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meldyck
July 28th, 2009, 08:11 PM
I am really in an inflammatory mood and am going to say a couple of things on my mind.

First, regarding Speedo's sponsorship of Phelps three words come to mind that they might consider using in their next media blitz for selling suits to worshipers of the sport: Loser, poor sport and quitter.

Loser: in my mind, Phelps finished second in the 200 free but the average Joe sixpack will call that a loss. Hence, loser.

Poor Sport: it's been mentioned already in another thread that Phelps wouldn't even look at Biedermann after his loss. And we vilified Kitajima for his behavior? Hmmm.

Quitter: Bowman says he shouldn't swim until the suits are banned and Phelps says Bowman knows best. It's great to stick by your sponsor but shouldn't good ethical values trump your coaches view on occasion?

Second, regarding the 'great coaches' opinions: Schubert wants to place an asterisk by all records with the new suits. Bowman says it's all right to go back to 2007, before the LZR was introduced.

Doesn't that mean that all Phelps medals at Beijing are invalid? Or, at least, should have a star by the listing? How does Mark Spitz feel about that? What about Ian Thrope's comment that Phelps could never beat Spitz' record? Since Phelps is the Speedo poster boy for the LZR and, as noted elsewhere in the Forums, beat Crocker's record in a full body suit shouldn't he be ashamed?

My opinion of the whole lot has dropped tangibly. Personally, I'm ashamed to have cheered for Phelps during his career. He embarasses me...

The Fortress
July 28th, 2009, 08:20 PM
This is inflammatory, Mel? I thought this was just what happened. Have another glass of wine and try again.

Allen Stark
July 28th, 2009, 08:31 PM
I think Bowman is just trying to stick up for his swimmer(you are still the best Mike,no one can beat you in a "fair race.")I think he is trying to change the discussion from "Phelps got beat" to "these suits are unfair".I hope Phelps psych isn't so fragile that he can't take losing.

Couroboros
July 28th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Phelps can so take a loss. He's been taking losses his entire career, and he's used them to make fuel for his wins. You better believe that man is ready and pumped for 2010, ready to whip everyone's ass when the suits go the way of the dodo. And last but not least, you better believe that man isn't going to take a half-year break this time either. :)

Go Mike.

JimRude
July 28th, 2009, 08:43 PM
I am really in an inflammatory mood and am going to say a couple of things on my mind.

First, regarding Speedo's sponsorship of Phelps three words come to mind that they might consider using in their next media blitz for selling suits to worshipers of the sport: Loser, poor sport and quitter.

Loser: in my mind, Phelps finished second in the 200 free but the average Joe sixpack will call that a loss. Hence, loser.

Poor Sport: it's been mentioned already in another thread that Phelps wouldn't even look at Biedermann after his loss. And we vilified Kitajima for his behavior? Hmmm.

Quitter: Bowman says he shouldn't swim until the suits are banned and Phelps says Bowman knows best. It's great to stick by your sponsor but shouldn't good ethical values trump your coaches view on occasion?

Second, regarding the 'great coaches' opinions: Schubert wants to place an asterisk by all records with the new suits. Bowman says it's all right to go back to 2007, before the LZR was introduced.

Doesn't that mean that all Phelps medals at Beijing are invalid? Or, at least, should have a star by the listing? How does Mark Spitz feel about that? What about Ian Thrope's comment that Phelps could never beat Spitz' record? Since Phelps is the Speedo poster boy for the LZR and, as noted elsewhere in the Forums, beat Crocker's record in a full body suit shouldn't he be ashamed?

My opinion of the whole lot has dropped tangibly. Personally, I'm ashamed to have cheered for Phelps during his career. He embarasses me...

Word!

That Guy
July 28th, 2009, 09:45 PM
This is now a train wreck. It must be, because I'm reading a Craig Lord bluster-#$%^ and actually agreeing with it. It would have been better if Bowman had not opened his mouth today.

mikeh
July 28th, 2009, 09:48 PM
People are being way too hard on Phelps. He just suffered a stunning defeat from a competitor who dropped four seconds in one year. Going from 1:46.00 (Olympics - 5th place) to the fastest the world has ever known by a full second (1:42.0) is...unbelievable. Biedermann is not a 17 year old who is still growing. He is a grown man at 23. 4% improvements (Biedermann's rough percentage improvement) are not in the cards for most 23 year old men.

Furthermore, the nature of this defeat forces Phelps to completely re-evaluate every aspect of his race, and subsequently his training. Biedermann had an unbelievable final lap (25.7 to Phelps' 26.5), normally the strongest point of Phelps' race. If Phelps cannot depend on his final lap to catch and outlast his rivals, he can only hope to get so far ahead that Biedermann cannot catch him. Except...Biedermann beat Phelps on the opening 50 meters too, and then beat him quite badly in the final 50 meters. Bidermann's defeat of Phelps was total, and Phelps really has no place to go, strategically, to win. He just has to somehow pray he is capable of a 1:41, hope Bidermann doesn't improve significantly, or, more likely, hope that Biedermann's race was a product almost solely of the suit, which Biedermann will not be allowed to wear in 2010.

The knowledge of a loss that is probably attributable to a suit that Phelps was not wearing is a bitter defeat indeed. Yes, it would have been nice to see Phelps be more congratulatory after the race, but he is human like everyone else.

rtodd
July 28th, 2009, 10:51 PM
Phelps lost because of his time off and his suit's inferiority to the others also may have been a factor. It has, after all, been 4 years since he lost a race so it was probably hard for him to take, but it looked to me like he was a sport about it.

Biedermann acted like a true gentleman and champion.

After this fiasco, everyone, including Biederman want it to end.

Forget the asterisk.

Muppet
July 28th, 2009, 11:05 PM
At the end of the day, Speedo really dropped the ball. It is their fault for starting this mess, and now they're scrambling to play catch-up.

They got FINA to change the definition of allowable fabric to allow for these polyeurethyne suits during LZR development. One could argue that they timed this so that their LZR would be the only big thing at the Olympics while other companies scrambled to develop competitors to the LZR. These competitors came out in force post-Beijing, and came out with better products than Speedo.

What I want to know is why has Speedo neglected to develop and release a LZR 2.0 or equivalent? They had to know this arms race was coming after the uproar over the LZR's availability leading up to Beijing. With no answer to the B70, X-Glide and Jaked (anyone else notice how close to the phrase "jacked up" that company name is?), their athletes are stuck in the same way the Germans, et al. were stuck in Beijing.

Someone took their innovative idea and made it better. Capitalism at its best. Sorry, Speedo, but get your scientists out of hibernation and maybe one day soon, you'll again have the best suits in the pool.

gshaw
July 28th, 2009, 11:14 PM
Bowman doesn't sound too good, and I think it's all about Bowman (coaches are measured by their swimmers... Phelps gets beat and Bowman feels personally beaten). He then says it's unfair: it was Biedermann's suit. Hmmm, he said nothing about the advantage the LZR was supposed to give US swimmers at Beijing. He'll calm down I hope and realize that Phelps is simply not in his best shape. Phelps said it himself. Biedermann, graciously, said the same. I watched the Youtube of Phelps swimming the 200 in Beijing and he looked better, esp. off the walls...but hey, not much better...he was less than .3 slower in Rome. He swam really well. About what he might have expected after taking the 6 months off. Biedermann looks fantastic in Rome and he looked great too last year in the SCM 200 record swim provided by someone on the forum. To focus on the suits is to miss the obvious. Phelps the swimmer got beat by Biedermann the swimmer. And it is not unAmerican to lose a swimming race. I would have preferred Phelps show the grace Stephanie Rice showed when she saw how Kukors had blown away her world record in the semis of the 200 IM; she smiled (it looked genuine despite Rowdy Gaines saying it was "fake") and warmly congratulated Kukors. Anyone at that level, even at the Masters level, knows how much hard work goes into swimming fast, how much heart and guts and pain; if we can't admire that in a competitor when they beat us then we lose the joy of the sport.

I understand why pre-tech suit swimmers might not like them (Gould, Gross, etc.) but for elite swimmers today all the suits are available, so it is a level playing field for them. Why not accept the improvement in speed, glide, etc.? Somehow polevaulters were able to shift from bamboo to steel to fiberglass. Tennis players moved from wood to graphite. Does it ruin their sports? No. I think this move away from all tech suits will harm the sport and is an over-reaction; now it is compounded by Bowman's crybaby attitude that his "star" will refuse to swim until they ban all tech suits (again, does he forget his embrace of the LZR last year?).

I am enjoying watching the swimming. Some great swims. Felt badly for Peirsol but he handled it graciously as well. Let's enjoy the remaining swims. I am pulling for Phelps in both the 100 and 200 fly; hope he wins and gets a world record in both. If he loses it will be to a faster swimmer. We should be able to accept that too.

3strokes
July 28th, 2009, 11:48 PM
..ts and Canadian CBC

Last Sunday our Glorious CBC (a station made for their staff to travel to all World events for a few days before, during and after the event, to give us two hours (minus annoying commercials, minus annoying interviews with the Canadian athletes, minus even more annoying travelogues narrated by (who else?) of coverage. So this past Sunday all I got in Canada was diving, some water-ballet (call me old-fashioned) and very little water-polo (which I would have enjoyed.) Nothing, nada re swimming until next Sunday, where we will get maybe 20 minutes of actual swimming.

On the other hand, NBC this last Sunday had a better coverage of swimming (but I had to listen to Rowdy Gaines who is just as annoying as our own Steve Armitage, albeit 25 octaves higher than Steve.)

Then I console myself that UniversalSports will have live (or taped) coverage during the week. However, living in Canada, I can get to watch UniversalSports' commercials but not the footage (not valid in my area.)

There's just no way to get any respect as a Canadian Swimmer/swimming fan.

knelson
July 28th, 2009, 11:54 PM
My opinion of the whole lot has dropped tangibly. Personally, I'm ashamed to have cheered for Phelps during his career. He embarasses me...

I agree Mel. I commented on Rowdy Gaines' Facebook wall before the race that I hoped if Phelps lost to Biedermann he would take it like a man. I don't think he did and I don't think Bowman did. Biedermann swam the race of his life and these guys totally dissed his accomplishment. That sucks.

pwb
July 29th, 2009, 12:30 AM
Someone took their innovative idea and made it better. Capitalism at its best. Sorry, Speedo, but get your scientists out of hibernation and maybe one day soon, you'll again have the best suits in the pool.

Absolutely correct. Speedo got beaten in the market, fair & square. It's just sad to see the greatness of capitalism (better products, better availability and, had it been left to continue unfettered, lower prices) now mired by the worst of corporate cronyism and protectionism cloaked under some guise of returning to the "purity of the sport." With their "unionized" sponsored swimmers whining, Speedo's starting to sound like the UAW.



Then I console myself that UniversalSports will have live (or taped) coverage during the week. However, living in Canada, I can get to watch UniversalSports' commercials but not the footage (not valid in my area.)

There's just no way to get any respect as a Canadian Swimmer/swimming fan.

Yeah, but I was in Canada during the 2005 Worlds in Montreal and the CBC's coverage then was outstanding.

ande
July 29th, 2009, 12:35 AM
this loss will make phelps better, he'll train with determination to recapture the record in the 200 free.

Couroboros
July 29th, 2009, 01:01 AM
Word!

DPC
July 29th, 2009, 09:45 AM
Doesn't that mean that all Phelps medals at Beijing are invalid? Or, at least, should have a star by the listing? ...


No - he won those races, he won those medals - maybe based on the current comments about what records, which suit, and when they are "official WR", the records he set in Bejing may be "invalid", but in most Olympics not all the winners set WR.

Phelps lost for the first time in 4+ years, he's pissed - he knows he didn't train enough, the suits tech has caught up and surpassed the LZR and he got beat by a guy who wasn't very much on the radar - Biedermann swam a huge race, immense from start to finish - did the suit give him the extra 1.22 sec - maybe, more than likely. If they were to have raced in LZRs it could very well (likely?) have been a different result.

Maybe that is the level playing field everyone talks about - everyone gets to wear the same suit at these - be it a LZR, Jaked, plain old lycra - someone make a decision, make the suit makers bid for the rights like the networks bid on the television rights. Or just outlaw the suits, make it final, make the definitions mean something -Fina should stop this silly back and forth idiocy.

Phelps is just like everyother athlete who has worked hard and enjoyed great sucess - when they fall or stumble they are generally angry - hopefully at themselves. If you cheered him for this long, I don't see that his acting human and in the moment should really change that.

aquageek
July 29th, 2009, 10:12 AM
Phelps is just like everyother athlete who has worked hard and enjoyed great sucess - when they fall or stumble they are generally angry - hopefully at themselves. If you cheered him for this long, I don't see that his acting human and in the moment should really change that.

I disagree. There is nothing that says you have to be a boorish dope when you lose, no matter how great you were/are. I think this is simply another in a long line of immature behavior by Phelps. Anyone watch Andre Agassi's last match? That's how you lose with grace.

knelson
July 29th, 2009, 10:28 AM
Word, Geek!

JimRude
July 29th, 2009, 10:37 AM
I disagree. There is nothing that says you have to be a boorish dope when you lose, no matter how great you were/are. I think this is simply another in a long line of immature behavior by Phelps. Anyone watch Andre Agassi's last match? That's how you lose with grace.

Word to the Geek.

Just because someone is a great athlete does not automatically mean they have brains, common sense, class or integrity. You only have to review the NFL, NBA, MLB etc Halls of Shame for evidence.IMHO, Phelps has now joined the club.

Rule no. 1 of swimming: eventually there will be someone faster than you, so take pride in your accomplishments, but acknowledge those of others, too.

The Fortress
July 29th, 2009, 10:38 AM
What I want to know is why has Speedo neglected to develop and release a LZR 2.0 or equivalent? They had to know this arms race was coming after the uproar over the LZR's availability leading up to Beijing. With no answer to the B70, X-Glide and Jaked (anyone else notice how close to the phrase "jacked up" that company name is?), their athletes are stuck in the same way the Germans, et al. were stuck in Beijing.

Someone took their innovative idea and made it better. Capitalism at its best. Sorry, Speedo, but get your scientists out of hibernation and maybe one day soon, you'll again have the best suits in the pool.

I've wondered this same thing. Perhaps Speedo was banking on the X-Glide, Jaked, Hydrofoil being banned? After all, for a few short months they were banned and the LZR was positioned to rule supreme indefinitely ...

Biedermann is legit and was having a monster year. It wasn't just the suit that accounted for his time drop since Beijing.

Chris Stevenson
July 29th, 2009, 10:40 AM
It was poor behavior.

Everyone realizes that part of the success of greats like Phelps, Armstrong, Jordan, etc is their ultra-hyper-competitiveness that drives them every day. In their prime, they aren't very accustomed to losing at all, never mind with grace. I don't think Phelps or Bowman ever seriously considered the possibility that Phelps could lose.

Everyone has been damning Phelps and he deserves it. But IMO Bowman behaved at least as badly, and in his role as coach and mentor he should be doing a lot better. Phelps is still pretty immature, and it shows; he depends on Bowman, who I believe serves as a surrogate father-figure, to teach him better behavior. Snippy temper tantrums don't do that very well.

Here is a story comparing the behavior of another poor loser (LeBron James) to that of the greatest basketball player ever.

http://www.slate.com/id/2223387/

knelson
July 29th, 2009, 10:42 AM
I bet someone at Speedo HQ put in an urgent call to their Chinese factory to cut LZR production by 90% after the first day of Worlds. After Phelps got beat yesterday they've probably ceased production entirely.

mollie12
July 29th, 2009, 10:45 AM
I find it really hilarious that everyone here is criticizing Phelps, when people who are actually in Rome praised him for being a gracious, respectful competitor in his press conference. He gave full props to Biedermann, saying he had the better race and was in better shape. He said the swimmer beat him, not the suit. Check out Garrett McCaffrey's take on SwimPulse.

That being said, Bowman was really rash with his comments. From what I've heard, his little ultimatum came almost immediately after he learned that FINA is pushing back the ban on the suits. I think his little outburst had less to do with Phelps losing & more to do with even more evidence of FINA's incompetence. He should have kept his mouth shut, though.

mctrusty
July 29th, 2009, 10:49 AM
Third, Geek!

mctrusty
July 29th, 2009, 11:00 AM
this loss will make phelps better, he'll train with determination to recapture the record in the 200 free.

Maybe the win will make Biedermann train harder too with the intent of staying on top.

What then for Phelps? Will he give up on the 200 free?

I would hope not, I love a good rivalry.

aquageek
July 29th, 2009, 11:04 AM
That link by Chris sums it up, especially the MJ video. As much as it pains me that dunk by Starks is one of the top 10 dunks of all time, Jordan has the other 9 however.

If you look at LeBron, Phelps, Vick what you see is three young guns who have been coddled and told they are the greatest since they were 12 or 13. They never lost, were never told they were anything but the greatest and therefore developed no humility or sportsmanship. Sometimes that comes with age (or jail, in Vick's and Burress' case).

Frank Thompson
July 29th, 2009, 11:17 AM
Phelps lost for the first time in 4+ years, he's pissed - he knows he didn't train enough, the suits tech has caught up and surpassed the LZR and he got beat by a guy who wasn't very much on the radar - Biedermann swam a huge race, immense from start to finish - did the suit give him the extra 1.22 sec - maybe, more than likely. If they were to have raced in LZRs it could very well (likely?) have been a different result.

These statements are not exactly true. In November 2007 at the US Nationals at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Phelps lost for the first time to Ryan Lochte in the 200 IM (1:40.08 to 1:41.32) and he set the American Record in the process. In August of 2006, Phelps was defeated by Aaron Peirsol in the 200 Back (1:56.36 to 1:57.09) at the US Nationals/Selection meet for the Pan Pacific Championships. Then at the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships in the final of the 200 Meter Back, he was defeated again (1:54.44 to 1:56.81) so this statement as its written is not correct. These 3 races along with the one yesterday proves he has lost by over a second to competitors in the past.

Your statement about Biedermann not being much on the rader is completely false. Last November in a World Cup meet in Berlin he broke a World Record of Ian Thorpe in the 200 Free. I provided a link to that swim in the other thread. He broke the record by .37 (1:40.83 to 1:41.10) and no one except Ian Thorpe has gone in the 1:41 range. In 2007, he went a 1:42.39 in the 200 SCM Free. In comparison, swimmers like Park went 1:42.22, Hayden went 1:42.35, and Magnini went 1:42.54 as there SCM best times. Phelps went 1:42.78 in 2006 for comparison. So he put the world on notice last November that he was a guy to watch. Anybody that breaks an Ian Thorpe WR, has to be noticed.

This year he did the same thing in the LCM format before this meet started with two outstanding swims in the 200 LCM Free. On 6-14-09, he went 1:44.88 at Mare Nostrum in Monte Carlo. On 6-28-09, he went 1:44.71 at the German Nationals in Berlin, which is the exact time that Ian Thorpe did when he won the 200 Free at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Those times were the fastest in the world until Phelps went 1:44.23 at Indy earlier this month so the difference here is less than a half second.

When everyone saw what Biedermann did in the 400 Free and how he raced the second half of that race, everyone knew that Phelps was in big trouble. He did take a 6 month break, then got suspended for 3 months after that, did not swim in a competitive meet for 9 months and these are additional factors in his swimming that people don't want to talk about but just want to focus on the suits.

Michael Heather
July 29th, 2009, 11:24 AM
Word, Skip.

A lot of ruffled feathers from the old hens, but I guess they need the exercise.

Peter Cruise
July 29th, 2009, 11:53 AM
Geek- I will point out that Andre Agassi went through a very long journey to get to the point where he was able to lose gracefully, perhaps this will help Phelps evolve as a person. Heck, even you have evolved in the last few years...

aquageek
July 29th, 2009, 12:00 PM
Geek- I will point out that Andre Agassi went through a very long journey to get to the point where he was able to lose gracefully, perhaps this will help Phelps evolve as a person. Heck, even you have evolved in the last few years...

One true point, one untrue point.

ourswimmer
July 29th, 2009, 12:18 PM
I disagree. There is nothing that says you have to be a boorish dope when you lose, no matter how great you were/are. I think this is simply another in a long line of immature behavior by Phelps.

I agree as well and am not surprised. When I saw MP on one of the late-night shows after the Olympics, he did not compliment his competition even once. The host gave him a bunch of easy opportunities to say, "everyone swam really well, and it's great to be among such a strong group of competitors who have pushed me to achieve my very best," but he did not rise to any of them. Just kept grinning and repeating how hard he'd worked and how great he felt.

Sam Perry
July 29th, 2009, 12:23 PM
Y'all need to lighten up. Just because he didn't smile and congratulate him after a race doesn't make him out to be the guy that I am reading about here. The guy despises to losing and he just lost a race (and a WR mind you) to a guy that dropped 4 SECONDS(!!) in 11 months. I am sure he was a bit surprised and frustrated as anyone would be. Heck even Biederman said the suit made the difference. I am pretty sure he would've beaten Phelps in a LZR but we will never know. Please watch this press conference and tell me what is so unsportsmanlike about this:

http://www.swimnetwork.com/videos/v/20090728/michael_phelps_speaks_humbly-16905.html

P.S. All champions hate to lose, but guys who have taken it to the next level DESPISE losing. That's what makes him one of the greatest atheletes of all time. Same with Jordan, Armstrong, Woods, etc.

aquageek
July 29th, 2009, 12:29 PM
P.S. All champions hate to lose, but guys who have taken it to the next level DESPISE losing. That's what makes him one of the greatest atheletes of all time. Same with Jordan, Armstrong, Woods, etc.

Mr. FOP - no one is arguing he hates to lose. The point is hating to lose doesn't mean being a poor sport. But, as Cruise the Commie from Canader points out, with age comes humility, maybe.

thewookiee
July 29th, 2009, 12:38 PM
Geek- Heck, even you have evolved in the last few years...

Yes, he has finally managed to tie his own shoes and to walk upright on 2 legs. While the rest of human race figured it out thousands of years ago, geek has only been able to do it since the introduction of tech suits.

bcm119
July 29th, 2009, 12:45 PM
In my experience people who train at an elite level well into their 20's have problems maturing emotionally until they quit swimming and enter the real world. It appears MP is no different, and his coach not much better. None of this is particularly surprising. Biedermann had an amazing swim.

quicksilver
July 29th, 2009, 12:45 PM
...everyone knew that Phelps was in big trouble. He did take a 6 month break, then got suspended for 3 months after that, did not swim in a competitive meet for 9 months and these are additional factors in his swimming that people don't want to talk about but just want to focus on the suits.

That's a good point. Would he have gone under 1:42 in the 200 though? Who knows?

The 1:43 club had very few members up until a couple of days ago. Is it because of the suits? or better training?

DPC
July 29th, 2009, 01:49 PM
Well it looks like the beat down in the 200 Free fueled a more typical effort and result in the 200 fly. What suit did they all wear? - then again maybe it doesn't really matter all that much?!?

For the record to Frank/Skip- according to various news reports Phelps has not lost in international competition in 4 years - my bad on not clarfying that statement.

SLOmmafan
July 29th, 2009, 02:16 PM
I won't take away the fact that Phelps won eight golds from him. He could have potentially done in 2004 if the relay had gone right, he nearly did it at the 2007 World Champs, and he got it done at the 2008 Olympics. Even at this World Championships he will still walk away with more gold medals then many people see in their entire lives (I am talking elite swimmers here). You can attribute fast times to the suits, but a win is a win if everyone has access to the same suits (which they do).

If Phelps lost the race because of the suit alone, it's his fault for chasing the money instead of going with the right equipment. As I understand, Speedo would have let him wear another suit if he demanded it - he is Michael Phelps, he has the leverage.

Lump
July 29th, 2009, 02:17 PM
T
This year he did the same thing in the LCM format before this meet started with two outstanding swims in the 200 LCM Free. On 6-14-09, he went 1:44.88 at Mare Nostrum in Monte Carlo. On 6-28-09, he went 1:44.71 at the German Nationals in Berlin, which is the exact time that Ian Thorpe did when he won the 200 Free at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Those times were the fastest in the world until Phelps went 1:44.23 at Indy earlier this month so the difference here is less than a half second.


So he drops 2.71 seconds in a month....wow, he must have trained hard in that month.

thewookiee
July 29th, 2009, 02:47 PM
So he drops 2.71 seconds in a month....wow, he must have trained hard in that month.

Or hit his taper at just the right moment in the training cycle.

Peter Cruise
July 29th, 2009, 02:48 PM
Wookiee- The Geek was quite a piece of work until he was taken under Ion's wing and developed his present razor sharp powers of political, philosophical and sporting analysis. Fort then smoothed out the rough edges after that, leaving him the paragon of humility that we know and...put up with.

thewookiee
July 29th, 2009, 02:51 PM
Wookiee- The Geek was quite a piece of work until he was taken under Ion's wing and developed his present razor sharp powers of political, philosophical and sporting analysis. Fort then smoothed out the rough edges after that, leaving him the paragon of humility that we know and...put up with.

Geek reminds me of the tech suit debate. Some love him...some hate him...the rest just put with him.

jim clemmons
July 29th, 2009, 03:31 PM
In my experience people who train at an elite level well into their 20's have problems maturing emotionally until they quit swimming and enter the real world. It appears MP is no different, and his coach not much better. None of this is particularly surprising. Biedermann had an amazing swim.

Yes, I believe that there are "isolation" issues at work here that led to slow or awkward "maturity" development. Elite's can get buried in whatever it is they're training for or competing in, and miss out on some steps that assist in handling or responding to different circumstances. Not saying it's excusible and certainly some coaches help in dealing with negative circumstances better than others...

mikeh
July 29th, 2009, 07:45 PM
I'll repeat what I said earlier: I think everyone is being way too hard on Phelps. Phelps was beaten by a swimmer that was not even in his league until this week. No elite swimmer who has presumably been training at a very high level for years suddenly drops 4 seconds at the age of 23. It just does not happen. I would hope that I would smile and nod and shake the other fellow's hand. But I will not judge Phelps for his reaction. Everyone seems to forget that Phelps blamed himself, and his own alleged lack of training, in the press conference. I think Phelps is being too hard on himself - he came within .3 of his WR in the 200 freestyle, probably his most remarkable swim from the Olympics. Phelps was in fine shape. Biedermann had one of the most remarkable performances in swimming history, and just happens to be wearing a suit that will be illegal in four months.

And to give Biedermann credit, he has admitted the advantage the suit gives him. He would like get rid of them too I think. I don't blame him for doing everything in his power, legally, to win. But neither do I blame Phelps and his coach for pointing out the obvious inequities.

Chris Stevenson
July 29th, 2009, 07:59 PM
I'll repeat what I said earlier: I think everyone is being way too hard on Phelps. Phelps was beaten by a swimmer that was not even in his league until this week....

And to give Biedermann credit, he has admitted the advantage the suit gives him. He would like get rid of them too I think. I don't blame him for doing everything in his power, legally, to win. But neither do I blame Phelps and his coach for pointing out the obvious inequities.

A lot of people here seem to think it a foregone conclusion that if Biedermann and Phelps were to race on equal terms (ie wearing the same suit) that Phelps would smoke him. I don't think that is at all obvious. And to say it was only within the past week that he was in Phelps' league is untrue, as others have pointed out; breaking a Thorpe record in SCM should have put him on anybody's radar.

Stop making excuses. My child and many others are taught from summer league on up to shake the hands of the person on either side of him after the race, win or lose. This is basic sportsmanship, and if we profess to admire such behavior than we should chastise anyone who fails to exhibit it...especially someone like Phelps.

I'm not saying that Phelps is a terrible person, he isn't. And his every mis-step is intensely scrutinized. He later gave Biedermann credit: "I was beaten by the swimmer, not a suit" or some such. Good for him. I'm sure next time (and there will be a next time at some point, even Phelps is not invincible) Phelps will handle a loss with just a little more grace.

Frank Thompson
July 29th, 2009, 08:44 PM
Biedermann had one of the most remarkable performances in swimming history, and just happens to be wearing a suit that will be illegal in four months.

And to give Biedermann credit, he has admitted the advantage the suit gives him. He would like get rid of them too I think. I don't blame him for doing everything in his power, legally, to win. But neither do I blame Phelps and his coach for pointing out the obvious inequities.

You failed to mention that the suit that Phelps is wearing will be illegal in four months also. Evidently you did not read the background that was provided in the other thread. He broke an Ian Thorpe World Record 8 months ago so I hardly call that out of Phelps league until this week. He has gone 1:40.83 in the 200 SCM Free and besides Thorpe NO ONE has broken 1:42.25 in that course in that distance. Hardly out of Phelps league.

Also, check out the obvious inequities in the 200 Free at the 2008 Olympics in which Phelps is wearing a LZR, which accounted for all but 2 World Records in those Olympics and check the suit that Biedermann is wearing. Its not even a full body and he is wearing Adidas jammers because as I understand Germany had to honor there contract with that sponsor and could not get the LZR suits because they were not available.

Nothing was said about that and this year the shoe is on the other foot and we are hearing about all the disadvantages the Speedo LZR has and this exact suit was the suit of the future last year with all of the advantages and those swimmers enjoyed those advantages. Now next year, all those suits will be gone and we will be back to square one? Well maybe.

mikeh
July 29th, 2009, 08:48 PM
And to say it was only within the past week that he was in Phelps' league is untrue, as others have pointed out; breaking a Thorpe record in SCM should have put him on anybody's radar.

There is no credible alibi for a 4 second drop by a 23 year old in the world class ranks. Again, I don't blame Biedermann - I would have done the same thing in his shoes. The goal is to win by any means within the rules. But the Biedermann of this week was not the Biedermann of 11 months ago.

3strokes
July 29th, 2009, 08:50 PM
Originally Posted by 3strokes
Then I console myself that UniversalSports will have live (or taped) coverage during the week. However, living in Canada, I can get to watch UniversalSports' commercials but not the footage (not valid in my area.)

There's just no way to get any respect as a Canadian Swimmer/swimming fan.



Yeah, but I was in Canada during the 2005 Worlds in Montreal and the CBC's coverage then was outstanding.
So was I (but in Ottawa). I still have the video recordings (both English and French channels) and re-watch them at times.

But you see, that's the whole point of my rant: Most countries' coverages are biased. Where are the truly UNIVERSAL Sports media?

Chris Stevenson
July 29th, 2009, 10:19 PM
There is no credible alibi for a 4 second drop by a 23 year old in the world class ranks. Again, I don't blame Biedermann - I would have done the same thing in his shoes. The goal is to win by any means within the rules.

I don't understand your choice of words, "credible alibi." Why does he need an alibi? Are you accusing him of cheating or being unethical? Even Phelps didn't do that.

Biedermann didn't do anything this year that Phelps didn't do a year prior (except make a pile of money, of course).

As Frank Thompson just posted, 8 months ago in SCM he went faster than Phelps ever has. I'll agree with you that Phelps was surprised to lose, but he shouldn't have been. (I seem to remember an interview before the race where Bowman said that if Phelps swam well, he would win. Perhaps they were guilty of believing their own media hype.)

This meet is filled with people making incredible drops to set WRs and NRs, and they are mostly not teenagers either. This particular swim seems to defy your belief only because Phelps was the victim.

tiggyboo
July 31st, 2009, 03:53 PM
I'll repeat what I said earlier: I think everyone is being way too hard on Phelps. Phelps was beaten by a swimmer that was not even in his league until this week. No elite swimmer who has presumably been training at a very high level for years suddenly drops 4 seconds at the age of 23. It just does not happen. I would hope that I would smile and nod and shake the other fellow's hand. But I will not judge Phelps for his reaction. Everyone seems to forget that Phelps blamed himself, and his own alleged lack of training, in the press conference. I think Phelps is being too hard on himself - he came within .3 of his WR in the 200 freestyle, probably his most remarkable swim from the Olympics. Phelps was in fine shape. Biedermann had one of the most remarkable performances in swimming history, and just happens to be wearing a suit that will be illegal in four months.

And to give Biedermann credit, he has admitted the advantage the suit gives him. He would like get rid of them too I think. I don't blame him for doing everything in his power, legally, to win. But neither do I blame Phelps and his coach for pointing out the obvious inequities.

I don't doubt Phelp's graciousness in defeat, or that the fast suit offers an advantage - the rub is with Speedo Consultant Bowman, throwing a tantrum only at the moment his athlete is disadvantaged by technology... the same athlete who historically took advantage of technology with Bowman's blessing. This is a serious "The Emperor Has No Clothes" situation - I have yet to see anyone address Bowman's pathetic hypocrisy in this matter to my satisfaction. I can't believe he's saying what he's saying with a straight face.

mikeh
July 31st, 2009, 07:18 PM
As Frank Thompson just posted, 8 months ago in SCM he went faster than Phelps ever has...This meet is filled with people making incredible drops to set WRs and NRs, and they are mostly not teenagers either. This particular swim seems to defy your belief only because Phelps was the victim.

So it took Biedermann only 3 months to drop 4 seconds instead of 11 months? I don't think that buttresses anyone's case that Biedermann relied only on hard work and natural talent to drop all his time.

Regarding your other point, there are numerous swims at these WC that have shocked me. Biedermann's is only one of several.

mikeh
July 31st, 2009, 07:23 PM
I don't doubt Phelp's graciousness in defeat, or that the fast suit offers an advantage - the rub is with Speedo Consultant Bowman, throwing a tantrum only at the moment his athlete is disadvantaged by technology... the same athlete who historically took advantage of technology with Bowman's blessing. This is a serious "The Emperor Has No Clothes" situation - I have yet to see anyone address Bowman's pathetic hypocrisy in this matter to my satisfaction. I can't believe he's saying what he's saying with a straight face.


I agree with you there. At least Bowman is advocating throwing all records out - Phelps' included. But the moral outrage should have happened last year, when Olympic swimmers were scarmbling to get the LZR or risk losing to slower swimmers.

I still don't blame Bowman for being bent out of shape after losing to Biedermann.

And again, I don't blame Biedermann a bit for finding the fastest suit available within the rules. He seems like a nice guy. We'll see what happens when both competitors take the suits off.

tjrpatt
July 31st, 2009, 08:20 PM
Australia stopped watching the world champs due to the suit wars. Bowman is on a tear with his comments. He just keeps yapping and yapping. Overall, FINA just looks heavily unorganized and really needs to get their crap together.