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View Full Version : Some Aging Competitors Call High-Tech Swimsuits Dirty Pool



Ken Classen
November 3rd, 2009, 11:36 AM
Wall Street Journal article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125721159786824325.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


Michael Mann of Centennial, Colo., flew past his opponents, swaddled shoulder-to-ankle in a black neoprene bodysuit. Mr. Mann, 55, won the 400-meter individual medley race and set a world record for his age group, 55 to 59. Mr. Mann set new world marks in the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyle while Mr. Evans steamed.

Tim L
November 3rd, 2009, 12:33 PM
I saw that this morning, checked Clay Evans time in the 200IM and 400IM, and just about coughed up my breakfast cereal. Clay and the author seem to think that the tech suits are worth more than 1 minute and 9 seconds advantage in the 400IM and 33 seconds in the 200IM. Maybe most of Mike's advantage over Clay is that he currently works a lot harder at his swimming and fitness than Clay. Mike could have worn a drag suit and Clay could have worn an Arena X-Glide and Mike probably still would have won by 20 plus seconds in the 400IM. Mike probably does sets of 400IMs on intervals in practice as fast as Clay's meet time. Sure, the suit is an advantage, but come up with a better example please. I know that Clay is an ex-Olympian and all and I am just a hack, but he should spend some more time in the pool before he is quoted in a national newspaper so it looks like he has a legitimate complaint.

Tim

knelson
November 3rd, 2009, 12:50 PM
I was thinking the same thing, but maybe we should give Clay the benefit of the doubt. He stated that he thinks the suits are cheating, not that he would have had any chance against Michael Mann had they both been wearing the same suit.

As Tim alluded to, Mann swam a 2:21.92 in the 200 IM versus 2:53.86 for Evans. In the 400 IM it was 5:04.07 for Mann, 6:13.08 for Evans.

Dolphin 2
November 3rd, 2009, 01:01 PM
Gawwd, this whole tech suit controversy just keeps burning like a wild fire in Southern California.

The only difference is that wild fires eventually burn themselves out.

D2

Tim L
November 3rd, 2009, 01:54 PM
I was thinking the same thing, but maybe we should give Clay the benefit of the doubt.

Well, maybe, but the tone of the article is such that it certainly demeans Mike's accomplishments and certainly alludes that Clay has fallen behind the times because he didn't wear a tech suit and that he was upset by the race outcome. Clay didn't write the article, but as an ex-Olympian you would think he might have a clearer view and would hesitate to single someone out in any case. I am generally not a tech suit proponent myself, but they don't distort the outcomes substantially especially in masters swimming where there isn't much on the line.

Tim

Ripple
November 3rd, 2009, 02:38 PM
Since when are tech suits made of neoprene? That would be a wetsuit, and wetsuits have always been illegal in pool racing. The ones that will not be allowed after January are lycra with a polyurethane coating.

Mswimming
November 3rd, 2009, 03:01 PM
Since when are tech suits made of neoprene? That would be a wetsuit, and wetsuits have always been illegal in pool racing. The ones that will not be allowed after January are lycra with a polyurethane coating.

You mean Yamamoto rubber.

http://www.yamamoto-bio.com/yamamoto_e/sports.html

Only cheap wetsuits are made of neoprene these days. Most are made from Yamamoto rubber. Same with the Tech suits. The only difference is the thickness.

james lucas
November 3rd, 2009, 03:16 PM
Maybe most of Mike's advantage over Clay is that he currently works a lot harder at his swimming and fitness than Clay.
Exactly.

The real unfair advantage is that Michael Mann is able to devote so much time and attention to swimming. Competition won't be "fair" until USMS imposes a training limit of, say, 7 hours a week to limit the economic advantage that Mann has over those of us who cannot or don't want to overcome the opportunity costs to our incomes and time.

Of course, thatíll never happen. Nor should it. Which makes the rules on tech suits all the more puzzling.

(oh, by the way, I was standing behind the blocks in Thousand Oaks when Michael Mann set his record in the 200 free, as The Journal noted today. I concluded that, if I were to work out with him every day, I still wouldn't be fast enough to see his feet at the end of a 200. How about a rule that requires the fast guys to wear sneakers when they swim?).

knelson
November 3rd, 2009, 04:45 PM
Of course, thatíll never happen. Nor should it. Which makes the rules on tech suits all the more puzzling.

Wait a minute here. What exactly is puzzling? You seem to be comparing bans on tech suits to putting a limit on training time. The two aren't remotely similar.

ehoch
November 3rd, 2009, 05:15 PM
Well - I coach and swim with SCAQ, which is the team that Clay Evans owns and runs. In his swimming times defense - he came out to the meet to support the team and to score points for our team to win the meet. He was well aware that he is not in great swimming condition - but came out anyway, I know many Olympians would not do the same.

Of course I could not disagree more with him about the suits.

I saw Micheal Mann swim at that meet - I saw a very good swimmer with a great stroke swimming fast times - he happened to be 55 years old and wearing a Blue 70 - but that does not change my first impression.

james lucas
November 3rd, 2009, 05:57 PM
So, two things:


[Clay Evans] came out to the meet to support the team and to score points for our team to win the meet. He was well aware that he is not in great swimming condition - but came out anyway

At that meet, Evans actually was near the top of the age group in points scored (Michael Mann, with his string of world records, was just impossible to top). I thought he set a really good example for everyone to just get in the pool ... And Evans' team did win the team trophy.

A reader of the WSJ might get an exaggerated view of Evans' real feelings. Put more bluntly, I don't think the report was really fair to Evans - I'm guessing he sort of got used by the reporter.


You seem to be comparing bans on tech suits to putting a limit on training time. The two aren't remotely similar.

One of the compelling arguments against the suits is that they cost too much and thus give a competitive advantage to swimmers who are economically blessed. By the same token, a workout limit would remove the advantage that allows economically blessed swimmers to spend more time training. If I could afford to, I would swim two-a-days, I would get hours of coaching from top-notch coaches, I would spend half an hour a day refining my stroke, I would go to sleep on time and wake up when I wanted to, and I would stop running through airports before sitting (without a cool-down) for hours in cramped airplane seats.

By the way, I think both ideas - a ban on suits or a training limit - are stupid beyond belief.

Midas
November 3rd, 2009, 06:14 PM
Well, maybe, but the tone of the article is such that it certainly demeans Mike's accomplishments and certainly alludes that Clay has fallen behind the times because he didn't wear a tech suit and that he was upset by the race outcome. Clay didn't write the article, but as an ex-Olympian you would think he might have a clearer view and would hesitate to single someone out in any case. I am generally not a tech suit proponent myself, but they don't distort the outcomes substantially especially in masters swimming where there isn't much on the line.

Tim

As I've said before, one of the small benefits of the tech suit ban will be that going forward nobody will be able to question or demean a swimmer's accomplishments based on the suit worn.

Mark Savage
November 3rd, 2009, 06:41 PM
Here's a follow-up to the WSJ article on the SCAQ blog:

http://scaq.blogspot.com/

Clay is distressed that the Wall Street Journal article portrayed him a "sore loser" or was trying to diminish Michael Mann's swims. Here is a response from Clay Evans that he wanted me to publish:

A couple more words on the swim suit topic and the WSJ article today: I would like to apologize to Michael Mann. The article made it appear that I believed I could have won had if I had worn a better suit. That is so far from true. Mr. Mann could have beaten me in his sweatsuit and I had on his tech suit.

I applaud his efforts and his talent. "Good job Michael". I am sorry that this controversy and the notoriety has possibly blemished your outstanding swims. Keep it up!

Not really that sore a sport,

Clay

knelson
November 3rd, 2009, 07:07 PM
One of the compelling arguments against the suits is that they cost too much and thus give a competitive advantage to swimmers who are economically blessed.

I guess that's an argument, but not very compelling.

Tim L
November 3rd, 2009, 07:23 PM
Well - I coach and swim with SCAQ, which is the team that Clay Evans owns and runs. In his swimming times defense - he came out to the meet to support the team and to score points for our team to win the meet. He was well aware that he is not in great swimming condition - but came out anyway, I know many Olympians would not do the same.

Of course I could not disagree more with him about the suits.

I saw Micheal Mann swim at that meet - I saw a very good swimmer with a great stroke swimming fast times - he happened to be 55 years old and wearing a Blue 70 - but that does not change my first impression.

Thanks for the information on Clay Evans. It sounds like he does a lot for masters swimming. I think that is great that he swam even though he wasn't in great swimming condition. It was nice of him to apologize to Mike as well although it sounds like the WSJ "journalist" is probably the one that should apologize for taking a harsher angle on the story than was warranted.

Tim

Chris Stevenson
November 3rd, 2009, 07:27 PM
One of the compelling arguments against the suits is that they cost too much and thus give a competitive advantage to swimmers who are economically blessed. By the same token, a workout limit would remove the advantage that allows economically blessed swimmers to spend more time training. If I could afford to, I would swim two-a-days, I would get hours of coaching from top-notch coaches, I would spend half an hour a day refining my stroke, I would go to sleep on time and wake up when I wanted to, and I would stop running through airports before sitting (without a cool-down) for hours in cramped airplane seats.

I agree with knelson that an economic argument against the suit isn't all that compelling. It may have been one reason that it was banned for the elites but I do not think it was even close to the main one. I think it was because the nature of the suit was becoming a dominating (or at least "very significant") factor in times and races. Whenever someone did an eye-popping swim, the first question was always and immediately "what suit?"

It made me pine for the days of good old-fashioned doping scandals. (Just kidding.)

Certainly people have different situations wrt ability to devote time to training. With some notable exceptions (think Dara Torres) I don't believe it is usually strictly economic but commitments like family and job; they aren't always quite the same thing. Some people have no children and flexible hours for work; others have a number of school-age children and/or heavy work commitments or travel time.

You may be an exception, but I don't think it is universally true that freeing up (say) 3-4 hours in the day will mean that a typical masters swimmer will spend that time training or getting massages. And many swimmers don't have too much time and go to some trouble to carve out their training time. It isn't unusual for me to be lifting weights after 10pm, after ferrying my son around, helping him with schoolwork, fixing him dinner, putting him to bed, and waiting for my wife to get home from work (she puts in late hours). Sometimes I'm up at 3am, working -- usually grading -- and still go to morning practice. (I'm a fan of Warren Zevon: I'll sleep when I'm dead.)

I have no problem if person X swims a lot faster because s/he is training longer/harder/smarter. Hasn't that always been the case in swimming? Doesn't it make sense? Effort and training savvy SHOULD be rewarded with superior performances.

But getting faster because of a purchase...eh, I don't really see much connection to one's talent or dedication. I guess you have to be dedicated enough to forego whatever else you would have bought with that money.

jim clemmons
November 3rd, 2009, 07:35 PM
One of the compelling arguments against the suits is that they cost too much and thus give a competitive advantage to swimmers who are economically blessed.

By the way, I think both ideas - a ban on suits or a training limit - are stupid beyond belief.


I guess that's an argument, but not very compelling.

I believe "too much" is a relative term and not likely to be of valid use in an argument since some (me included) are more than willing to pay that kind of money for one or more tech suits. I, in no way, feel that paying 300 bucks or thereabout for a suit puts me in the "economically blessed" category.

Now, if you want to state something to the tune of "more costly than a brief or jammer", then I might tag along.

james lucas
November 3rd, 2009, 08:27 PM
I guess my problem is that the only compelling argument that I can see for the suit ban is the economic argument - and I think this argument is weak.

Granted, the new suits made a difference in the new records. But by the same token, the "new" starting blocks made a difference in years past, and no one cared because we all use the same blocks. Similarly, the "new" breast stroke rules meant faster times - but no one objected because everyone had the same rules. I would prefer we go back to old-school backstroke turns, for aesthetic reasons of course (that, and the fact that my poorly executed "new" turns may actually cost me time rather than saving time).

Why should the change in suits be any different from the other changes? (Well, to sum up: the new suits are different, the line of reasoning goes, because of the economic argument that says they gives an unfair advantage to some swimmers - to which I respond that if we really cared about making everyone equal and if we really wanted to eliminate the advantages that some people have over others, then we would impose a limit on the biggest difference-maker in swimming, which is training and work ethic; this, of course, is contrary to the most fundamental spirit of our sport and thus is a dumb idea).

Allen Stark
November 3rd, 2009, 08:29 PM
If you want to do well at Nationals you have to go to Nationals.That can be really expensive if it is not close.Worlds is even more expensive.Tech suit cost is a small fraction of this.

knelson
November 3rd, 2009, 08:36 PM
Why should the change in suits be any different from the other changes?

All of these other things affect everyone equally. However, not everyone can get the latest and greatest suit. And before you disagree, just look at the World Championships in Rome where the greatest swimmer in the world was contractually obligated to wear an inferior suit.

Maybe at some point in the future things would have settled down and this wouldn't have been an issue but there would still be the "it's because of the suit" argument. So why not just take the suit out of the equation? Let the fastest swimmer win. That, too me, is the most compelling argument.

james lucas
November 3rd, 2009, 09:29 PM
just look at the World Championships in Rome where the greatest swimmer in the world was contractually obligated to wear an inferior suit.

First: Why should we change the rules, which affect everyone, in order to protect "the greatest swimmer in the world" from the consequences of poor business judgment? The solution to that problem is not a change in global rules, but to quietly suggest that "the greatest swimmer in the world" get a better agent.

Second: It's not clear that there's THAT much difference between the suits. And if there is, then any problems can be solved simply by requiring the suit companies to make their best suits available to everyone, with transparent pricing policies.

Sorry for hijacking this thread - and for stirring a horse that should be dead by now. With this, I'll shut up and go back to trying to learn a new school backstroke turn ...

Glenn
November 3rd, 2009, 10:01 PM
One small point I would like to make as I have been corrected on this myself. There are no "ex-Olympians". Michael Phelps is an Olympian, as is Mark Spitz, Donna DeVerona and Clay Evans.

Now, you may continue with this thread........:bolt:

Midas
November 3rd, 2009, 10:03 PM
I guess that's an argument, but not very compelling.

To complete the hijacking, I think we'll just need Fort and Gull to join the conversation....

I just wanted to observe that I think it did ultimately come down to cost and availability for many people. I'm not talking about cost or availability at the world class level (where they could all get them (other than poor Mr. Phelps)) or at the Masters level (where those that want them can generally afford them). I'm talking about all levels below the world class level in the "elite" system (college, age group, national, etc.). Coaches (college coaches with budget constraints in particular) and parents simply did not want to pay $400 for a suit in the first place, and sure didn't love the idea that such a suit would become technologically obsolete in less than a year, forcing them to plunk down yet another $400 for the next model (also likely to become obsolete).

I'm no fan of the cost/availability argument myself, but I do think it was a compelling one for many people and wouldn't be surprised if it was the biggest reason that the suits got banned. If tech suits cost $80-$100 they would likely still be legal. When the cost of the technology behind the suits comes down to that level, I won't be surprise (though saddened) to see the tech suits make a comeback.

The Fortress
November 3rd, 2009, 10:14 PM
If you want to do well at Nationals you have to go to Nationals.That can be really expensive if it is not close.Worlds is even more expensive.Tech suit cost is a small fraction of this.

Seriously, my bill for 5 days at Indy was ginormous. :afraid: Much much worse than my suit bill.

Further random comments just for Midas:

1. I swam slower in my Jaked than my old B70 except in one event.
2. Cost is not a very compelling reason to me for adults. However, I have always said that age groupers should be regulated apart from open champs meets.
3. I don't give a toss about poor Mr. Phelps competing in a LZR.
4. The "it's because of the suit" argument is just the newest of the "its because of the ______ [fill in the blank] arguments.
5. The fastest people will still be the hardest workers (like CS or KPN) despite GoodSmith's stupid elitist "some are taking it too seriously" remarks.
6. No way does the suit give anything close to the time differences between Mann and Evans. Jeez, rolls eyes.
7. Tech suits don't last longer than a year.
8. This reporter tried to contact me twice, and I missed her calls. I wish I had spoken to her. Maybe the article wouldn't have been quite so ridiculously slanted. Offhand, I recall only one throwaway pro-suit quote from Rowdy ... And, sigh, "dirty" is just another word for "immoral" or wrong. :bitching::bitching::bitching:

Midas
November 3rd, 2009, 11:10 PM
Seriously, my bill for 5 days at Indy was ginormous. :afraid: Much much worse than my suit bill.

Further random comments just for Midas:

1. I swam slower in my Jaked than my old B70 except in one event.
2. Cost is not a very compelling reason to me for adults. However, I have always said that age groupers should be regulated apart from open champs meets.
3. I don't give a toss about poor Mr. Phelps competing in a LZR.
4. The "it's because of the suit" argument is just the newest of the "its because of the ______ [fill in the blank] arguments.
5. The fastest people will still be the hardest workers (like CS or KPN) despite GoodSmith's stupid elitist "some are taking it too seriously" remarks.
6. No way does the suit give anything close to the time differences between Mann and Evans. Jeez, rolls eyes.
7. Tech suits don't last longer than a year.
8. This reporter tried to contact me twice, and I missed her calls. I wish I had spoken to her. Maybe the article wouldn't have been quite so ridiculously slanted. Offhand, I recall only one throwaway pro-suit quote from Rowdy ... And, sigh, "dirty" is just another word for "immoral" or wrong. :bitching::bitching::bitching:

Why is this stuff for me! :bitching: I'm with you on points 2 (with respect to costs--I think we should all be governed by the same rules), 3, 5 and 6. My B70 lasted for well over a year so I can't agree with you there (that's the true beauty of the suit IMHO), but maybe you swim way more meets that I do. On point 1 I think the B70 and Jaked are probably pretty close in terms of performance enhancing capability (though the jaked does have slightly more rubberized material, so my guess is you had an "off" day. That leaves point 4 as our one point of disagreement. My problem with point 4 is the blank used to get filled in with "PEDs". I don't know what else gets filled in there.... Nobody can *really* complain about an athlete that trains smarter/harder/better or even one that is more physically gifted. Well they can, but unlike with the suits I think the majority of folks reject the legitimacy of that complaint...

knelson
November 3rd, 2009, 11:49 PM
First: Why should we change the rules, which affect everyone, in order to protect "the greatest swimmer in the world" from the consequences of poor business judgment?

We shouldn't. Phelps was merely one example. These suits have a rich history of not being available to everyone. Last year at NCAAs only Auburn had the Jaked. When the LZR first came out it was very difficult to get. Brett Hawke had an interview on floswimming where he discussed how Cesar Cielo--who ended up winning the gold medal--didn't get ahold of a LZR until just before his race in Beijing. There are numerous other examples. OK, you could certainly argue that if availability is the problem then why not set better rules to address that. Yeah, perhaps, but why not just set a standard for suit design and materials where we really don't have to worry about these things? Yes, we could all swim faster if fins and paddles were allowed, too, but would that be good for the sport?

james lucas
November 4th, 2009, 12:49 AM
OK, you could certainly argue that if availability is the problem then why not set better rules to address that. Yeah, perhaps, but why not just set a standard for suit design and materials where we really don't have to worry about these things?
I really did intend to leave alone the dead horse. But I think it just moved, so: beat it I shall.

There's a joke from the middle ages of a traveler who comes upon a castle that is surrounded by people with levers. They say they are trying to move the walls of the castle. Some animal had left something smelly by the walls, and the king wanted a solution. The sensible traveler, of course, asked: why not move the small and smelly thing, rather than the castle?

By the same token, solving the small problem with a huge "solution" of setting new standards for suit design and changing all the swimming businesses from top to bottom - is all out of proportion to what's required to fix the stated and ostensible problem. It's like a bad joke. Unless, of course, people aren't saying what really bugs them about the suits (which is what I think).

Chris Stevenson
November 4th, 2009, 06:01 AM
I really did intend to leave alone the dead horse. But I think it just moved, so: beat it I shall.

There's a joke from the middle ages of a traveler who comes upon a castle that is surrounded by people with levers. They say they are trying to move the walls of the castle. Some animal had left something smelly by the walls, and the king wanted a solution. The sensible traveler, of course, asked: why not move the small and smelly thing, rather than the castle?

By the same token, solving the small problem with a huge "solution" of setting new standards for suit design and changing all the swimming businesses from top to bottom - is all out of proportion to what's required to fix the stated and ostensible problem. It's like a bad joke. Unless, of course, people aren't saying what really bugs them about the suits (which is what I think).

Okay, I had to smile at a pro-suit person who equates the suits with a pile of cow manure; personally I think that's just a little harsh.

But it is hard to believe in the hundreds -- thousands? -- of posts on the topic here and elsewhere that the anti tech-suit people haven't said what's truly on their (our) minds.

So I'll bite: what is it that you think REALLY bugs us about the suits?

Chris Stevenson
November 4th, 2009, 06:08 AM
I really did intend to leave alone the dead horse. But I think it just moved, so: beat it I shall.

There's a joke from the middle ages of a traveler who comes upon a castle that is surrounded by people with levers. They say they are trying to move the walls of the castle. Some animal had left something smelly by the walls, and the king wanted a solution. The sensible traveler, of course, asked: why not move the small and smelly thing, rather than the castle?

By the same token, solving the small problem with a huge "solution" of setting new standards for suit design and changing all the swimming businesses from top to bottom - is all out of proportion to what's required to fix the stated and ostensible problem. It's like a bad joke. Unless, of course, people aren't saying what really bugs them about the suits (which is what I think).

Tech suits are cow manure? An interesting argument from a suit supporter. I think it is a little harsh, but whatever.

Personally I don't think that, when a sport regulates itself, the first consideration should be its effects on businesses. If the NFL decides that current helmets are not safe enough, I hope they don't say "oh, no! What about existing stock and production lines? We shouldn't change a thing."

(Having said that, I admit FINA bungled badly in this respect. They could have achieved the same result in a much more business-friendly manner if they had handled things differently.)

But it is hard to believe in the thousands of posts on the topic here and elsewhere that the anti tech-suit people haven't said what's truly on their (our) minds.

So I'll bite: what is it that you think REALLY bugs us about the suits?

Calvin S
November 4th, 2009, 08:46 AM
i think in a lot of cases its just boils down to "some swimmer beats me and they were wearing a different suit than me that is the new top of the line technology. i hate when i get beat." its then easy to just go ahead and say you hate them for any of the miriad of reasons there are to hate the suits (cost, moral issues with "cheating", etc). Not saying that is the case with you Chris. with all the hatred towards the tech suit, i find myself wondering now why i wear one (on the rare occasions that i do...i have to draw a line. i dont show up to every meet in a tech suit, its only for a taper meet, maybe once or twice a year). for me, buying a b70 was just another step up on the technological suit ladder. a natural progression for me. the same way i turned in my regular practice suits for a paper suit and then the paper suit for an aquablade, and then from the aquablade to a FSI and then on the the FSII and from there to the b70. never really thought much of it.

Chris Stevenson
November 4th, 2009, 09:58 AM
i think in a lot of cases its just boils down to "some swimmer beats me and they were wearing a different suit than me that is the new top of the line technology. i hate when i get beat." its then easy to just go ahead and say you hate them for any of the miriad of reasons there are to hate the suits (cost, moral issues with "cheating", etc).

Maybe.

When they are legal, there are two choices: (a) don't wear a suit, and be at a disadvantage, or (b) wear the suit to level the playing field more.

Some people love the feel of swimming with the suit, I was never one of them. And I don't mind shaving a few times a year; in fact, even WITH the suits I did it anyway because I never trusted that they wouldn't malfunction. (Plus, psychologically, I love the feeling of swimming shaved in warmups, before I put on the suit.) My wife doesn't mind when I shave, she actually kind of likes it (but I digress...:))

When I wore the suit, it was just a bit of a hassle. I gamely tried it for awhile (and if they stay legal, I'll probably do it again). The decision of which one to wear, changing the pre-race routines to allow time to put it on, sometimes a panic attack when something goes wrong.

The final straw was when I had two suits stolen at a meet (good thing I was shaved anyway); in fact, it happened the exact same weekend as FINA announced the initial ban. (Coincidence? I think not!)

All that headache for what, a more level playing field? We had that before the suits (as much as that is possible, at least).

From a selfish standpoint, I always suspected the suits helped most of my masters competitors more than me anyway, so I wasn't sad to see them go.

ande
November 4th, 2009, 10:16 AM
the suits are great but they won't make up that much difference

Mann was in way better shape than Evans. Mann has been training harder longer than evans.

Tip 265 Train harder, smarter, faster, further, more often, with a coach, with a team, in a convenient facility & at a convenient Time (http://www.usms.org/forums/showpost.php?p=188495&postcount=1252)

Obviously swimming fast doesn't matter much to Evans, Evans wasn't training hard enough to justify spending $400 on a suit.

Tech suits probably improve Mann by a 1/2 - 1 second per 50
They often help slower swimmers by even more.




Mann's 200 IM was 2:21.92 vs Evans 2:53.86
400 IM Mann 5:04.07 6:13.08 Evans

knelson
November 4th, 2009, 10:18 AM
By the same token, solving the small problem with a huge "solution" of setting new standards for suit design and changing all the swimming businesses from top to bottom

I just don't really see why this is a "huge" solution. As the governing body of the sport it seems to me FINA has every right to regulate the equipment that can be used in competition under their auspices. Nearly every sport has rules governing what equipment is allowed. FINA's biggest problem was allowing the situation to get out of hand before reacting. And I really don't see how this changes the swimming businesses "from top to bottom," either. Yes, they now have suit designs that are illegal and will probably have some stock that will now be hard to sell, but otherwise it should be business as usual. Swimmers will still need to buy suits. They just have to design and market suits that conform to the new rules.

Tim L
November 4th, 2009, 10:44 AM
One small point I would like to make as I have been corrected on this myself. There are no "ex-Olympians". Michael Phelps is an Olympian, as is Mark Spitz, Donna DeVerona and Clay Evans.

Now, you may continue with this thread........:bolt:

I have seen countless references in newspapers and magazines to "ex-Olympians". Are all the journalists and editors wrong? Ex-Olympian has no negative meaning, it just means someone that competed in the Olympics in the past (which is quite an accomplishment). How exactly should someone refer to an person that formerly competed in the Olympics? Should you always call them an Olympian and designate the Olympics/year/event/placing (medals)? Please help me with the proper way to reference a person that formerly competed in the Olympics for future posts so I can avoid offending anyone since there are a handful of forumites that are "Olympians". I do sincerely apologize to anyone that was offended by my thoughtless references to "ex-Olympian", but I was more concerned about proper tense at the time and didn't want to confuse anyone that Michael Mann beat a current Olympian by a minute and 9 seconds in a 400IM.

Tim

Chris Stevenson
November 4th, 2009, 12:13 PM
Please help me with the proper way to reference a person that formerly competed in the Olympics for future posts so I can avoid offending anyone. I do sincerely apologize to anyone that was offended by my thoughtless references to "ex-Olympian".

I can't imagine why anyone would offended by it. If they are, they have bigger issues and should be exiled to Mount Olympus.

Glenn
November 4th, 2009, 12:17 PM
Yes Tim, I would say the journalists are incorrect when they say "ex- Olympian". I think there is a somewhat negative connotation to the term as though they were no longer Olympians.

With the same "ex" thinking since we are not in an Olympic year (except for the winter Games), would that make Michael Phelps an ex-0lympian.

I don't think you need to designate the year(s) someone participated in the Games, just that they are an Olympian. George Bush and Bill Clinton are still referred to as President Bush and President Clinton, we know when they served.

Are you a Nobel prize winner only in the year you get the prize? Or are you always referred to as a Nobel prize winner.

It's not a major deal. When I was corrected, I had never thought of it that way before, but it makes sense to me.

Erik Hochstein is an Olympian, what do you say Erik?

The Fortress
November 4th, 2009, 12:34 PM
Chris is an Olympian and he doesn't seem to mind.

And I agree with Chris, if someone really does mind or gets in a snit over it, they have some ego issues ... I routinely hear ex-Presidents referred to as "former President X" on the news.

On the suit issue, I think, Chris, you are exaggerating what a headache the suits are. At least from the female perspective, full body suits are all difficult to put on. And the "textile" suits like the Pro are perhaps even more prone to rips. Yeah, the first time you put one on it takes awhile, but not so much after. I think all the FINA flip flopping and overzealous bans have been the real headaches.

The cow manure analogy was hilarious.

gull
November 4th, 2009, 01:00 PM
Cost had nothing to do with the ban. Speedo was eclipsed by other manufacturers, which is when the tech suit "problem" surfaced (pun intended). Now the company may rightfully take back its place at the top of the swimming world.

jim thornton
November 4th, 2009, 01:01 PM
I say ban all prefixes before the word "Olympian."

Jim Thornton, non-Olympian

beluga
November 4th, 2009, 01:09 PM
George Bush and Bill Clinton are still referred to as President Bush and President Clinton, we know when they served.



According to Ms. Manners, this is incorrect. There is only one President of the United States at any time. Upon leaving office, the former president's title reverts to a previously held one, e.g. Governor, Senator, Mister, etc.

This protoclol is frequently disregarded by the media

Calvin S
November 4th, 2009, 01:13 PM
Cost had nothing to do with the ban. Speedo was eclipsed by other manufacturers, which is when the tech suit "problem" surfaced (pun intended). Now the company may rightfully take back its place at the top of the swimming world.

Exactly how I feel too. I have to believe a lot of the decisions FINA made were made with
SPeedo's interests in mind. Bowman and Schubert throw up a stink about the tech suit problem when the arenas and the jakeds and the b70s were allowed in competition, after praising the lzr months before as the new direction for swimming. Now as you point out, speedo can reassert it's dominance in the suit world.

Midas
November 4th, 2009, 03:07 PM
Cost had nothing to do with the ban. Speedo was eclipsed by other manufacturers, which is when the tech suit "problem" surfaced (pun intended). Now the company may rightfully take back its place at the top of the swimming world.

I think you're wrong. I think there were a lot of prominent coaches (not getting paid by Speedo) that hated the suits because they played havoc on their budgets. I'm sure there were plenty of parents of age groupers who felt the same way. I'm sure those people had a say in the ban. Whether cost SHOULD have been an issue for anybody is a different question. It shouldn't have been. But Speedo could not have gotten this through by itself, and it wasn't just the "purists" who made up the balance of the anti-suit lobby.

Boy has this thread gone off the rails!

Ken Classen
November 4th, 2009, 03:26 PM
Boy has this thread gone off the rails!

So in an attempt to refocus, the Wall Street Journal currently has the largest circulation (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/10/27/BUT01AAQ3Q.DTL) of any newspaper in the country. To those of you who had access to the hard copy it was a front page story, albeit below the fold. Does the story and PR help or hurt masters swimming?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125721159786824325.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

lefty
November 4th, 2009, 03:56 PM
So I'll bite: what is it that you think REALLY bugs us about the suits?

1) Costs pt1: though I think this is irrelevant on the elite level, but anything that creates a financial obstacle for the sport is a bad thing.
2) Availability: slightly irrelevant on the elite level. JS got to wear a LZR at Nationals a full year before anyone else because he kissed Rowdy's ass. In fact, some might argue that creating demand by shortening supply is smart business. Is there a place for that in sports?
3) Historical: yeah, it bothers me that my swim heroes growing up are completely obliterated.
4) Reliability of the suit: Alshamer didn't final at the Olympics because her LZR busted. That sucks. I don't think anyone could tear my FINIS amphibian, but it has huge threading/more drag.
5) Contracts pt 1: Germans had to wear Adidas in the Olympics. Someone said something to the effect of "if a swimmer makes a bad business decision too bad for them." Was it too bad Beidermann that he was relegated to an Adidas and thus didn't medal in Beijing? Do we really hold him accountable for that?
6) Contracts pt 2: It is good for the entire sport of swimming that people can actually make a living doing it. A "bad" business decision implies that there are hundreds of sponsorships available and millions of dollars. That is the case with Phelps but not for others. For the sport to be a viable profession, there needs to be no risk that signing with a major suit manufacturer will inhibit your performance.
7) Dolphin2 would literally have nothing to contribute without the techsuit debate.
8) Cost pt2: I have no problem with an adult dropping $600 on a suit. I did it myself. I swam next to a guy wearing jammers. That was his choice. Maybe I have more money to burn than him, maybe he has different priorities who knows who cares. The level I am at is 99% about oneself: doing your best and living with your own choices. But for that other 1% I wish that we all had the same suit and therefore, honestly, I don't think paying $300 or $600 is a good thing.

Frank Thompson
November 4th, 2009, 04:41 PM
I have seen countless references in newspapers and magazines to "ex-Olympians". Are all the journalists and editors wrong? Ex-Olympian has no negative meaning, it just means someone that competed in the Olympics in the past (which is quite an accomplishment). How exactly should someone refer to an person that formerly competed in the Olympics? Should you always call them an Olympian and designate the Olympics/year/event/placing (medals)? Please help me with the proper way to reference a person that formerly competed in the Olympics for future posts so I can avoid offending anyone since there are a handful of forumites that are "Olympians". I do sincerely apologize to anyone that was offended by my thoughtless references to "ex-Olympian", but I was more concerned about proper tense at the time and didn't want to confuse anyone that Michael Mann beat a current Olympian by a minute and 9 seconds in a 400IM.

Tim

Tim:

Gail Roper explains this best in the 5th post of the link below on Olympian Masters, like a doctor's degree.

Olympian Masters ? - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums

lefty
November 4th, 2009, 05:36 PM
Tim:

Gail Roper explains this best in the 5th post of the link below on Olympian Masters, like a doctor's degree.

Olympian Masters ? - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=318)

goodness, I forgot all about that thread. I do remember lobbying to have it closed down...

Midas
November 4th, 2009, 06:56 PM
So in an attempt to refocus, the Wall Street Journal currently has the largest circulation (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/10/27/BUT01AAQ3Q.DTL) of any newspaper in the country. To those of you who had access to the hard copy it was a front page story, albeit below the fold. Does the story and PR help or hurt masters swimming?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125721159786824325.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

So it was the day's "off the beaten path" article then? I'm not sure how I feel about that...

Tim L
November 4th, 2009, 06:59 PM
goodness, I forgot all about that thread. I do remember lobbying to have it closed down...

We won't let this die just yet! Well, I don't think it is improper since you can even find references to "former Olympians" on the USOC website although they are hard to find. Surely, someone would lose their job if there was some sort of Olympic mandate. The only thing I can see that even hints at discouraging references to "former" or "past" Olympians is this - http://teamusa.org/pages/926 from the U.S. Olympian Association and their motto: "Once an Olympian, Always an Olympian" and "Never Former, Never Past" (note no references to "Ex-"). Now, the main purpose of this organization is not proper Olympic titles or grammar, but to keep ex-Olympians (damn, there I go again) involved in the Olympic movement.
I have a lot of respect for Olympians (present and past), but I can't possibly put them on the same pedestal as a former president of a country and I have seen former presidents introduced as former presidents so they must not be too hung up on it.

This thread has gone way off track now.

Tim

Tim L
November 4th, 2009, 07:21 PM
So in an attempt to refocus, the Wall Street Journal currently has the largest circulation (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/10/27/BUT01AAQ3Q.DTL) of any newspaper in the country. To those of you who had access to the hard copy it was a front page story, albeit below the fold. Does the story and PR help or hurt masters swimming?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125721159786824325.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

I thought it was neutral to positive. Maybe masters swimmers appeared to be somewhat crazy to the average Joe, but publicity is usually a good thing. It was a quirky story that non-swimmers read and were amused by. I had someone at work stop by and ask me if I knew that cheater, Michael Mann, because it mentioned he was from Colorado. You just have to laugh sometimes.

Tim

Chris Stevenson
November 4th, 2009, 09:22 PM
Gail Roper explains this best in the 5th post of the link below on Olympian Masters, like a doctor's degree.

She must be using the royal "we" because I could give a flip about being addressed as "Dr. Stevenson" either. But everyone is different and it is nice to respect that.

PS At our Continuing Ed school, it is possible to earn a masters degree in Disaster Science (I am not making this up).

How cool would it be to earn that degree? I would do an about-face and DEFINITELY insist that everyone address me as "Chris Stevenson, Master of Disaster."

Gail Roper
November 4th, 2009, 09:40 PM
The motto of the US Olympic alumni is "Always and Olympian, never former, never past".

ehoch
November 4th, 2009, 10:17 PM
If you make the distinction to a former Olympian, I am wondering who would be considered a "current" Olympian ? You could go with the most recent games, but they are just as much over as the games 40 years ago.
You take the oath - you are an Olympian .... if you break the oath, you are a :censor:

Glenn
November 4th, 2009, 10:19 PM
I never meant to make a big deal about "ex-Olympians". When it was pointed out to me I just thought it was right and so I wanted to pass it on. To me dropping the "ex" honors those who have worked so very hard to achieve the ultimate in sport. But that's just me.

I also wasn't trying to equate Olympians with Presidents. I was only making (or trying to make) the point that designation of honor sometimes stay with a person long after the event or appointment or election.

The Fortress
November 4th, 2009, 10:34 PM
The motto of the US Olympic alumni is "Always and Olympian, never former, never past".

I hope that's not all that defines you.

It's very cool, but I agree with Chris.

jim thornton
November 4th, 2009, 10:58 PM
So it is agreed?

We can drop all prefixes from the descriptor Olympian?

Jim Thornton, non-Olympian is now....

Jim Thornton, Olympian!

On a somewhat related note, I befriended Jason Alexander on Facebook recently. The guy's name really is Jason Alexander, and he was using a picture of George Costanza as his profile picture.

But when you look at his other pictures, none of them look remotely like THE Jason Alexander.

Not that this matters.

I wonder what he'll think when he discovers my title, Jim Thornton, Olympian.

Okay, well, I hope I have contributed something relevant to this discussion.

psyncw
November 4th, 2009, 11:04 PM
I just spent an hour reading the old olympian masters thread from 2007- i have a huge headache now :) time for bed!

BillS
November 5th, 2009, 11:30 AM
Tim:


Olympian Masters ? - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=318)

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Seldom has so much been said about so very little.

knelson
November 5th, 2009, 12:26 PM
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Seldom has so much been said about so very little.

Don't sell us short, Bill. We've all said much more with arguably less merit about the tech suits! :bolt:

That Guy
November 5th, 2009, 12:41 PM
She must be using the royal "we" because I could give a flip about being addressed as "Dr. Stevenson" either. But everyone is different and it is nice to respect that.

PS At our Continuing Ed school, it is possible to earn a masters degree in Disaster Science (I am not making this up).

How cool would it be to earn that degree? I would do an about-face and DEFINITELY insist that everyone address me as "Chris Stevenson, Master of Disaster."

I'll sign up for calling you that whether you have the degree or not! :D

Chris Stevenson
November 5th, 2009, 01:51 PM
I'll sign up for calling you that whether you have the degree or not! :D

Any expertise I have in the area of Disaster Science flows from countless lessons from my dog, Juno. He could teach class-12 hurricanes a thing or two about destruction.

gull
November 5th, 2009, 02:21 PM
I assume that holding a Masters degree in Disaster Science would disqualify you from working for FEMA.

BillS
November 5th, 2009, 08:17 PM
Don't sell us short, Bill. We've all said much more with arguably less merit about the tech suits! :bolt:

Agreed, but I did use "seldom." Had I been referring to the endless tech suit debate, I would have said "Never has so much been said about so very little."

funkyfish
November 5th, 2009, 08:40 PM
PS At our Continuing Ed school, it is possible to earn a masters degree in Disaster Science (I am not making this up).

How cool would it be to earn that degree? I would do an about-face and DEFINITELY insist that everyone address me as "Chris Stevenson, Master of Disaster."
I want a PhD in Disaster Science so I can be "Dr. Disaster.":D

Mswimming
November 6th, 2009, 03:07 PM
We really need some fun new emoticons. The eating popcorn emoticon would be perfect for a thread like this. Get in the thread early, post your popcorn eater emoticon and watch the thread unfold.

:D