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lefty
July 27th, 2009, 01:44 PM
Before 2009 Kukors best 200 IM was 2:10.40 World class for sure, but still a cut behind the top women in the event. Today she goes a 2:06.15 and in two days shaves more than a second off the world record. I nominate this swim, just ahead of Bousquets 20.94, as the most ridiculous suited up swim of all time.

marchep
July 27th, 2009, 02:28 PM
Let me begin with, I have swam competitively throughout my youth (reached All-American status), coached a USS progam and a college program as well. For the past fifteen years I have not swam or coached in the past ten but I follow swimming at every opportunity whether it is on tv or online. I have been disheartened by the past year with respect to the new suits and records that have been obliterated. To see swimmers like bederman, kukors etc . . drops lierally 5-10 seconds due to technology is absurd. Thank goodness for the rule change otherwise swimming just lost another life long fan whether I am in the pool or not.

Lets go back to the old briefs and let everyone compete on an equal playing field. As for the masters swimmers who state they hope FINA's ruling does not affect swimming on a club or masters level I say deal with it. If you are swimming literally seconds faster due to a suit than suck it up, realize you will go slower but your times will be an actual reflection on your swimming ability.

CreamPuff
July 27th, 2009, 02:37 PM
Let me begin with, I have swam competitively throughout my youth (reached All-American status), coached a USS progam and a college program as well. For the past fifteen years I have not swam or coached in the paswt ten but I follow swimming at every opportunity whether it is on tv or online. I have been disheartened by the past year with respect to the new suits and records that have been obliterated. To see swimmers like bederman, kukors etc . . drops lierally 5-10 seconds due to technology is absurd. Thank goodness for the rule change otherwise swimming just lost another life long fan whether I am in the pool or not.

Lets go back to the old briefs and let everyone compete on an equal playing field. As for the masters swimmers who state they hope FINA's ruling does not affect swimming on a club or masters level I say deal with it. If you are swimming literally seconds faster due to a suit than suck it up, realize you will go slower but your times will be an actual reflection on your swimming ability.

This "deal with it" mentality makes a lot of sense to me. I sort of like it b/c I think the playing field will be equalized AND I will spend soooo much less money on the tech toys. HOWEVER, dang! I feel like the biggest curmudgeon-y fuddy-duddy who refuses to embrace advancement and technology. Just call me Ms. Cranky Crankerson :bitching::bitching:

Tim L
July 27th, 2009, 02:52 PM
Before 2009 Kukors best 200 IM was 2:10.40 World class for sure, but still a cut behind the top women in the event. Today she goes a 2:06.15 and in two days shaves more than a second off the world record. I nominate this swim, just ahead of Bousquets 20.94, as the most ridiculous suited up swim of all time.

That is probably the main reason why the suits have to go because you don't know with absolute certainty if it is the athlete or a suit change that produced the result. It is sad that Kukors had two fantastic swims and even hardcore swimmers are essentially dismissing the swims. It is very possible Kukors wore the same suit at nationals that she wore at worlds. Does anyone know? What else could contribute to a 4 second drop in less than a month? I believe Rice and Kukors were both wearing the same suit at worlds and Kukors won so you have to give Kukors a lot of credit for the swim regardless of the suit.

The suit debate should get really interesting if Phelps gets taken down tomorrow night and Biedermann posts a new WR.

Tim

bmswim
July 27th, 2009, 02:55 PM
I disagree with the ban of the suits. Why stop advances in technology so that old records can stand. It makes no sense to me. Should runners no longer be able to wear shoes, cyclists go back to using bikes they used 20 years ago, pole vaulters start using bamboo poles again (the list goes on and on)?

knelson
July 27th, 2009, 03:25 PM
I don't think letting the old records stand is the main reason. It's more about having a level playing field. Kukors is a good example. I believe she wore a TYR suit at Trials and finished third. She puts on a Jaked in Rome and destroys the world record. Now, I'm sure part of it was just having a poor swim in Indy, but the suit HAD to play some part. Now, you can certainly argue that everyone has equal access to the suits, but I don't think making sure you choose the fastest suit should be a major factor in who wins a race.

Tim L
July 27th, 2009, 03:27 PM
I disagree with the ban of the suits. Why stop advances in technology so that old records can stand. It makes no sense to me. Should runners no longer be able to wear shoes, cyclists go back to using bikes they used 20 years ago, pole vaulters start using bamboo poles again (the list goes on and on)?

When is the last time you heard in track or cycling that a particular athlete won only because they used a particular shoe or bike component? That is all we have heard since early 2008 in swimming.

I think FINA either needs to do a much better job regulating what tech suits can be worn or go back in time. I guess the recent decision by FINA was just an admission that they are unable to regulate the suits adequately for fair competition.

Tim

bamueller
July 27th, 2009, 03:39 PM
I disagree with the ban of the suits. Why stop advances in technology so that old records can stand. It makes no sense to me. Should runners no longer be able to wear shoes, cyclists go back to using bikes they used 20 years ago, pole vaulters start using bamboo poles again (the list goes on and on)?

Why ban the suits? To level the playing field. To have athletes compete against each other without the aid of technology giving one athlete an advantage. It gives one athlete an advantage over the other. Each suit is different, and not every athlete has the means to obtain these faster suits. So, if you ban the suits, you rule out the "unknown" (suit technology) and you have swimmers competing against each other on a more level playing field.

What makes it wrong is, you can have two identical athletes, same abilities, same heart and desire to win, and if one has an advantage because of the special suit they are wearing, I don't think that makes it fair. This trickles down into youth leagues as well. Now it becomes a social and economic issue, where some athletes can afford these suits, while others cannot. If this continues, those athletes who cannot afford the suits, might not be fast enough to earn scholarships compared to other athletes. You see where this is going?

It is simple to level the playing field by banning the suits.

mattson
July 27th, 2009, 03:40 PM
What else could contribute to a 4 second drop in less than a month?

My first year swimming high school, my 500 Free time improved by 30 seconds in less than 2 months. Combination of harder swim workouts and more dryland training. Maybe Kukors benefitted from being around the Olympians and Nationals veterans, people to measure against and to get advice on being efficient with time outside the pool.

Crazyman
July 27th, 2009, 03:45 PM
Kukors was trainig hard in past year, she was frustrated when she didn't qualify for Bejing. Now is her time, whatever suit was there, she prepared perfectly to destroy field. You can see her, working mashine...everyone wore jaked, arena, lzr...but Ariana left behind everyone. No and no advantage of her before this field. Going back to brief will make maybe interesting again, only not for masters swimming. I guarantee it!

Bobinator
July 27th, 2009, 03:47 PM
Before 2009 Kukors best 200 IM was 2:10.40 World class for sure, but still a cut behind the top women in the event. Today she goes a 2:06.15 and in two days shaves more than a second off the world record. I nominate this swim, just ahead of Bousquets 20.94, as the most ridiculous suited up swim of all time.

So was Kukors the only person in the finals with the tech suit? If they all had them why didn't they all get records?
I cannot believe a swimmer could be swimming in the World Championships and NOT have access to a tech suit. Enlighten me if I'm wrong.

thewookiee
July 27th, 2009, 03:51 PM
What makes it wrong is, you can have two identical athletes, same abilities, same heart and desire to win..., .

See, here is part of the problem. There are no such things in life as identical athletes, same abilities, same heart. There are ALWAYS differences in people(athletes or otherwise) banning a suit(s) don't level the playing field.

Nothing ever truly levels the playing field.

marchep
July 27th, 2009, 03:53 PM
My first year swimming high school, my 500 Free time improved by 30 seconds in less than 2 months. Combination of harder swim workouts and more dryland training. Maybe Kukors benefitted from being around the Olympians and Nationals veterans, people to measure against and to get advice on being efficient with time outside the pool.

This is just silly. Comparing a first year swimmer with a 30 second drop to a world class athlete and a 4 second drop.

BTW went to another site and it was mentioned that she switched from TYR to Jaked between Nats and Worlds.

lefty
July 27th, 2009, 03:57 PM
I like the way Kirk framed this. Being able to make a living in the sport is good for everyone if you ascribe to the high-tide raises all boats theory. But that subjects you to the risk of signing a contract that relegates you to wearing a slower suit. So if you do not want the suit being a determining factor of who wins the race you need to control the suit-race.

lefty
July 27th, 2009, 04:02 PM
So was Kukors the only person in the finals with the tech suit? If they all had them why didn't they all get records?
I cannot believe a swimmer could be swimming in the World Championships and NOT have access to a tech suit. Enlighten me if I'm wrong.

You have confused the issue because this thread has been hi-jacked into a suit debate. (I have particpated in the hi-jack so oh well!). I am simply nominating this swim as the biggest completely-out-of-no-where / are you freaking kidding me swim.

But for your enlightenment, I think Stephanie Rice is contractually obligated to wear Speedo.

mctrusty
July 27th, 2009, 04:40 PM
Why ban the suits? To level the playing field. To have athletes compete against each other without the aid of technology giving one athlete an advantage. It gives one athlete an advantage over the other. Each suit is different, and not every athlete has the means to obtain these faster suits. So, if you ban the suits, you rule out the "unknown" (suit technology) and you have swimmers competing against each other on a more level playing field.

What makes it wrong is, you can have two identical athletes, same abilities, same heart and desire to win, and if one has an advantage because of the special suit they are wearing, I don't think that makes it fair. This trickles down into youth leagues as well. Now it becomes a social and economic issue, where some athletes can afford these suits, while others cannot. If this continues, those athletes who cannot afford the suits, might not be fast enough to earn scholarships compared to other athletes. You see where this is going?

It is simple to level the playing field by banning the suits.

If you want to level the playing field why stop at the suits?

There are far more expensive pieces of training technology that some people have access to. I don't hear announcers talking about how Johnny got to go and do a bunch of swimmetrics sessions at 100-500 a pop while Billy didn't. The suits are just an obvious thing to point to and discuss because it's what people see. It's the tip of the technology iceberg. But we should probably just standardize all training equipment and decide upon a per swimmer budget ceiling for all swim clubs so that technology doesn't give one swimmer an advantage over another.

Some people can afford to move to Baltimore and join the NBAC, some can't. I grew up with a pal who went to Florida to train with Bolles for a summer. No way I got to do that. He came back a lot faster. Is that fair? It hardly kept the playing field, as defined by the resources available in our fairly isolated geographic area, level. Should we stop allowing people to move to join better programs? That would hardly be an issue if there were appropriate controls in place. I'd like to request a standard coaching program be heretoforth decided upon and administered uniformly in all swimming programs.

It's not fair that Phelps is 6' 4" and I'm only 6' tall. I think I should get extenders to make my effective length and wingspan comparable, or he should have to swim with one leg weighted down and a restrictor plate on his mouth to level his O2 intake.

And yea shall we go on into the 102nd year of our Ford. Slip, slip, slippery sliding on down to this metaphysical unreality of a level playing field.

I don't think that we should just go nuts with the suits, and I think that the best idea put forth in these forums is to establish a better control process on them. But I don't at all buy the idea of there ever being a level playing field.

bamueller
July 27th, 2009, 05:06 PM
Before 2009 Kukors best 200 IM was 2:10.40 World class for sure, but still a cut behind the top women in the event. Today she goes a 2:06.15 and in two days shaves more than a second off the world record. I nominate this swim, just ahead of Bousquets 20.94, as the most ridiculous suited up swim of all time.

In her interview after smashing the WR, she says she focused on the small things, getting off the walls faster, lifting more, ect. She doesn't mention the Jaked suit, and nor should she.

knelson
July 27th, 2009, 05:34 PM
There are far more expensive pieces of training technology that some people have access to.

Personally I would separate training from racing. When the swimmers step onto the blocks I want to find out who's the best swimmer. This means who's got the talent, the guts--and, yes--who trained the smartest and hardest. I just think this is totally different than who is wearing the faster suit.

lefty
July 27th, 2009, 05:41 PM
In her interview after smashing the WR, she says she focused on the small things, getting off the walls faster, lifting more, ect. She doesn't mention the Jaked suit, and nor should she.

uhh..okay

reikokorin
July 27th, 2009, 05:45 PM
You have confused the issue because this thread has been hi-jacked into a suit debate. (I have particpated in the hi-jack so oh well!). I am simply nominating this swim as the biggest completely-out-of-no-where / are you freaking kidding me swim.

But for your enlightenment, I think Stephanie Rice is contractually obligated to wear Speedo.

Speedo decided to allow its contracted athletes to wear whatever suit they want. Libby Trickett, for instance, was wearing an Arena suit during the 4x100 free relay.

mattson
July 27th, 2009, 05:49 PM
This is just silly. Comparing a first year swimmer with a 30 second drop to a world class athlete and a 4 second drop.

That was not my first year swimming, just my first year swimming high school. I was a long time age-grouper. Don't be silly yourself.

My point was to raise the possibility (but not the certainty) that putting someone talented, in an environment where they can grow, can produce impressive results. To make a baseball analogy, maybe she was practicing with the Triple-A club before, and is thriving after being moved to the Majors.

Edit: Just noticed this, which could tie in with hanging around other athletes with outstanding training habits.

In her interview after smashing the WR, she says she focused on the small things, getting off the walls faster, lifting more, etc.

I suppose there is theory #2 as well: maybe she did a partial taper for qualifiers, and a full taper for Worlds. I don't have any idea if that is true or not, but it could account for the time drop.

Bobinator
July 27th, 2009, 11:37 PM
So were all the fast swims in Jaked or Arena suits?

KeithM
July 28th, 2009, 02:16 AM
So was Kukors the only person in the finals with the tech suit? If they all had them why didn't they all get records?
I cannot believe a swimmer could be swimming in the World Championships and NOT have access to a tech suit. Enlighten me if I'm wrong.
The problem with this reasoning is the assumption that the same suit will benefit every athlete equally. If swimmer A has a superior natural position in the water and rides higher than swimmer B then it stands to reason that Swimmer B will derive more benefit from these suits. Swimmer A already had good posture and technique and therefore will benefit less. They also help the athletes maintain a better position at the end of races when they'd normally get fatigued. The margin of advantage that athletes with superior endurance had is diminished or eliminated.

aquageek
July 28th, 2009, 07:10 AM
The problem with this reasoning is the assumption that the same suit will benefit every athlete equally.

The problem with your argument is that these are already the most elite level swimmers in the world so the nitpicky parsing of differences is pretty irrelevant. If one swimmer has better body position that's a coaching and training issue, not a swimsuit issue and would be seen regardless of suit worn. Every person in the heat, heck every person in the meet, is wearing a tech suit which 100% nullifies the non level playing field allegation.

The whiners are criers have won apparently so we will all regress to the 80s.

Hoosier
July 28th, 2009, 08:33 AM
After the new suits I have an idea....why dont we just let people blow up one of those old pool air filled floats...(you know the ones as kids you laid on and paddled around the pool) jump on them and go! to be against this is against technology.

notsofast
July 28th, 2009, 09:04 AM
So were all the fast swims in Jaked or Arena suits?
Every one I can recall.
I've been watching on Universal network. The announcers have been pretty funny - carefully pointing out when non-U.S. swimmers are wearing the new suits, but softpeddling it when an American has one.
I'd never seen Jaked suits before. They look like you're wearing an oil slick.

Chris Stevenson
July 28th, 2009, 09:21 AM
The problem with this reasoning is the assumption that the same suit will benefit every athlete equally. If swimmer A has a superior natural position in the water and rides higher than swimmer B then it stands to reason that Swimmer B will derive more benefit from these suits. Swimmer A already had good posture and technique and therefore will benefit less.


The problem with your argument is that these are already the most elite level swimmers in the world so the nitpicky parsing of differences is pretty irrelevant. If one swimmer has better body position that's a coaching and training issue, not a swimsuit issue

I do think that the suits help even elite swimmers differently. I do not hang around the ultra-elite but I do see some pretty fast age-groupers very regularly. Some of the fast men are very muscled and power through the water; others are lithe and just seem to glide over it. Some swimmers are naturally more buoyant than others, and I have heard anecdotal stories from a couple college coaches about differential effects that they attributed (rightly or wrongly) to this natural buoyancy.

Whether this effect of the suits is "unfair" or not, I can't say. Some of these differences -- diminished by the suits -- may not be the result of hard training or technique at all, but genetics. Would it be bad to nullify that? The playing field was not level before the suits; those suits may have just tilted it a little differently.

Finally, I found this fascinating article about lycra suits when they first came out:

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1088870/1/index.htm

MaartenB
July 28th, 2009, 09:53 AM
We have to stop using the suits, simple as that.
Why? Because it is about SWIMMING, not about the outfit.

I strapped myself in a Jaked-suit a couple weeks ago and shaved two seconds of my personal best on 100 butterfly (which I swam with briefs back in the day)...

Oh, I stopped training 6 years ago and became a chainsmoker since, did I not mention that?

The improvement should not have happened, but it did... Some suits just improve the swimmer too much... People who will not admit to that are just scared that they would lose in briefs...

Have some pride and lose the suits!

Bobinator
July 28th, 2009, 10:29 AM
Cool article Chris.
I used to wear nylon-tricot suits and I remember all this vaguely. I definitly remember feeling exposed in lycra!
I guess change is always painful for some folks. :D

Tim L
July 28th, 2009, 10:35 AM
You have confused the issue because this thread has been hi-jacked into a suit debate. (I have particpated in the hi-jack so oh well!). I am simply nominating this swim as the biggest completely-out-of-no-where / are you freaking kidding me swim.

Sorry about the hi-jacking, but your examples were both swims that are instantly tied to the suit they wore.

Tim

knelson
July 28th, 2009, 11:03 AM
It wasn't really hijacking since lefty did start the thread by mentioning "...the most ridiculous suited swim of all time."

Muppet
July 28th, 2009, 12:21 PM
I think the PB v MP 200 race will give the kukors 2im a "most ridiculous suited swim ever" a good run for its money.

lefty
July 28th, 2009, 01:18 PM
It wasn't really hijacking since lefty did start the thread by mentioning "...the most ridiculous suited swim of all time."

yeah I suppose there is an assumption of the suits validity in that statement!

lefty
July 28th, 2009, 01:20 PM
I think the PB v MP 200 race will give the kukors 2im a "most ridiculous suited swim ever" a good run for its money.

PB did not drop a full second off the WR. And he aleast made the last Olympics in his event, nearly medaling. From a percentage basis, the improvements are about the same though...

The Fortress
July 28th, 2009, 03:47 PM
The problem with your argument is that these are already the most elite level swimmers in the world so the nitpicky parsing of differences is pretty irrelevant. If one swimmer has better body position that's a coaching and training issue, not a swimsuit issue and would be seen regardless of suit worn. Every person in the heat, heck every person in the meet, is wearing a tech suit which 100% nullifies the non level playing field allegation.

The whiners are criers have won apparently so we will all regress to the 80s.

I'm with Geek.

Kukors just swam better than the other suited up women in her event.

There is simply no need for a total ban on tech suits. FINA should have just had the balls to regulate properly. They could have drawn the line at the LZR/B70, or drawn the line at the LZR (which they attempted to do last March or April and then reversed course), or regulated the age groupers. Moreover, it's the latest rash of suits -- Jaked, Hydrofoil, Arena that seem to be causing people to whine more than ever. If the suits had been introduced or approved more gradually, there wouldn't be people crying about returning "swimming to the swimmers."

And, for the last time, there is no level playing field.

ande
July 28th, 2009, 03:48 PM
Trickett ditches Speedo for team bronze (http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-sport/trickett-ditches-speedo-for-team-bronze-20090727-dxoh.html)

Questions, confusion suit US swim nationals well (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hA37i7vfIMgyk4Z69LzoOm3WqmoQD99B5R781)


Speedo decided to allow its contracted athletes to wear whatever suit they want. Libby Trickett, for instance, was wearing an Arena suit during the 4x100 free relay.

tjrpatt
July 28th, 2009, 04:14 PM
And, for the last time, there is no level playing field.

In my age group experience, swimming is all about not having a level playing field. The suits are just another aspect.

gigi
July 28th, 2009, 04:28 PM
Great quote from the SI article in Chris's post above
"Indeed, the swimsuit of the future might well be a spray-on rubberized coating—in team colors—which can be peeled off after a meet."

Indeed!

And I do rememer the switch to lycra "Belgrade" suits being a big big deal since only "rich kids" could afford them. And the ribbons & tape sewn onto the "obscene" lycra suits...priceless!

Chris Stevenson
July 28th, 2009, 05:14 PM
Great quote from the SI article in Chris's post above
"Indeed, the swimsuit of the future might well be a spray-on rubberized coating—in team colors—which can be peeled off after a meet."

Indeed!

And I do rememer the switch to lycra "Belgrade" suits being a big big deal since only "rich kids" could afford them. And the ribbons & tape sewn onto the "obscene" lycra suits...priceless!

I thought that was pretty funny too. Weird that the 70s can seem so prudish nowadays. And the rubberized peel-off suit prediction WAS scarily accurate.

For better or worse, less prescient was this statement: "The advent of nude competitive swimming may not be that far off."

Stephen ONeill
July 28th, 2009, 05:41 PM
One of things that I enjoy about swimming is that you really don't need a lot of expensive equipment, at most you need a suit, goggles, cap, kick board, paddles and pull buoy, maybe fins, total cost maybe $120.00. Gosh just a few years ago, if you wanted to race, you just needed a suit, googles and maybe a cap. So historically, the entry into the sport is not expensive, now if you want to compete at any reasonable level, you need a $500 suit, if this trend continues it will discourage a significant number of people from competing.

For example, look at any high school sectional meet, everybody in the finals is wearing the high tech suit, if you don't have the right suit, you are not competitive

I suspect that the same thing is happening at Masters meet, the swimmers wearing the high tech suits will swim faster,

meldyck
July 29th, 2009, 09:32 AM
FINA should have just had the balls to regulate properly.

Why FINA certainly has the aforementioned anatomical components. They are just thinking with them, rather than using them as a testosterone source. Which, of course, makes their 'brains' about the size of my cat's brain.

Karlene
July 29th, 2009, 11:19 AM
Hey Mel, that's an insult to cats everywhere. I know my cat's brain is larger than FINA's testicular buds.