Each time Spring or Summer Nationals rolls around, I get excited about the people I’m going to meet. Just walking around on deck at a USMS national meet is a treat—seeing old friends and making new ones—and experiencing a great facility, friendly volunteers, and fast swimming. The media staff stays busy interviewing swimmers for the daily recap videos and, although we’re working hard, we’re having a great time.
This year in Indy was no exception. Olympic silver medalist Emily Silver joined us for commentary and, in a special project made possible by USMS partner SwimOutlet.com, Silver and the legendary gold medalist and relay anchor extraordinaire, Jason Lezak (yes, that Jason Lezak!), dropped in on the social for a SwimOutlet.com Gold Medal Delivery.
Silver and Lezak delivered some great SwimOutlet.com swag and made time for autograph signing and photos with Masters swimmers, who lined up for a chance to meet them. As part of the video project, an exhibition 200-yard mixed freestyle relay was planned. We needed two Masters swimmers to pair with the Olympians, and I remembered a story I’d read on SwimmingWorld.com about a young swimmer who was battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma but who planned to swim in Indy.
Esmerelda Perez, just 18, was a graduating high school senior facing an operation to remove tumors in her chest cavity. She’d been through months of chemo and radiation, and doctors had implanted a port in her chest to deliver treatments. Through it all, she wanted to keep swimming. Swimming is what makes her happy. She’ll be swimming at Carthage College in the fall, but her immediate goal was USMS Spring Nationals.
Perez’s quiet maturity and deep love of the sport was inspiring to us all (her 25-something split on the relay was pretty amazing as well). She was thrilled at the opportunity to participate with these swimming heroes, but it was pretty clear that the Olympians were honored to swim on her relay.
The relay lasted only a few moments, but created a lasting impression. Silver led off, followed by Jon Shope, a local meet volunteer and lifelong swimmer. Perez swam third and, of course, Lezak was the anchor. Don’t miss the video at swimoutlet.com/goldmedaldelivery.
The project turned out to be more meaningful than we ever could have imagined and it brought together the best elements of a USMS national meet: sponsor support, great swimming, amazing venues and volunteers, and inspirational stories. Gold really was delivered in Indy, by all who participated.
Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:36 AM by Editor
taken from http://john-badassrides.blogspot.com...-to-omaha.html
There is nothing that scares me more on this earth than an expanse of water that is 8 feet wide and 50 meters long. I have had some hard-bitten dudes point firearms at me in Guatemala. I have rappelled 100s of feet down into black holes in the ground. I've ridden a mountain bike off of stuff that would give a billy goat vertigo. I am no stranger to dumb-ass nail biter stuff. Having said all that, there is nothing that weakens my knees like standing on the starting blocks at one end of a long course meters pool. I (mostly) don't do the other dumb things anymore... but I still get on those starting blocks. I still feel my stomach turn to water. Nothing is as intimidating (for me) as looking down the length of that 50m. Conversely, there ain't nothing that thrills me more....
if you want more check out the rest at http://john-badassrides.blogspot.com...-to-omaha.html
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Few things are as emotional as watching a swimmer look to the scoreboard after touching the wall in the race of a lifetime. The sheer tonnage of toil spanning years— the missed vacations, the freakishly scheduled adolescence, the pain—all add up to a single moment and, by the looks on their faces, these swimmers would do it all over again. That single moment seems to make all the sacrifices worth it.
These moments of glory are not limited to Olympians—you can see it in swimmers at B meets, developmental meets, high school championships, Masters meets—pretty much anywhere swimmers race. And depending on the circumstances, it may be one of many “races of a lifetime.” After all, the road is long—and advances in training, nutrition and sports science have extended the run for all of us.
But watching the elite athletes in our sport can be an out-of-body experience. Many of us know what it feels like to swim efficiently: We train hard, we compete, we cut back on beer and chocolate during our tapers. But seeing the elites swim (thanks to advances in underwater videography) can be like seeing the strokes for the first time. The words “grace,” “beauty” and “freakin’ fast” seem inadequate at best.
USMS counts a number of Olympians—from all over the world and from different sports—in its current and former membership rolls. (For a list, see usms. org/hist/oly.) And this year, more than a dozen USMS members have made Olympic Trials cuts and are eligible to compete in Omaha.
With more than 1800 swimmers vying for 52 spots, odds of an Olympic berth are long for everyone. As fans and members of the greater swimming community gather to cheer for their favorite swimmers, we're especially thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of those who've been part of the USMS family.
Three days later, some of us will jump into that same water in Omaha and reach for our own “Olympic” moments. Although most of us won’t ever share our moments with millions of television viewers, we get to share them with our teammates and loved ones, which makes all our sacrifices—dietary or otherwise—so worth it.
Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:48 AM by Editor
The Georgia Tech Hotel and Convention Center was the scene for the 40th Anniversary celebration that functioned as this year’s meet social at the 2010 Short Course Nation al Championships in Atlanta. Longtime USMS members gathered with brand new members to celebrate 40 years of competition and camaraderie.
The first national Masters swimming championships were held in Amarillo, Texas, in 1970, when Masters swimming was first being organized. Capt. Ransom J. Arthur, a Navy doctor who envisioned swimming as a way for adults to stay physically and mentally fit as they aged, collaborated with John Spannuth, then president of the American Swimming Coaches Association, to hold that first meet.
The meet social developed as a tradition over the years. This year, more than 300 athletes and guests were treated not only to a delicious catered meal, but also an interesting history lesson. Robert Beach with St. Petersburg Aquatics presented a slideshow highlighting some of the early days of Masters swimming. Beach, 79, one of the original members of USMS, has amassed a sizeable collection of memorabilia and was happy to share his reminiscences.
Beach is also the founder of the longest running short course Masters meet in the country, and quite possibly the world. After consulting with Ransom Arthur and Richard Rahe, another Navy doctor and early organizer of Masters Swimming in 1970, Beach organized what was originally called the Southern Short Course Championships, which later became the St. Petersburg Short Course Championships. The first meet in 1970 had 17 competitors, but these days the meet averages about 300.
Swimmers who love pool meets owe a debt of gratitude to these pioneers of Masters swimming: Arthur, Spannuth, Rahe, and others like June Krauser, Hal Onusseit, and Buster Crabbe. And their supporters—the early meet organizers, volunteers, and athletes, who showed up, swam, and worked to put down the foundation for the organization we enjoy today. Some of these athletes are still competing and were on hand to help celebrate in Atlanta, including Beach, Ted Haartz, Paul Hutinger, Jane Katz and Bumpy Jones. If you are fortunate to meet any of these members, be sure to thank them for their contributions to our great sport.
Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:54 AM by Editor
It is said that in spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love; so wrote poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I would posit that for USMS members, a young (and we are all young) swimmer’s fancy turns to competition. As Spring Nationals looms, we have included technique articles to help you prepare for Atlanta: Craig Keller at AGUA Masters has broken down relay transitions for us, Olympian Rada Owen gives us a quick tune-up on head position, and Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen reminds us of some critical training points.
On many swimmers’ minds, however—the elephant seal in the living room—is the demise of the tech suit. Neros, LZRs, and the rest of the gang’s last hurrah is coming (at least for this year) and everyone has a different opinion. As I pondered what I might write on the subject, I remembered a thread on our Forums where members have posted their thoughts. Some are eulogies to their suits, others express good riddance, and some are creative haiku and poetry. There is even a full-length holiday song, “T’was the Night Before Zones.”
With apologies to Lord Tennyson, enjoy in good humor.
“Tech suit you were so good to me. You helped me keep it together when I was falling apart. Despite the rips and wardrobe malfunctions, we had some pretty good times together and it’s sad to think you’re really gonna split …” –Ande“I hate you tech suit. You hurt me. You were so sleek and pretty, full of promises. You made me look good. Together I thought we could go where we had never gone before. It was a lie. You are a liar. Maybe I share some blame. I thought that money would keep us happy, but you and your ilk weren’t satisfied … We weren’t a team, you owned me … I was addicted to you. I couldn’t be happy without you. It was wrong. I see you crumpled up in the corner like a lost soul. I hear you tempting me. I miss your snug embrace. I think we can still be friends.” –StillwaterDear LZR, It is said that death is life’s way of saying you’re fired. Well you’re fired. –LeftyTech suit, I am glad I never knew ye. –CouroborosAh FINA had to mess
With the tech suits for the rest
But for me, the big dipper
They took away my zipper –Swimshark
Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:55 AM by Editor