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Showing posts with label Olympics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Olympics. Show all posts

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Week in Swimming

Brazilian Paralympic swimmer Daniel Dias
History was made in Rio, with Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias scoring more Paralympic medals than any male swimmer and China taking home more swimming medals than any country. (Swim Swam)

With 26 Paralympic medals, Spanish swimmer Teresa Perales plans to break Michael Phelps’ record of 28 at Tokyo 2020. (Metro)

A 69-year-old Australian became the second-oldest person to swim the English Channel. (Morning Bulletin)

Should the University of North Carolina have dropped its swimming requirement? (Daily Tarheel)

USA Swimming’s first-ever 18 & Under World 100 ranking features a five-way tie for first place.

Yusra Mardini, the 18-year-old Olympic swimmer for the refugee team, was among the honorees at the UN’s first Global Goals Awards. (Washington Post)

An Indonesian swimmer sparked a censorship debate after her swimsuit was blurred out during a poolside interview. (

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Week in Swimming

Paralympics gold-medal swimmers Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh in Lego form
At the Rio Paralympics, Team USA’s swimmers are racking up medals, while Singapore’s Yip Pin Xiu broke her own world record (Mashable).

Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt opens up about her struggles with depression (CNN, with video) while open-water legend Lynne Cox discussed how she dealt with grief (Press Telegram).

Marathon swimmer Kim Chambers fell short of her planned record-breaking swim to raise funds for veterans with post-traumatic stress. (NY Times)

Next month, elite swimmers hope to test the safety of the Chicago River, well before the official target date in 2020. (Chicago Sun-Times) But the National Triathlon’s cancelled swim raised the question, Will it ever be safe to swim the Potomac River? (Washingtonian)

USA Swimming announced the 66 members of their 2016-17 National Junior Team.

Capitalizing on Team USA’s sterling performance in Rio, USA Swimming has big-budget plans leading up to Tokyo 2020. (Swim Swam)

An abandoned swimming pool is the site of an experimental music performance designed for both hearing and deaf audiences. (The Creators Project)

Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky dominated an American Ninja Warrior on The Ellen Show. (EllenTube)

A photo posted by U.S. Paralympics (@usparalympics) on

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Week in Swimming

Team USA Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long
The Paralympic Games kicked off yesterday in Rio. Thanks to Swim Swam for this Beginner’s Guide to Paralympic Swimming, already underway.

Get inspired by these profiles of blind swimmer Brad Snyder, already a two-time Paralympic gold medalist (Washington Post) and a 90-year-old prostate cancer survivor who swims daily (WSJ).

Would an anti-doping boycott of the 2017 World Championships push FINA and the IOC to change course? The American Swimming Coaches Association thinks so. (Swimming World)

The “swim-proof” Apple Watch Series 2 launches a week from today. (Ars Technica)

LifeHacker shares guides to start swimming for exercise and to pick the perfect goggles.

VIDEO: An Austin, Texas, doctor just finished swimming every day for 10,000 days to raise money for kids’ swimming lessons. (KXAN)

For pre-race motivation, try this Spotify playlist from gold-medalist Simone Manuel. (ESPN)

The author of Swim: Why We Love the Water, Lynn Sherr explores the politics of swimming. (

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A photo posted by Rudy Garcia-Tolson (@rudygarciatolson) on

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Week in Swimming

Olympic gold-medal swimmer Nathan Adrian, photographed for GQ
A MacWorld editor got a preview of the upcoming swimproof Fitbit, called the Flex 2.

In the UK, the transgender swimming group TAGS is taking the fear out of swimming. (Mashable)

Before swimmer Simone Manuel could make history in Rio, civil rights activists like Mamie Nell Ford had to break the color barrier at a public pool. (Albany Herald)

Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin waxes philosophical about the role of body image in swimming (Cosmopolitan) while Australian medalist Cam McEvoy contemplates a modeling career (Daily Mail).

How does Katie Ledecky plan to challenge herself when swimming at Stanford? (USA Today)

Tokyo officials are already planning for the safety of swimmers at the 2020 Summer Olympics. (Swim Swam)

An 11-year-old girl is undertaking a 10-day, 550-km swim in the Ganga river to raise awareness of clean water. (India Live Today)

Listen to legendary open water swimmer Lynne Cox discuss her new memoir, Swimming in the Sink: An Episode of the Heart. (Here & Now)

With the ban on the Russian Paralympics team, 22 of their vacated slots have been reassigned to Team USA. (Swim Swam)

A photo posted by World Triathlon (@worldtriathlon) on

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Friday, August 26, 2016

The Week in Swimming

swimmer at the 2016 Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships
Why can so few American children swim when Team USA is known for dominating Olympic swimming? (Forbes) On the upside, swim-club membership is on the rise post-Rio. (Chicago Tribune)

How much is Katie Ledecky losing by swimming for Stanford instead of accepting professional sponsorships and endorsements? (CNBC)

In the aftermath of "LochteGate," the money paid by swimmer Jimmy Feigen to leave Brazil will go to support sports programs for the country’s poorest children (USA Today)

Swimming is effective for pain relief and quality-of-life improvement for fibromyalgia sufferers, according to a new clinical trial. (Science Daily)

Add this “formerly secret” swimming hole in Vermont (Boston Globe) and a little-known pool in Manhattan (WSJ) to your list of can’t-miss swimming destinations.

The French bans on the “burkini,” a full-body swimsuit worn by some Muslim women, are being challenged in court. (BBC)

Are Hawaiian dolphins getting stressed out from swimming with tourists? A proposed federal ban says that they are. (ABC News)

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Week in Swimming

Rio Olympics' Men's 10k Marathon Swim at Fort Copacabana
For all of its benefits and fans, why does the U.S. only love swimming every four years? (Quartz)

Called "gymnastics without breathing," synchronized swimming is riskier business than most Olympics fans realize. (NPR, with audio)

Swimming more than 10 times longer than Katie Ledecky’s longest event, the women of Olympic open water swimming get a steel-eyed appreciation for their “cruder … more primal” sport. (New Yorker)

A current in the Rio swimming pool may have given an advantage to lanes 5 through 8 in 50m races, researchers are now finding. (Deadspin)

The first African American woman to win an individual swimming gold medal, Simone Manuel could inspire a new generation (NY Times), which would suit USA Swimming, where they’re actively working to bring more racial diversity to the sport. (NPR)

The latest episode of The Memory Palace podcast explores the life and achievements of pioneering marathon swimmer Florence Chadwick.

At IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene, a narrower chute will make swim start safer for the triathletes. (KREM)

Get inspired by this prostate cancer survivor who’s competing in the U.S. Masters Swimming Summer Nationals this weekend. (D&C)

A photo posted by MySwimPro (@myswimpro) on

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Week in Swimming

2016 Team USA swimmers
After tonight’s Opening Ceremony in Rio, you can follow Team USA with this handy guide to all of the swimmers, their events, and the complete swimming schedule. (Sporting News)

In key events, U.S. swimmers have been on a multi-Olympics gold streak. (NBC Olympics)

Meet Naomy Grand'Pierre, Haiti’s first female Olympic swimmer (Chicago Tribune); Rami Anis and Yusra Mardini, Syrian swimmers representing the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team (Time); and Gaurika Singh, the 13-year-old Nepalese swimmer who’s the youngest Olympian in Rio (Swim Swam).

Also at the Olympic pool: lifeguards. Really. (New York Times)

After losing four 1976 Olympic gold medals to swimmers later found to have taken steroids, “Surly” Shirley Babashoff finds her Olympic tale to be still relevant. (New York Times)

French swimmer Frédérick Bousquet now has his own theme song: “Fred Bousquet” by rapper Grey Hillz, aka former Dominican National Team swimmer David Greaty Diaz. (iTunes)

From Mexico to Greece to Sri Lanka, here are 10 extraordinary outdoor swimming trips. (Guardian)

But wait, there’s more: Watch legendary pitchman Anthony Sullivan sell swimming like it was OxiClean!

A photo posted by Chase Kalisz (@chasekalisz) on

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A photo posted by Nathan Adrian (@nathangadrian) on

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Week in Swimming

Olympic swimmer Azad Al-Barazi
The competition in Rio got lighter by seven Russian swimmers, all banned for doping. (IB Times) Olympic medalist Yulia Efimova may sue to compete. (Swim Swam)

VIDEO: A SoCal lifeguard with dual citizenship will swim in Rio for Syria to help raise awareness of his war-torn homeland. (LA County)

Meet the Australian Olympic swimming stars who hope that Rio will erase the memory of poor showing in London 2012. (ABC News)

Natalie Coughlin isn’t going to Rio, but the 12-time Olympic medalist isn’t retiring either. (LA Times)

A shortage of young lifeguards is creating new opportunities for seniors. (Marketplace)

High-end condos in NYC use their fancy swimming pools as a draw. (NY Times)

Check out this buyer’s guide to the best and worst swim trackers. (Ars Technica)

Life Hack: Try these 5 tips to protect your hair from chlorine and salt water damage. (GQ)

In case you’re wondering, the “S” in STD does not stand for “swimming pool.” (Huffington Post)

VIDEO: Watch how a few Dutch men made a swimming pool out of beer crates. (Mirror)

A photo posted by lia m. neal (@lia_neal) on

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Week in Swimming

Swimmers at swim start, Challenge Roth triathlon
Team USA is now training with the same “computer vision” technology that BMW wants to use in self-driving cars. (TechCrunch)

Returning Australian Olympian Cam McEvoy just dropped the 200m freestyle from his Rio schedule. (ABC News)

First-time Olympian Maya DiRado has already announced her retirement after she swims in Rio. (USA Today)

U.S. Olympian Kathleen Baker will swim in Rio seven years after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. (New York Times)

How much does Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian eat as he trains for Rio? (Us Weekly)

Libya’s first female Olympic swimmer since the revolution there, Dania Hagul will defy cultural taboos just by wearing her swimsuit in public. (Libyan Express)

Get inspired by the 101-year-old swimmer who’s breaking world records … after only taking up the sport in her late 80s! (Agence France-Presse)

A newly launched swimwear brand features styles designed to celebrate “real women” with “strong and healthy” swimmers’ builds. (New York Times)

Open water swimming season has brought profiles of English Channel swimmers (Telegraph), the first deaf man to swim the Channel solo (BBC), and two world-record attempts in Canada’s Lake Okanagan: one by a 61-year-old Channel swimmer (CBC) and one in support people with Parkinson’s disease (Swimming World).

Monday, July 18, 2016

On the Road to Rio: Olivia Smoliga

Olympic swimmer Olivia Smoliga
For the last three Olympics, the U.S. has owned the women’s 100-meter backstroke. Natalie Coughlin took the gold in Athens and Beijing; Missy Franklin stood atop the London podium. At this year’s Olympic Trials, both amazing women took a backseat to a Georgia Bulldog by the name of Olivia Smoliga.

Born in October 1994 to Polish immigrants (they’d only been in the US since 1991), Smoliga's specialties include freestyle and backstroke. (Right now, she's the record-holder for the 50-meter backstroke, short course.)

In 2012, she broke national high school records for backstroke and freestyle. At her first international competition, in Istanbul, the high school senior stunned the audience with a 29.74 split in the 100-meter backstroke. Her 57.74 time in the final earned her one of her two gold medals; she also brought home a bronze and a silver.

The Backstroking Bulldog
During her time at the University of Georgia, Smoliga has brought some exceptional wins to the Bulldogs, more than justifying her athletic scholarship. She’s set three school records in her signature freestyle and backstroke events.

She won the NCAA title in the 50-yard freestyle in her freshman and junior years. With multiple SEC victories, she established herself as one of the team’s top sprinters.

A photo posted by Olivia Smoliga (@osmoliga) on

Olympic Trials
Smoliga barely missed finishing fourth in the 2012 Olympic Trials qualifying meet for the 100-meter backstroke. She came in 23rd in the 50-meter freestyle.

However it wasn't all a loss; Olivia set a personal record before leaving, getting a 59.82 during the semi-finals.

At this year’s Trials, she secured her spot on Team USA by beating out gold medalists Missy Franklin and Natalie Coughlin in the 100 back.

In an interview afterward, Smoliga told Swim Swam, "I'm in shock still; this is so sweet! I'm so happy right now. You know, I didn't doubt myself, I always said that I could do it. I believed in myself for that!"

A photo posted by Olivia Smoliga (@osmoliga) on

Staying Grounded
Part of Olivia's success may have to do with her realistic understanding of the sport. She knows that it can take a whole season to shave off just a few critical hundredths of a second. "It's a delayed gratification,” she told the Chicago Tribune.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Week in Swimming

Team USA swimmer Katie Ledecky, PC: @mike2swim
Get inspired by Hong Kong swimmer Yvette Man-yi Kong, who overcame depression to become a first-time Olympian. (CNN)

Two swimmers overcame bans to compete in Rio: Kuwait’s Faye Sultan, despite the ban against her country (Swim Swam), and South Korea’s Park Tae-hwan, despite his country’s ban against him (LA Times).

VIDEO: 18-year-old Canadian backstroker Javier Acevedo discusses his training regimen. (The Star)

And after the Olympic spotlight dims? Gold-medal swimmer Donna de Varona offers sage advice for swimmers and other athletes facing retirement. (Vox)

For the first time, two swimmers – Italy’s Rachele Bruni and France’s Aurelia Muller – tied for gold at the European Open Water Swimming Championships. (NBC Olympics)

With this week’s UK release of her memoir, Find a Way, legendary swimmer Diana Nyad discusses her life and career. (The Guardian)

To promote safe swimming, three Vietnamese professionals built three public swimming pools for under $4,000! (Tuoi Tre News)

The doctors at Baylor College of Medicine recommend swimming as a healthy activity … just not while wearing contact lenses.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

On the Road to Rio: Kevin Cordes

first-time Olympian, swimmer Kevin Cordes
At the just-completed Olympic Trials in Omaha, the new blood in American swimming had the crowds abuzz. Gold medalists from London 2012 either fell short for their winning events (Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin) or failed to make Team USA at all (Matt Grevers, Tyler Clary). Among the newcomers, Kevin Cordes, a near miss for the 2012 team, is our freshly minted Comeback Kid.

The Early Years
Cordes was born on August 13, 1993, in Naperville, Illinois. During his younger years, he swam on the Fox Valley Swim Team. At Neuqua Valley High School, he lettered in swimming all four years and was state champion in the 100-yard breaststroke as a sophomore.

By his senior year, he had shaved more than two seconds off of his already impressive time. At 17, Kevin secured a spot on the Junior Pan Pac Championship Swim Team, where he placed 6th with his performance in the 100 breast.

A photo posted by Kevin Cordes (@kevincordes) on

The Wildcat Years
Although recruited by California, USC, Auburn, and Virginia, Cordes followed in his father’s footsteps by attending the University of Arizona. A physiology major, he initially made his mark as a Wildcat at the Texas Invitational; he broke two National Age Group Records, in the 100 and 200 breast.

These early college successes propelled the 18-year-old Cordes to the 2012 Olympic Trials. In the 100 breast, he came in third; he missed his chance to compete in London by about a half-second! In the 200 breast, he finished 12th.

Cordes used this near miss as inspiration. “Definitely carried that for four years,” Cordes told a journalist at this year’s Omaha trials. “That’s been in the back of my mind throughout many practices.”

A photo posted by Kevin Cordes (@kevincordes) on

The Long Road to Rio
After the 2012 Trials, he’d go on to win seven NCAA titles in his two signature events. At the 2012 US Open, he broke records in the 100 and 200-meter breast.

He won a gold medal at the 2014 Pan Pacs as part of the 400-meter relay team. His teammates were Michael Phelps, Nathan Adrian, and Matt Grevers; he was the only team member to not have an Olympic gold medal.

When embarking on his road to Rio, he adopted a new strategy.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Week in Swimming

Team USA Paralympic swimmer Brad Snyder
Meet the U.S. Olympic swimming team, swimming coaches, marathon swimmers, and Paralympic swimmers. (Swim Swam/ESPN/Team USA)

With 30 first-time Olympians, not every 2012 gold-medal swimmer made the cut. (NBC Olympics) Matt Grevers missed out in what’s being called a historically competitive 100 back. (bluseventy)

VIDEO: For the first time, Team USA includes two black women swimmers: Lia Neal and Simone Manuel. (Madame Noire)

The Litherland triplets all competed in Omaha, but not all of them made it to Rio. (AP)

The New York City debate over sex-segregated swimming hours seems to have reached a compromise. (NY Times)

Musician John Legend and model Chrissy Teigen are learning to swim so they can teach (and keep safe) their infant daughter, Luna. (People)

VIDEO: swimming can help keep dogs healthy, new research finds. (The dogs are really cute!) (Daily Mail)

Sexy bikini pics went viral on Twitter when it was revealed that the model is a 50-year-old mom who credits swimming as her fountain of youth. (NY Post)

At the request of a nudist organization, Madrid approved a “No Swimsuit Day” at public pools. (RT)

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A photo posted by Missy Franklin (@missyfranklin88) on

Thursday, July 7, 2016

This Day in Swimming: Women Swim at the Olympics

statue of the pioneering Olympic swimmer, Mina Wylie
The ancient Olympics were for male athletes only. A woman could score a victory only as a horse owner, not as the jockey.

The modern Olympics recognized swimming at the 1896 Games, but the first women swimmers did not compete until 1912. Those first female swimmers made waves, and the ripple effect will be felt this year in Rio!

The Stockholm Games
Stockholm, Sweden, hosted the 1912 Olympics. In the prior games, London 1908, women athletes could compete only in tennis, golf, archery, and figure skating. But on July 8, 1912, women’s swimming and diving debuted on the Olympic roster.

Of the 2,407 athletes who participated in Stockholm, only 48 were women. Overall, 120 swimmers represented 17 countries; among the women, 27 swimmers represented eight countries.

The U.S. didn’t allow women to compete unless they wore long skirts. That meant no Olympic swimming for American women.

The 27 women swimmers could compete in just two swimming events: the 100-meter freestyle and the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. By comparison, male swimmers had seven events, including backstroke and breaststroke races and a 1500-meter freestyle.

Fanny Durack, Mina Wylie, and Jennie Fletcher, the gold, silver, and bronze winners of the 100m freestyle at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics
The 1912 Stockholm Olympics were the first to feature women's swimming. Fanny Durack, Wilhelmina Wylie, and Jennie Fletcher won the 100-meter freestyle, one of only two women's swimming events that year. No U.S. women competed due to their country's requirement of a long skirt for all female athletes

Australasia on the Podium
Fanny Durack of Australasia (as the combined Australian and New Zealand team was then called) competed in the 100-meter freestyle using the new crawl stroke developed in Australia.

During her quarterfinal heat, Durack set a new world record, posting a finishing time of 1:19.8. The former world-record holder, British swimmer Daisy Curwen, also planned to participate, but an emergency appendectomy ended her Olympic dreams.
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