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gull
July 31st, 2008, 01:25 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/sports/playmagazine/803PHELPS-t.html?pagewanted=1&hp

LindsayNB
July 31st, 2008, 02:10 PM
That article is a good read, I thought that this paragraph on the first page made a plausible explanation of the lack of popularity of swimming as a spectator sport:


Of all Olympic sports, competitive swimming is perhaps the most resistant to casual analysis. When the contestants are not entirely submerged, they are typically face-down; the strokes they carve through the water tend to look the same, and much of what they do is in any case concealed by the splash of their effort. Unless you have an intimate knowledge of the athletes, there are few physical characteristics to distinguish one form in the water from another, an effect compounded by body shaving and the uniform of caps, goggles and bodysuits. The swimmer, pursuing his obscured course, is not one of us.

tjburk
July 31st, 2008, 02:12 PM
Hogwash.....everyone should bow at the alter of the Swim Podium!!!! :drown:

gull
July 31st, 2008, 02:17 PM
That article is a good read, I thought that this paragraph on the first page made a plausible explanation of the lack of popularity of swimming as a spectator sport:

Long live beach volleyball!

tjburk
July 31st, 2008, 02:24 PM
Long live beach volleyball!

Specially the women's....skimpy suits and all.......:bolt:

gull
July 31st, 2008, 02:37 PM
Specially the women's....skimpy suits and all.......:bolt:


I hadn't noticed. I just watch because of the strategy and athleticism.

Iwannafly
July 31st, 2008, 02:47 PM
I hadn't noticed. I just watch because of the strategy and athleticism.
And the sand of course! Who doesn't like sand? It reminds me of a beach!

LindsayNB
July 31st, 2008, 02:54 PM
I also found the reference to the lift versus drag "debate" a little annoying, that debate was settled at least a decade ago.

USMSarah
July 31st, 2008, 03:41 PM
I'm getting a little tired of all the Phelps coverage (I already know that he is amazing). It would be nice to see some articles about the other USA swimmers.

:cool:

Ken Classen
July 31st, 2008, 04:16 PM
I believe we (masters swimming) naaa strike that, I mean the Smiths, should ratify a resolution to be sent to Bob Bowman and let him know in regards to the volume of training, he has it all wrong. :rolleyes:

3strokes
August 1st, 2008, 01:10 PM
Long live beach volleyball!

For me, it must be women's Beach VolleyBall.

Now I realize (i.e., read) that others have addressed it (in more details).

SLOmmafan
August 1st, 2008, 01:11 PM
Phelps is definately a cut above most elite swimmers with his amazing mastery of basically all four strokes (breastroke withholding, barely) - but I do not consider his swimming ability unmatched.

One can ask the question that if Mark Spitz was 23 today, with the same access to modern swim techniques, methods, gear (I mean, a cap and goggles probably would give him an extra second at least with that crazy hair-doo and stache!!). As I recall, Spitz actually acheived faster times in his early 40's than when he was at the Olympics.

I suppose this is the same question asked in many sports concerning time passage and new tech - could Arnold Palmer beat Tiger with modern equipment and training, could Ali have taken Mike Tyson, or Wilt Chamberlain go 1 on 1 with Shaq - who knows really!

Daaaave
August 1st, 2008, 01:32 PM
One can ask the question that if Mark Spitz was 23 today, with the same access to modern swim techniques, methods, gear (I mean, a cap and goggles probably would give him an extra second at least with that crazy hair-doo and stache!!).



It's not really meaningful to compare over a 35-year timeframe, but this is interesting: If Spitz took 1 second off his 200 FREE WR from 1972, his time would be .3 faster than MP's current FLY WR, rather than .7 slower.

Spitz 1972:
200 Free WR: 1:52.78
200 Fly WR: 2:00.70

Phelps Today:
200 Free WR: 1:43.86
200 Fly WR: 1:52.09

Frank Thompson
August 1st, 2008, 03:44 PM
[QUOTE=SLOmmafan;144317]Phelps is definately a cut above most elite swimmers with his amazing mastery of basically all four strokes (breastroke withholding, barely) - but I do not consider his swimming ability unmatched.

One can ask the question that if Mark Spitz was 23 today, with the same access to modern swim techniques, methods, gear (I mean, a cap and goggles probably would give him an extra second at least with that crazy hair-doo and stache!!). As I recall, Spitz actually acheived faster times in his early 40's than when he was at the Olympics.

Mark Spitz never, ever, achieved faster times in his early 40's than when he swam at the 1972 Olympics. When Spitz tried to make a comeback he managed to go :58.03 in the 100 meter Fly and that is almost 4 seconds from the :54.27 he swam at the 1972 Olympics. The 1992 Olympic Trial qualifying time was :55.59 and he wasn't even close to that either in his failed bid to make the 1992 Olympic Trials standard in that event. It took Spitz 2 full years to do a time that came up almost 2.5 seconds from qualifying

Another standard of comparison is the 50 Meter Fly. Spitz split :25.38 on his way to the :54.27 in the 1972 Olympics. In April of 1991, as part of
his Olympic comeback, he was involved in some TV prize races sponsored by Clairol against Tom Jager and Matt Biondi where he was soundly beaten in the 50 Meter Fly.

The first race took place on April 13, 1991 and in front of a national TV audience and he lost to Tom Jager by 1.78 seconds (:24.91 vs :26.70). Two weeks later on April 27, 1991 he lost a second prize race in front of a national TV audience to Matt Biondi by 2.10 seconds (:24.51 vs :26.51). In that second race Matt Biondi got off to a slow start and missed the World Best Time of :24.39 because in 1991 they still hadn't recognized 50 stroke races as World Records.

What I remember about the TV telecast is that it was pointed out that the :26.51 would have placed a distant 34th at the recent Senior Nationals in Federal Way of swimmers split times in the 100 Meter Fly. Also it was pointed out that 3 swimmers from the Junior Nationals had faster split times at the 50 in their 100 Meter Fly. The 26.51 was 1.13 seconds from what the split was in 1972.

There was a lot of incentive for him to do this because Bud Greenspan was going to make a film of his comeback if he were successful. The fact that his :54.27 time in 1972 would have placed him 3rd in the 1989 USA LCM rankings made people believe he could do it.

hofffam
August 1st, 2008, 04:02 PM
According to the new Spitz biography - he worked very hard to get fast during his comeback. He also suffered a back injury during his training, and he ended up losing 30 lbs or so from where he started.

Spitz was beaten soundly in the TV races - especially with his old school flat starts. Let's remember that after the 1972 Olympics Spitz really did retire. He did not stay active like other have today. So in spite of fantastic skill he couldn't erase all of the effects of a 17 year layoff.

I think unless Phelps bombs in Beijing he will easily be considered the all around best male swimmer until someone else comes along. He says he will race through 2012 so his dominance may continue for four more years but with a reduced event schedule. As good as Spitz was, his excellence was most apparent over a shorter career than Phelps - and marked by less versatility.

DWIGHT CAMPBELL
August 2nd, 2008, 05:01 AM
I have to comment on Beach Volleyball for the typical male chauvinistic pig that I am. My favourite part is after the match when the winners congratulate each other. It just brings a tear to my eye to see the compassion between teammates. I wish I could share that compassion or the "love" as it were. - 'The Pig'

Old Navy
August 2nd, 2008, 06:36 AM
What will happen to the Phelps mystique when Ryan Lochte beats him in the 400 IM? :2cents:

new
August 2nd, 2008, 08:29 AM
What will happen to the Phelps mystique when Ryan Lochte beats him in the 400 IM? :2cents:

:violin: