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knelson
July 9th, 2004, 12:01 AM
I was setting up my computer to record NBC's coverage of Trials and noticed the CBC is showing the Canadian trials this weekend. So, if you get CBC check your local listings!

nyswim
July 9th, 2004, 09:50 AM
Canada? You must be joking.

knelson
July 9th, 2004, 09:56 AM
What, you don't think people swim in Canada!??

Their trials have been going on this week, too, and there have been some pretty fast swims.

nyswim
July 9th, 2004, 10:27 AM
wow-keep me updated

swimlong
July 10th, 2004, 03:17 AM
"Canada? You must be joking."


This quote has bothered me for several days. I wonder what you meant by it? Is it a slander of Canadian swimmers? Ethnocentric blathering? Ignorance? A critique on the woefull lack of swimming coverage by the Canadian media? All/none of the above?

The USA beats Canada, hands (fins?) down, no doubt - anyone who can count Olympic medals and world records understands this. However....

given that this is a Masters swimming site, where "fun, fitness, friendship and participation" are touted - where is this comment coming from? Do you feel better, faster, more manly, more muscular, more VO2 capable simply by virtue of the geographic area where your mother gave birth? If so, maybe your mom should be getting the accolades, not you or the US swimming team...

I am not replying to the post to debate "who's better - Canada or the US". I'm about celebrating swimming - good efforts, good performances, whatever. It may be a world record, a personal record, or a personal goal that doesn't necessarily relate to times or race placement. I may swim beside you at a future meet. You won't recognize me as a Canadian - I don't have a maple leaf tatooed anywhere - but hopefully you will recognize me as a fellow swimmer, competitor, and person. And if you beat me, I'll congratulate your win and thank you for the competition. And if I beat you, I'll congratulate your effort and thank you for the competition. Because without other swimmers, there would be no race.

Canada? I'm not kidding. We're swimmers, too.

Gareth Eckley
July 10th, 2004, 04:42 AM
Population of US approx 293 million.

Populastion of Canada 30 million, ( 1/10th of US )

Population of Britain 60 million, ( 1/5th of US )

Population of Australia 20 million, ( 1 /14th of US )

We should think about these statistics whenever we compare countries results, especially at Olympics, World Championships and World records.

On a population basis the other countries especially Australia should be unable to compete against the US.

The fact that they can come close, and with Australia maybe win a straight medal count in comparison to the US means that they are actually performing better than America.

Also the performance of American swimming should be adjusted for the huge population advantage before figuring out how well the swim programme is really doing.

Simply put, the US should always win overwhelmingly against any other country as they have far more people to draw from.

emmett
July 10th, 2004, 06:13 AM
I think you need to compare the populations of SWIMMERS in each of the countries rather than the total populations. Otherwise you're really comparing the effectiveness of each nation's swimming recruiting programs, rather than comparing the quality of their swimming training programs and athletes.

Now, I have no clue about the size of each country's competitive swimming population. It is entirely possible those numbers come out close in proportion to overall population - but maybe not. But if each of those countries has, say, roughly 1/4 million swimmers, then I'd say we are comparing swimming apples to swimming apples.

I'd wager that the US hosts a greater variety of sports (some of which are given FAR more media attention and glitter than swimming) that attract kids than do these other countries.

girl afraid
July 10th, 2004, 08:28 AM
Originally posted by emmett
I'd wager that the US hosts a greater variety of sports (some of which are given FAR more media attention and glitter than swimming) that attract kids than do these other countries.

I wouldn't wager. Swimming gets high ratings, provided our swimmers are doing well but there are many other sports that compete against each other. Cricket, soccer, rugby league, rugby union, AFL, tennis, basketball and netball, softball and probably more that I've forgotten. Cricket, rugby league and AFL in particular are huge here, not just in ratings but in participation. Soccer and netball are also very popular weekend sports for our kids to participate in.

Swimming clubs don't garner anywhere as much attention as a soccer club (to use an example). Our local soccer clubs for instance, are advertised all over the community, everyone knows about it whether they join their kids up or not. There are some swimming clubs in my general area but they aren't well known at all and don't have anywhere near as many members as soccer or netball clubs have. Australians love to watch swimming but they are more likely to participate in other sports.

And if you do make it as swimmer, unless you're something really special like Ian Thorpe, you won't necessarily make a lot of money out of it. There's far more money in football and cricket if you make it to the elite level.

emmett
July 10th, 2004, 11:14 AM
Regardless of what competing interests might exist, the operative question still remains - what are the SWIMMING populations in these countries? I beleive that USA Swimming is somewhere in the 300-500K. I have no clue what they are in other countries.

swimpastor
July 10th, 2004, 02:39 PM
Thank you, Swimlong, for your excellent response to what seemed to me to be another example of our American propensity to insensitivity/national chauvinism. I was embarrased by the first comment, and agree with you that in this instance and context, we are swimmers first rather than nationalists.

pmbchill
July 10th, 2004, 03:08 PM
I also agree with swimlong. Swim for fitness. Swim for fun. If you happen to be fast enough....swim for your country. I think any country's Olympic trials would be interesting to watch. Thumbs down on the attitude in the earlier post!

LindsayNB
July 10th, 2004, 03:22 PM
Swimming Canada has about 50,000 competitive swimmers, roughly the same proportion of swimmers as in the USA. I caught the CBC coverage this afternoon, thanks Kirk for posting the notice.

knelson
July 10th, 2004, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by swimlong
"Canada? You must be joking."


This quote has bothered me for several days. I wonder what you meant by it?

Same for me. I decided to let it go, though.

No, I've never lived in Canada, and will always root for the U.S. swimmer to win over the Canadian, but that doesn't mean I don't follow Canadian swimming somewhat and wish their swimmers well.

Not to mention, how much swimming do we get to watch on TV? Not much. I'll take what I can get!

emmett
July 10th, 2004, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
Swimming Canada has about 50,000 competitive swimmers, roughly the same proportion of swimmers as in the USA. I caught the CBC coverage this afternoon, thanks Kirk for posting the notice.

If I recall, Canada had one medal in Sydney (silver? I know it wasn't gold). Britain pulled a goosegg (though I suspect they'll be stronger this time around). So, if we are looking at medals per swimmer-in-their-country results, Canada and Britain come up short of the US.

It would also be interesting to break it down based on where the athlete trains. There have been a fair number of Olympic Swimming medals over the years going to athletes that train in the US but swim under other colors. And same for Australia.

knelson
July 10th, 2004, 08:30 PM
I noticed Canada is following the lead of several others countries that require their swimmers make very stringent time standards in addition to placing top two to ensure their spot on the Olympic team.

For example, in the men's 100 breast only one swimmer made the time standard. He makes the team. The second place swimmer didn't make the cut, so he's off the team, BUT the third place swimmer, Morgan Knabbe, is on the team since he bettered the standard last summer in Barcelona.

In the women's 200 IM, which is a pretty strong event for the Canadian women, no one made the cut, so no one makes the team!

I really hate this system. Would these swimmers have embarrassed Canada in Athens? I seriously doubt it. It's bad enough when only two people get to go in each event, to further reduce the number is patently ridiculous in my book.

I really hope some of these countries reconsider their policies.

Mary
July 10th, 2004, 09:11 PM
knelson,

I agree with you. In the 200 IM, the qualifications meant leaving Joanne Malar and Marianne Limpert off the team (Although Limpert has other chances). The leadership and experience that these two women could have provided would have been extremely important.

LindsayNB
July 11th, 2004, 02:28 PM
Well, the new higher standards set by the Canadian OC have certainly decimated the women's swim team. Of the 26 individual event slots we'll have 1 in the 800, 2 in the 100 breast, and 1 in the 400 IM. I have to question whether this is good for development of the sport in this country. I feel particularly sorry for Matt Rose whose 22.42 in the 50 free was a Canadian record but fell 0.01s short of the standard.

I wish we knew the Aussie secret, with a population roughly two thirds of ours, they have twice as many competitive swimmers (95,000) and clearly perform far far better.

Heck, I'd "settle" for one Michael Phelps, who will almost certainly outmedal all but a very few nations all on his own! :)

Peter Cruise
July 11th, 2004, 03:12 PM
Lindsay- we have too many people in training for the 'bureaucracy' events. Check out the crowd of Canadian 'support personnel' who always show up
at the Games on the public purse (& I mean beyond coaches, medical staff). Oh, & the CBC will have hundreds of staff there to
show the paucity of Canadian swimmers...

mattson
July 11th, 2004, 06:45 PM
The 50 Free standard was faster than the national record? Uhh... okay. :confused:


Originally posted by LindsayNB
I wish we knew the Aussie secret, with a population roughly two thirds of ours, they have twice as many competitive swimmers (95,000) and clearly perform far far better.

I'm guessing one part is:
Australia -> Deserts -> Refreshing swims
Canada -> Arctic Tundra -> In danger of the ice hole freezing over
:cool:
(How good is the Australian hockey team?)

KenChertoff
July 11th, 2004, 08:24 PM
Originally posted by mattson




I'm guessing one part is:
Australia -> Deserts -> Refreshing swims
Canada -> Arctic Tundra -> In danger of the ice hole freezing over
:cool:
(How good is the Australian hockey team?)

I happen to be visiting Canada this weekend -- I notice they have indoor pools here.:D

breastroker
July 12th, 2004, 12:18 AM
Canada has had some Olympic champions in swimming, they were real strong in 1984 in the IM and breaststroke. An at least they train their own swimmers. Many of the other countries send their top swimmers to the US.

Their system of choosing the team is stupid though, the USA used to be able to send 3 and often the third place swimmer in trails would win. Their system does not give anyone a chance or the experience that is always helpfull. Canada is too much like England, the officials are more important than the swimmers. You should see the hospitality suits in England for the officials, spiral wrapped ham, cheese, wines etc.

If you want to know why Australia is so good, it is the system that educates and promotes great coaching!

England is really making strides under Australian coach Bill Sweetham, but they will falter in the long run. As long as the officials are more important than the swimmers, the system will fail.

Gareth Eckley
July 12th, 2004, 02:26 AM
As i see it the nations we are discussing each have unique problems.

USA
Most pools are 25 YARD, a distance that no other country uses for competitive swimming. Meets tend to promote shorter distances, long distance suffers. You can add to that, Titile XI problems in the colleges and how much talent and money is sucked into the Glamour professional sports.

An advantage is that a lot of clubs also run the learn to swim programs, allowing coaches to be paid a decent income and stay in the sport.

CANADA
Has some great pools and facilities. Vancouver ( pop 1 million approx ) has seven 50 m pools, even Nanaimo ( pop 20,000 ? ) has a 50 m pool. Vancouver has tons of good 25m pools as well. However the government puts almost no money into sports and if you couple that with just how expensive it is to run a National team in Canada due to a small population spread out over vast distances. The cities are thousands of miles apart and just getting teams together uses up most of the available budget.

BRITAIN
Now has a great culture at the top and Ernest Maglischo when he was shown the swim development plan for UK swimming at last years British Coaches conference was very impressed. He said that the States has nothing near as good a system for talent id and perfromance structure.

The UK's problem is a lack of decent pools, Wales ( population 3 million )has ONE 50m pool, where Vancouver has SEVEN. Most of the 25m pools are very old and worn out. Building new pools is very expensive, the Wales 50m National pool cost 11, million to build ( US $ 17 million ).

In addition most pools are owned by the local authorities, their mandate is to serve the needs of the majority. Hence we get little or no lane swimming, lack of pool time for clubs, and pools dominated by litle old ladies swimming head up breaststroke. A small masters club in Bournemouth was shut down because others in the pool complained at the splashing caused by the fast swimmers. The pool operators did reinstate them, but reduced them from 3 lanes to 1, and allowed them only 45 mins to train. That attitude would nevr happen in Australia !

Also, the authorities run the lucrative learn to swim programs and employ the teachers. This means that clubs cannot afford to pay their staff, my club runs totally on Volunteers. It is hard to make a career of swim coaching here.

We are also 10 years behind on the importance of technique. One of the great benefits of Total immersion is that it has made a lot of people very aware of the importance of good technique.

AUSTRALIA

I am not sure what the problems are, but they have a culture of excellence in sport which helps so much. Lots of pools, especially 50m pools, outdoor pools are cheap to build. Swim in an Aussi pool and most swimmers there are good, fast swimmers.