it was a bit uncalled for. You can't really compare the two! Like ande said, let's invite the jerk who said that to swim a nice 200 fly, 800 free or 400 im in a masters meet and see if they want to call the people in the next lane to them losers. Odds are, it was the author's words... and they obviously have no clue what masters swimming means.

:censor::censor:

meldyck
July 1st, 2008, 06:41 AM
My thought about this is that a master's record is an age group record. I'll bet that Schubert would be VERY enthusiastic about any kid he ever coached who broke an age-group record, so what's wrong with old people setting one?

quicksilver
July 1st, 2008, 07:46 AM
A world record is a world record. Nothing short of that.

Maybe what Schubert was implying is that a 20 something who competes on the world class level shouldn't hold too much merit in taking down a masters record.
Even though the masters age grouping starts at 19 to 24...this category is a different animal altogether (than those who compete during their middle age years and beyond).

aquageek
July 1st, 2008, 08:04 AM
I found the quote very funny. Soy un perdedor, as Beck might say.

2fish&1whale
July 1st, 2008, 08:08 AM
During the broadcast of the trials it was mentioned several times how it is very difficult for swimmers to continue their training after they leave college. Not so much because of time, though I'm sure that plays a part as well, but mostly because there aren't really that many training programs throughout the country that address the post college swimmers needs-if they want to continue their pursuit of a spot on the olympic team. Didn't G. Hall start one down in Florida for that exact reason?
I'd be curious to know how many swimmers just fade out of the elite swimmers circle after their college career only to surface years later as a masters swimmer.

Chris Stevenson
July 1st, 2008, 09:24 AM
Chris...not sure if your a "drinking man" but love to think someday we'll sit down, have to many beers....

You got it. Oregon? Whomever has the biggest time drop from last year LCM gets a free beer...or three...

Sam Perry
July 1st, 2008, 10:30 AM
I found the quote very funny. Soy un perdedor, as Beck might say.

Now with the Beck reference. Thanks, I have that song now ingrained in my head.... "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me"

pwolf66
July 1st, 2008, 10:33 AM
You got it. Oregon? Whomever has the biggest time drop from last year LCM gets a free beer...or three...


So since I didn't swim would that put my times ~ infinite?

If so I want in!!!!

Well, I want in anyway. Beer is good.

pwolf66
July 1st, 2008, 10:35 AM
Now with the Beck reference. Thanks, I have that song now ingrained in my head.... "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me"

"termite, choking on a splinter'

SwimStud
July 1st, 2008, 10:38 AM
I completely admire true masters swimmers competing at the level they do. I think it's amazing, whether they're like you or Tall Paul and setting WRs or like Stud, kicking ass personally.

OK I am definitely not in the elite swimmer catergory...or kicking much ass.


Chris...not sure if your a "drinking man" but love to think someday we'll sit down, have to many beers....and you'll let your "hair down" and ditch all the math-stats/PC stuff and fire away with how you really feel!


You got it. Oregon? Whomever has the biggest time drop from last year LCM gets a free beer...or three...

OK, now, here the field levels a bit...it's about drive (who is going to get me home), guts (who can hold 'em), and endurance (I really need to pee!)

Who wants it more?? Shame I'm not in Oregon!!!

tjrpatt
July 1st, 2008, 11:01 AM
Du Didn't G. Hall start one down in Florida for that exact reason?
I'd be curious to know how many swimmers just fade out of the elite swimmers circle after their college career only to surface years later as a masters swimmer.

Isn't Hall's program only for swimmers with national rankings.

Iwannafly
July 1st, 2008, 11:22 AM
So since I didn't swim would that put my times ~ infinite?

If so I want in!!!!

Well, I want in anyway. Beer is good.

No Paul, I think it puts your time as NAN. You can't divide by zero!:thhbbb:

craig68
July 1st, 2008, 11:24 AM
Dara's accomplishments have always been impressive, but it's not particulary noteworthy that she's still performing at the level she did 20 years ago. Many of us USMS swimmers are not that far off what we were doing 20 years ago. But since those times weren't world records, nobody outside the USMS community cares. And the reason we are not going faster is that we put our relationships with our partners and children, and our careers if we have them, ahead of our pursuit of athletic glory. I'm not judging Dara. We all have to make our own choices. But I'm also not one bit jealous.

knelson
July 1st, 2008, 11:34 AM
But since those times weren't world records

That's a huge BUT, though.

Nobody else her age is anywhere close to swimming at the level Dara is.

TheGoodSmith
July 1st, 2008, 11:49 AM
knelson is correct. What Dara is achieving has never been done in the sport. I would liken her accomplishments to those of Phelps or even better.

..... none of which is relevant to Masters swimming. The comparison is irrelevant. Masters swimmers don't swim to make the Olympic team. It's not the goal....... at least no realistically.


John Smith

Jazz Hands
July 1st, 2008, 11:52 AM
Schubert has always been an ass.

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1093851/index.htm


Mission Viejo's men swam well enough to give the Nadadores the overall team title even though some of the key women were ill. But several of the women were overweight and Schubert angrily banned Browne, Hooker and a couple of others until they had shed some pounds.

craig68
July 1st, 2008, 12:36 PM
knelson is correct. What Dara is achieving has never been done in the sport. I would liken her accomplishments to those of Phelps or even better.

John Smith

But I think she is only swimming a little faster than she did in her prime. If we are comparing her to herself, and not the thousands that will never be as fast as she was/is, then it's not that astounding just because she is 41. With improvements in training techniques, stroke techniques, nutrition, etc. since the 1980s, there are plenty of folks 40+ (like yourself, GoodSmith) that could go as fast as they did 'back in the day' if they could spare eight hours a day for training, stretching, getting massages, etc.

Paul Smith
July 1st, 2008, 12:45 PM
But I think she is only swimming a little faster than she did in her prime. If we are comparing her to herself, and not the thousands that will never be as fast as she was/is, then it's not that astounding just because she is 41. With improvements in training techniques, stroke techniques, nutrition, etc. since the 1980s, there are plenty of folks 40+ (like yourself, GoodSmith) that could go as fast as they did 'back in the day' if they could spare eight hours a day for training, stretching, getting massages, etc.

Not true.

If it was you would see far more than the handful of 40+ year old athletes in pro sports already doing it.

As JS points out...what we are seeing is unprecedented in our sport, and maybe all sports. An athlete taking two 7 year breaks comes back at 41 to set the AR.

Paul Smith
July 1st, 2008, 12:47 PM
You got it. Oregon? Whomever has the biggest time drop from last year LCM gets a free beer...or three...

Perfect!

JimRude
July 1st, 2008, 12:55 PM
But I think she is only swimming a little faster than she did in her prime. If we are comparing her to herself, and not the thousands that will never be as fast as she was/is, then it's not that astounding just because she is 41. With improvements in training techniques, stroke techniques, nutrition, etc. since the 1980s, there are plenty of folks 40+ (like yourself, GoodSmith) that could go as fast as they did 'back in the day' if they could spare eight hours a day for training, stretching, getting massages, etc.

I must concur with Mr. Smith - there is NO WAY in hell that I will approach my best times from my "prime", even if I were to train full-time. My body is simply not what it was in my early 20s. A BlueSeventy Nero Comp, less yardage, etc may help me be at my 44+ best, but I think it is physiologically nearly impossible to achieve my earlier bests. I doubt whether I could even do it with creatine, HGH, etc, etc...

JimRude
July 1st, 2008, 01:00 PM
Even though Schubert has a Dutch wife, I have always thought he was a d-bag...

scyfreestyler
July 1st, 2008, 01:01 PM
Even though Schubert has a Dutch wife, I have always thought he was a d-bag...


Even though?! :laugh2:

TheGoodSmith
July 1st, 2008, 01:50 PM
Craig68,

While Paul and I appreciate your confidence, we must be honest and tell you that there is NO way WE could approach and equal our best times from college in our early '40s. If I quit my job and trained full time, I would be lucky to come within 1.5 seconds of my 100yd free and 4-5 seconds of my 200yd free. Long Course is only a worse comparison. My body does not have the strength it once did, and without serious drugs I could not rebuild it to it's former condition. Even then, it is questionable as to whether I could make a US national cut anymore.

Keep in mind, Paul and I are about 3 seconds off our best 100yd free times and about 8-10 seconds off what we once did in the 200. The 100 may seem decent for a masters swimmer, but it's WAY out of the ball park when compared to real swim at US Nationals. The norm for guys like us now that swam at Nationals in the 1980s is usually around 3+ seconds slower on a 100 and 8+ or more on a 200. The 50 is about a 8 tenths to a second slower and getting worse ever 3-4 years.

Paul and I can't even fathom going a 43 in the 100yd free at our age anymore. We simply don't have the raw power and the testosterone to do it. There's just NO comparison to what Dara is doing. We are not in the same league with her anymore...... and believe me, there was a day when it wasn't a problem for us to beat her in a 50 or a 100 ...... :-)

What she is doing is truly unprecedented. Remember the more elite of a swimmer you were, the more difficult it becomes to approach your old performances.

Susan Vonderlippe's and Dennis Baker's times are what I would expect on the high end for a person in their 40's with serious talent and motivation.... both are right about at national cuts.


John Smith

marksman
July 1st, 2008, 09:36 PM
a link on the u.s.m.s. main page says that 28 current and former masters swimmers qualify for the olympic trials based on their times. Masters swimming is not for losers.

I think the comments were the author's, and not shubert's, and were just part of the author's attempt to frame Torres as some sort of type A personality.