Iceland's many swimming pools / thermal pools are heated entirely by subterranean thermal water.
Dean, You may remember my friend Chris Jacobs -- the Olympian -- check out this article... Jean
Yeah, But Can Michael Phelps Handle LIBOR?
Chris Jacobs swam with Dara Torres and Matt Biondi as a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1988. Now he swims with the sharks as a buyer of distressed debt.
Read on at the Wall St. Journal
Provided by Jean Magnier, thanks!
"Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find that you have crossed the mountain."
Hi Dean, Hope all is well in the great Northeast! Thought you might like this article or want to post it at Dynoswim. Take care, Kate
Please know how much we at Dynoswim appreciate these contributions! Thanks so much, Kate!
~By Liz Robbins
Researchers find that the 40-something (and older) swimmer of today is faster than the 40-something of yesteryear.
Provided by Kate Scully, thanks!
Note: Find related entries here.
~By Jen Kaido, Wednesday - August 20, 2008
Family and Friends,
As most of you probably already know, we came in fifth in the final. Honestly, it wasn't a great race and it wasn't our best race. I'm not sure what happened or went wrong. We knew we had to go out and be aggressive the whole way down the course, and I feel we were doing that, but it still wasn't enough. A couple times I could feel us getting closer to Germany, but then they would walk away. It's weird....I'm glad the racing is over with, but I'm not really happy. I know it's an accomplishment to just be in the Olympics and representing my country, but when I see girls that I have been training with and working just as hard as, win Olympic Gold, it hurts. Each event is different and certain countries usually dominate certain events. Although, our women's single sculler Michelle Guerette won silver which is amazing and fantastic for American sculling!
I have been pretty busy since the Final, which is why it has taken me awhile to send out an update. After we finished, I met up with my family and was finally able to go out and experience Beijing! We went to an Italian Restaurant via taxi.....craziness! There are no traffic rules or courtesy to other drivers (or pedestrians). Our driver swerved in and out of lanes, no turn signal, passed on the shoulder and did not stop for pedestrians or bikers. They would just honk their horns to warn people or cars. And there was no yielding to oncoming traffic. They would just pull into traffic and hope the oncoming cars would stop or swerve out of the way. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the traffic. After a delicious non-chinese meal (I was getting a little tired of the same menu rotated every three days), we went to the Bank of America Hometown Hopefuls Family Center where we had a few drinks and just relaxed. They kicked us out at 11PM and from there we headed back to my families condo's they rented. I stayed the night there, went back to my hotel on Monday and moved out by Noon. A bus took the Team to the Athlete Village and since then I have been seeing events (synchronized swimming, track and field) and sightseeing (Silk Market, Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square).
I've been tired from the touristy stuff but hope to experience the night life the rest of the week :-) We will be attending Closing Ceremonies and then flying out next Monday (25th) evening. It's hard to believe I have been here almost a month. I'm looking forward to returning home though and catching up with friends and family. After watching other athletes compete and seeing them walk around the Athlete Village, I'm finally realizing that I am an Olympian.....for life. Before, I just rowed, it was my 'job'....nothing special. But as I was watching other athletes, I thought they were the coolest thing and I just kept thinking, "Wow, they are the best at what they do and they're competing in the Olympics. That's cool" I am blessed to have had this experience and opportunity. And I owe alot to the support of you all. So many of you have sent well wishes or just emails of inspiration and it has meant alot. Thank you to everyone and I appreciate everything you have done! Maybe you'll see me again in 2012.........
Until next time,
In the Middle Ages, Europeans stayed out of the water as much as they could. They thought it caused disease.
~By Nate McBride
Well the first week of the Olympics is now over and if you didn't know better, you may have thought that the only two sports at the Olympics were swimming and volleyball, oh, and the occasional boxing match. You may also have realized that the two largest sponsors of the Olympics, Budweiser and McDonalds, provoke a sense of only the deepest irony. While I, like most athletes, enjoy a few Big Macs and Budweisers between sets, I have to go out on a limb and speculate that NO athletes at the games, except maybe the Hammer throwers, eat McDonalds or chase their McNuggets with a Budweiser tall boy. But that is only speculation and maybe, as a coach, I am behind the times on training diets. I will immediately begin a thorough investigation.
While I am glad that Michael Phelps won all of his events, I find it unfortunate that the great coverage team at NBC decided to neglect everyone else that kicked butt or in some way had a compelling swim.
The primary example is Rebecca Adlington who broke a 19-year standing record. The camera stayed on her for all of 15 seconds before going BACK to Phelps. Wonder if Rowdy Gaines ever got tired of saying "and now back to Phelps". If you are going to give swimming such a vast amount of time, show us some of the other stories like Stany Kampopo from Congo who swam the 50 Free in a time of 35.19 and was the slowest qualifying time after the prelims. This guy had to BORROW a suit and if you have seen the pictures, it was a pair of biking shorts...purple ones. This guy, sponsored by NO ONE, flew all the way from Congo to represent his country, came in dead last and yet, all we cared about was how much money Michael made for getting 8 golds. (No Mike, I am sure that the lucrative endorsements you knew you would get NEVER came across your mind). So what if he came in last, it's still a race I would have liked to have seen. Better yet, how about 12 year old Antoinette Mouafo from Cameroon who swam a 33.55 in the 50 Free prelims. That time would have put her in the top 10 at USMS Nationals this weekend in every age group under 40. Think about that next time you think you swam a tough set. There is a difference between Olympic Trials, where you are supposed to show all of the Americans, and the Olympics, where other people from other countries do actually compete. Of course, just when you think it's over, you can turn on the set and instead of seeing sports, watch Bob Costas ask Phelps' Mom what she is feeling. It's over, let's move on and see some other sports. Congrats Mike...we have enough to deal with for the next four years with the LZR suits and all; go enjoy your money for a bit. Have a Big Mac and a few Buds. (don't drive though).
For now, enough about the Olympics.
We have been spending a lot of time in the last few weeks on walls. In fact, for our biweekly video session I just had everyone do lots of flipturns and captured them on video from different angles under water. Flip turns are one thing you can NOT over analyze. We also think about the walls and in the world of my club, we break down the walls into three areas: The red zone, the top of the key, and the pocket. It is good to think about the "red zone" as a place to really make a difference during a race. We call the red zone the distance between the flags and the wall. I call the area right before the flags the "top of the key" and the area between the bottom cross and the wall, "the pocket". We work all three of those areas a lot not only because so many races are won or lost in those three areas but also because the middle of the pool can be such an effort-less area and I like using those areas as high work zones. It is canon in our club that when you finish any high effort set or piece of that set, you dont breathe in the red zone coming into the wall. Similarly, my competitive swimmers are forbidden from breathing off the wall until they pass the top of the key or take one full stroke. They must also take a minimum of 3 fly kicks off of every wall - failure to do so gets you 20 pushups on deck. There aren't a lot of folks doing pushups any more but it does happen from time to time.
Walls, like kicking, are one of those things that must be done all of the time, regardless of the set. Trust me when I say, it DOES get easier. Your lungs and legs do adapt quickly, especially if you keep at it. Every 4,000 yards equals 160 chances to work on a wall and 120 chances (give or take depending on the sets) to work on turns. Those are all freebies. If you even did half of them at your best effort, that's still 80 good walls. When we are not directly focusing on walls and such, we do keep an eye on them and make sure the swimmers are working on them. When we DO focus on walls and do wall sets, there are a few special drills that we use which are especially good, one of those is the underwater turn drill. This drill requires that from the top of the key, you submerge yourself to just a few feet from the bottom of the pool and kick to the wall, do a flipturn entirely submerged, and then kick like hell back to the top of the key. We do repeats of 100's through 800's with under water turns. We also do a lot of stretch cord work. Since we swim in a 25 yard pool, it's basically a playground for working on these areas. One of our drills is called the truck pull. With a stretch cord tied around the waist, the swimmer leaves the wall and sprints to the other wall. Once they get there (some of my swimmers can make it in ~18 seconds while others can take up to 30 or so) they get to hold on to the wall for 5 seconds. Then they have to let go and float back 5 yards to the top of the key where they have to stay in the key for 25 strokes. Once they have completed those 25 strokes, they get to float back to midpool for an easy 100 strokes. Then they have to sprint back to the top of the key for 25 more strokes and then try to make it back to the wall.
We do these on 4:30 so the swimmer would get about 30 seconds rest although it feels as though you swam a 1500. After a few of these, we go right into 5-turn 50's meaning that you do 5 full flipturns during a 50 - including the one at the wall. This helps with that quick wall turnover and when doing it when you are dead tired makes one really work to get over. Those are usually on a soft interval (base +:15). After an hour of this, your sprinters AND distance swimmers will be begging for mercy but will all know that they just kicked some serious butt.
Note: Nate McBride had been a competitive swimmer for over 29 years and has been coaching for 16. He is currently the Head Coach of West Side Swim Club in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
Note: I'm a huge fan of Natalie du Toit.
BEIJING, China (AP) -- Natalie du Toit looked like any other athlete when she walked into the Bird's Nest, carrying the South African flag at the opening ceremonies.
Read on at CNN.com
Sent over by Anne Grams:
We would like to invite you to our first masters swim meet. The meet will be held in conjunction with the DBS Fall Invitational. The 500 free will be swum Friday evening at the end of the meet session, probably around 8:00. The rest of the events will be Saturday afternoon, in between the prelims and finals of the meet. Starting times for the masters events will be posted at Daytona Beach Swimming (DBS) around Sept. 10.
Depending on his schedule, Ryan Lochte plans to be here for the meet.
The meet information letter is attached (DBS Masters Meet 091208-1.doc)
Check it out at Sports Illustrated
"If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito."
~By Diana Wolf
For some reason every swim event in this Olympics is a record smasher. And it isn't just Michael Phelps who's seconds ahead of that daunting green world record line. Curious what's making this year's athletes so much faster? Here are 6 possible answers.
Read on at Mental Floss
Provided by Laura Burke, thanks!
~By Karen Crouse
Published: August 5, 2008, New York Times
The rectangular space where many swimming medals will be won or lost at the Beijing Olympics has no lane lines or starting blocks. It has no water, unless the competitors bring their own.
Immediately before they race in the 50-meter pool at the Olympic aquatics arena, the Water Cube, the swimmers will be required to spend up to 30 minutes at rest in the ready room. It is like a television studio green room, except instead of hospitality, there is usually a strong whiff of hostility.
"It's probably the most stressful moment of the Olympics," said John Naber, a five-time medalist at the 1976 Montreal Games. "There's no place to hide. No place to run."
The proliferation of MP3 players has given athletes some means of escape. Michael Phelps, who will try for eight gold medals in Beijing, said he reports to the ready room with Rick Ross or Jay-Z blaring from his headphones, tuning out everything but the music's beat. Phelps's teammate, the five-time Olympian Dara Torres, said she chatted with the swimmers next to her to fill the silence, talking about things she cannot even recall after the race.
Phelps and Torres paint a benign scene very different from the psychological torture chamber described by more than a dozen Olympians in telephone interviews.
Amy Van Dyken, a two-time United States Olympian, cackled into her cellphone. "You want to talk about the ready room?" she asked gleefully. "You mean the white-padded room?"
She described a place where the swimmers sit on metal folding chairs looking twitchy, ashen, zoned out -- or vaguely threatening, as Van Dyken did before the 50-meter freestyle at the 1996 Atlanta Games. She spun her chair around to face her main rival, Le Jingyi of China, then the world-record holder.
"For the next half-hour," Van Dyken recalled, "I sat there and stared at her like you just took the last Double Stuf Oreo."
Van Dyken won the gold, touching out Le by 0.03 of a second.
The ready room in Beijing may not be much bigger than a walk-in closet. In days gone by, it was not even a room at all, but rather a hallway with benches situated a few steps from the pool deck. It was created to assure meet organizers that swimmers would be on time for their races.
"It is a place that makes the organizers relax and the performers uneasy," Naber said.
It is one of the few ways the biggest swimming competition resembles an age-group meet, where 9- and 10-year-olds are frequently seen walking hand in hand toward the blocks.
At the Olympics, any physical contact between competitors in the room is usually calculated. In a talk that Brian Goodell delivered to the 2008 United States swim team during a training camp at Stanford University, he explained how unnerving the room could be and explained what he did at the 1976 Olympics to gain an advantage before his race, the 1,500-meter freestyle.
Bounding out of his folding chair as if he did not have a care in the world, Goodell, then 17 and a nervous newcomer to the international scene, walked around and shook hands with his startled competitors, wishing each of them good luck. He then went out and won the 30-lap race by 1.51 seconds, breaking his month-old world record in the process.
Sometimes it takes a country to deflate the competition. Before the 200 butterfly final at the 1976 Olympics, the Americans Steve Gregg and Mike Bruner were in the ready room opposite Roger Pyttel of East Germany, who had broken Mark Spitz's four-year-old world record in the event that summer.
"We had a lot of fun with Roger," Bruner said, recalling the act that he and Gregg put on.
Bruner said: "The conversation generally went: 'Do you think he speaks English? Well, maybe not. I didn't see any reaction in his face; maybe he doesn't understand.' There was a pause, and then one of us said, 'So you know, if the Americans go 1-2-3, he's going to be sent back to Siberia.' "
Pyttel's face went ashen, Bruner said. He and Gregg looked at each other, and Bruner remembered one of them saying, "I guess he understands English." As they walked out to the blocks, Bruner said, "It was clear to us, 'We've got him.' "
Bruner won the gold and broke Pyttel's world record. Gregg took the silver, and another American, Billy Forrester, the bronze. Pyttel was fourth.
In 1972, Spitz also had a partner in playing his mind games. He remembered taking his club coach, Sherm Chavoor, with him into the ready area.
"I would tell Sherm: 'I'm so tight. I'm so messed up,' and he would rub my shoulders while my competitors stared at us with their mouths open," Spitz said. "In actuality, there was nothing wrong with me. I just wanted my opponents to think I was hurting."
He won seven gold medals at those Games, all of them with world records attached, to set the bar for immortality that Phelps will try to raise in Beijing.
The psychological warfare includes the occasional friendly fire. In 1972, Tim McKee of the United States walked into the ready area before the 400-meter individual medley, made a beeline for a garbage can and vomited while his opponents, including his teammate Gary Hall Sr., looked on uneasily.
"I was already feeling really nervous, and I hadn't eaten all day," Hall said. "It just kind of made me ill. I had to get up and leave. You're not supposed to, but I did."
Hall, who held the world record in the event at the time, finished fifth. McKee won the silver. Later, Hall asked McKee if he meant to psych him out. Hall recalled that McKee was taken aback by the question. No, he told Hall, he always became sick before races.
Donna de Varona always got in the water and splashed around before she raced. It disrupted her routine to have to spend the 15 minutes beforehand in the ready room instead of in the warm-up pool.
After finishing a disappointing fourth in the 100 butterfly, her first event of the 1964 Tokyo Games, de Varona decided to take matters into her own hands. Her next event was the 400 individual medley, and as the world-record holder, she was the favorite.
"I wasn't going to fool around," she recalled. In the ready room, she looked around and decided it was only fair that she share her strategy with her competitors, two of whom were fellow Americans.
"I announced that I was going to false-start," de Varona said. "The other girls looked at one another. It wasn't until years later that I realized what a psych job it was. I had them wondering, Is she really going to false start or does she just want us to think she is?"
She did false-start, and after acclimating herself to the water, cruised to a five-second victory.
One of the greatest intimidators was de Varona's 1964 teammate Don Schollander. He used to sit in the ready area and tie his suit, then look at his competitors' suits and raise his eyebrows, a simple gesture that caused many a nervous Ned to focus on his drawstrings instead of the coming race.
Before the semifinals of the 100-meter freestyle at the 1964 Games, Schollander was observing the Frenchman Alain Gottvalles, who held the world record. Gottvalles had spent the lead-up to the race bragging about how he could drink a bottle of wine and smoke half a pack of cigarettes every day and still break records.
None of that bravado was evident to Schollander as he studied Gottvalles, who struck him as nervous. Schollander kept inching closer to Gottvalles until he was standing above him.
Gottvalles slid down the bench, and Schollander followed him. He got up and headed to the bathroom, and Schollander followed him to the urinal and stood behind him, like swimming's answer to the Grim Reaper. The next night, Schollander won the gold and Gottvalles was fifth.
"I wouldn't normally have done all that," Schollander said last week, "except the guy was so arrogant, I couldn't help myself."
In his 1971 autobiography, "Deep Water," Schollander wrote: "Psyching out is part of the game. You've got to be able to take it and you've got to be able to do it." He added, "In Olympic competition, a race is won in the mind."
In thirty years, we may still be talking about Phelps (and Spitz).
Read previous entries regarding this series and see some photos:
~By Jen Kaido - Saturday, August 9, 2008
Family and Friends,
It is the eve before racing. We (the quad) just had a boat meeting with our coach, Matt Madigan. We went over some logistics, such as what bus to catch to the race course, how much time we need for warm up, what time we meet with Matt before launching and when we launch. And once we launch, there's another 45 minutes of warm up on the water. All this for a six and a half minute race! We usually get to the race course 2 hours before a race. It allows time to warm up (about 20 minutes), stretch, chill, pee (multiple times), and nervously fidget for awhile. I like to just lay down for 5-10 minutes listening to music that will pump me up for the race.
So here's what the racing looks like on Sunday:
Go time - 4:40PM (4:40AM east coast standard time)
The Line up - Germany, Great Britian, USA, Australia
There are 2 heats of 4 boats; the winner advances directly to the final (Sunday, Aug. 17); the remaining boats head to a repachage on Tuesday, Aug. 12. Our goal is to win this race. We have beaten these countries before. It's not going to be easy, but if we are aggressive the whole way down the course while maintaining all the fundamentals we've been working on this summer, we could do it. Here are where you can find the results:
I will also try to send out a quick email to let you all know how the racing turned out.
My family made it to Beijing! Well, 6 of them at least. Last I knew, the other 3 were coming in today but no word on their arrival. My support staff includes: Dad, Mom, Justin, Matthew (brothers), Choci's Janet, Patrice, Carole and Elaine (Dad's sisters, my aunts) and my cousin, Mitchell (Carole's son). I'm so happy they're here and even though it is a very different country from America, I hope they have a good time and enjoy the sites of China!
Surprisingly, I'm not nervous (yet). I'm just anxious to race and excited to see what we can do. It's just one 2k (2000meters). We did multiple races during selection and I made it through that. Why should I be afraid of one race? We did one 2k last week, so my body knows what to expect and hasn't forgotten how to race. I have heard from multiple people that the heat and humidity is a big factor during the race. Everyone goes out at normal speeds and then half way through, their bodies almost shut down or freak out because of the heat. And I did notice that during our 2k last week. Things were fine and normal in the first half, and then during the second half, I felt really horrible, as if I couldn't sustain the pace and rhythm. My mind started to take over and I kept hearing "This hurts so much, this hurts so much." in my head. I have been able to control that during racing this summer (something I've been working on for awhile). I think I was just surprised by the heat and humidity and how it affected my body during a race. But now I know what to expect and I will work through that monster in my head tomorrow.
Until next time,
See some earlier photos at Row2K.com
Tuesday, August 12
Family and Friends,
Sorry for the delay. There has been some internet problems in the hotel. I keep being redirected to Google Mail or the Apple website when I check my email.
So we came in third in our heat on Sunday. It wasn't a great race, but it wasn't a horrible race. We talked about what we need to do differently for the rep, such as a faster start and attacking the middle thousand meters. We raced kind of timid and not aggressive enough. In the last 500 meters, we didn't want to come in last place, so we brought it up a notch and walked past Australia. We should have been racing and fighting like that earlier in the race. So that is our plan for today's race - go really freakin' hard off the start and just keep attacking the whole way down the course. It's just one rep of six boats; the top 4 finishers will move onto the A Final, the remaining two will go to the B Final. WE ARE NOT A B FINAL BOAT! We are going to be racing for our lives but I know we can do it. Race time today (Aug. 12, Tuesday) is 4:50PM.
Great Britian won our heat in a time of 6:13.70, followed by Germany with a 6:15.26. We clocked at 6:19.89 and Australia finished behind us with a 6:20.95. In the other heat, China won with a time of 6:11.83, followed by Ukraine 6:17.84, Canada 6:23.27 and Russia 6:26.21.
Following the Men's Quad's races, they cancelled the remaining races (Women's and Men's eights) due to thunder and lightning and heavy rains. The sky got pretty dark during our race and the winds picked up (it was a tailwind for our race). It started sprinkling during our cool down. The temperature was cooler than it has been, so there was no need to worry about racing in the heat and humidity. Today may be different though. I was able to see my family afterwards for a brief moment, then it was time for a flush of the legs with the trainer, a shower, dinner, followed by an ice bath.
Just so everyone knows, I was not in the opening ceremonies. I have been asked many times about it. You couldn't find me because I wasn't there :-) It is the day before our racing begins, and you're standing/walking around for 8-10 hours....not good before racing. So I was in the hotel watching it on TV....sitting or laying down.
Time for practice! We are doing a short 20 minute row this morning, then relaxing in the hotel before our race.
Until next time,
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Family and Friends,
I MADE MY FIRST OLYMPIC FINAL!!!
We came in second place in our repachage on Tuesday, which places us in the A Final on Sunday, August 17 at 4:30PM.
We raced Australia, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, and Russia. Our goal for the race was to have a faster start and a solid, aggressive middle 1000 meters (second and third 500 meters of the race). We came off the line in third and according to our splits for each 500 meters, we had the second fastest middle thousand (second and third 500's). Overall I think it was a great race and if we keep learning from the previous race, executing our goals and attacking all the way down the course, I really believe it could get us on the podium. It's going to be the hardest race of our lives....but why not us? As Herb Brooks said (1980 US Men's Olympic Hockey coach), "Great moments come from great opportunities." We have an opportunity in front of us, and now it's up to us to take advantage of it. We will be racing Australia, Germany, Great Britian, China and Ukraine.
The next couple days we will continue to train (about 8-12km each row) and rest in the hotel room. Today we practiced once, tomorrow and Friday will be twice a day. I have been watching alot of Olympic events on TV or movies on my laptop. I'm currently watching 'Bull Durham'.
Thanks to everyone for your support! It is much appreciated and I'm beginning to realize this is much bigger than I thought. Right now, this is just another race and regatta (with MANY more distractions) but in the months to come, it will hit me how awesome this experience was and what it meant to alot of people.
Until next time,
See a a pic from our race
By Erik Matuszewski and Dan Baynes
Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Michael Phelps broke the career gold-medal record at the Olympics today as China improved to a Games-leading 17 titles and Georgia got its first two.
Read on at Bloomberg
In 2005, there were 3,582 fatal unintentional drownings in the United States, averaging ten deaths per day.
Note: Sad fact, get your kids swimming lessons; then give them the chance to swim competitively.
"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."
~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president
Our friend Tobey Saracino will attempt her very first crossing of the English Channel. Aside from being a test of will, endurance, and fitness, swimming the Channel is also a battle against hypothermia since the average temperature this time of year is only around 58-62 degrees fahrenheit. Wish Tobey luck and follow her quest to conquer the Channel!
I put together a blog and thought I would send you the link.
I hope all is well. We leave this Saturday. Very excited! Can't wait to get over there.
Take it easy,
Details - 2008 English Channel Crossing:
- Second Neap Tide in August (Wave 2: August 21-28)
- 3rd in Queue (Third person to swim off my boat)
- Pilot: Reg Brickell
- Boat: Viking Princess
- Excited about: Climbing up the shores of France for my very first visit there!
- Nervous about: Weather conditions. The first wave of August (August 6-15) has had gale force winds and only one person got out (Dori Miller from Boston MA. Finished in 10 hours and 16 minutes)
Ready to swim!!!
Read about another recent Channel crossing by Karah Nazor
Sculling's great, especially when you haven't been in the water for a while. It's also good when you're looking for that "fat" water and you're optimizing traction regardless of the particular stroke you're swimming. It's not the motion of the scull that counts as much as it's that feeling you get when the water's heavy and you're practically doing pushups down the lane. Just make sure you're moving those arms side to side while adjusting your palm position for downward pressure to hold your head completely out of the water. Don't replicate breaststroke pull - that ain't sculling!
Later on in this program, fist drill makes you feel inefficient as if you're swimming with stubs, but what better way to look for fat water than using your forearms. Use the whole arm for propulsion, not just your hands. Think below the elbow on your catch, then when you're back to the swim portion of the set, you're cupped palms will make your stroke feel uber long, and hopefully uber long.
Check it out and let me know if you've modified it, loved it, or hated it:
Here are some great sites to help you stay on top of all the news coming out of the Summer Olympics, and figure out what time the various sports will be televised.
Lately, it seems as though it's taking much longer for everyone to get their legs warmed up on kick sets. So for example, despite doing a 500 kick in warm-up, the first rep of a kick set will be more difficult than the last few reps. Usually, the kick set of warm-up overcomes that.
Seems to be taking quite awhile for us - collectively speaking - to get into the zone where one can kick for a long period of time at a strong pace.
Here's a set we did last night, great kick set and great conditioning:
By the way, we limited rest as much as possible between sets, until the end when our muscles were nice and hot.
Note: More thoughts from olympic rower Jennifer Kaido. Jen is a current U.S.Olympic team member and friend and former teammate of Sharon Kriz. (Sharon will be a member of Dynoswim's 24 Hour Liechtenstein Relay in November.) (Photo: Lia Pernell, Lindsay Meyer, Margot Shumway, and Jen Kaido)
~By Jen Kaido, August 3, 2008
Family and Friends,
Racing begins in one week and the final is in two weeks. It seems so far away. That's okay, it just leaves more time to work on technique and adjust to the time difference. My boatmates and I feel pretty good right now, but the first week we were stiff and cranky from the traveling. There were a couple tense moments during practice and exchange of words but we have talked about it and everyone is getting along and putting up with each other. It's a hard time right now, because we have spent all summer together, in the same boat, traveling and rooming together, and tensions are running high (among everyone) now that we're at the Olympics. You can feel it at the course, in the boatbays, on the bus....people are stressed, anticipating racing and some get irritated easily. It's hard not to get caught up in everything but I think after the first week, we have found how to deal with it and not let it affect our practice and relationship with one another.
Photo: Margot Shumway, Jen Kaido, Lindsay Meyer, Lia Pernell, and Coach Matt Madigan
Last Wednesday we had the afternoon off and I went to The Great Wall of China! Our coordinator set up a bus so there was a group of about 20 that hopped aboard. It was about an hour bus ride there. It seems surreal to be so close, instead of 5,000 miles away. I have always seen pictures of it or heard about it, but I never thought that I would actually be walking on The Great Wall! We spent about an hour and a half there, which was the perfect amount of time. All I wanted to do was see it, take some pictures, walk around and experience the whole thing. It really is amazing and spectacular.
Apparently you can get a red card in rowing (we're a non-contact sport). We achieved this a few days ago in practice. Here's how it went down: The referee's that are on the water right now are part of BOCOG (Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games). I don't think any of them have seen rowing or understand it. They are given specific instructions - police your part of the course and make sure the rowers are following the rules. The only rule we have right now is lane assignments for practice. Usually, the middle lane is the 'dead lane' (no rowing in this lane), the outside lanes are for big boats (eights, fours, quads) and the lanes on the inside are for small boats (singles, doubles, pairs). You go up in one direction, spin, and go back down in the other direction. On this course, we are only supposed to be in the very outside lanes. We follow this rule unless there is a faster boat coming up on us or we are doing pieces with the eight, then we move one lane over, which is technically only for small boats. One time we were flagged to move back into the outside lane, but there was a men's quad that was passing us. If we did move over, we would of collided with them. Then there was a day we did race prep pieces with the women's eight. So they were in the outside lane and we were in the next lane over. We were obviously racing and the referee proceeded to follow our quad the WHOLE time and flag us to move over. There was an eight RIGHT NEXT TO US!!! We would of hit them if we moved over. But it was his job to not let any big boats in the small boat lanes.....and since we disobeyed him a couple times I think he got fed up with us and flashed a red card in the air. I was a little worried but not too worried after that but then we found out it was a red card which means a false start for our first race. You are only allowed 2 false starts...if we false start once in our heat, we're out, done. Last I heard though, someone from USRowing was going to complain to FISA (World Rowing Federation) and argue in our defense. I haven't heard anything else about it.
This past week we have been riding bikes to the course. It is only a mile and a half down the road. It's been very peaceful and enjoyable. I like not waiting or rushing for the bus. I can take my time after practice to stretch or get worked on by our sports trainer. There are alot of locals who use that road to get to/from work. Most of them are friendly and excited to see us.
I had a cultural experience yesterday. There is a local grocery store down the road - Wu Mart - and I finally went. I really thought people just called it Wu Mart because it was like a Chinese Wal-Mart but it's actually called Wu Mart. The bottom floor was like a food market - raw (maybe fresh?) fish and meat just laying out on tables or ice, fruits and vegetables out for sale. There were some special aromas floating around...I tried to get through as quick as possible. The second floor though was like a mini Wal-Mart. Different sections such as housewares, clothes, toiletries, etc. There was usually an English description on the back of the packages so that I knew what I was getting. It was Margot's birthday (stroke seat of the quad) so we mainly bought chocolate, cookies, and a beer (or two) for her.
The past couple days have been really clear, no smog. I think the first day we got here was a REALLY bad day, because it hasn't been that bad since. It's been sunny, blue skies with a slight haze in the mountains. I think Mother Nature is working in China's favor and clearing up the air a little bit. I haven't experienced any breathing or allergy problems. Some of the girls on our team have highly sensitive allergies and they have been fine.
I have attached some pictures of myself and my boatmates in our hotel and at The Great Wall.
Until next time,
Note: Let's hear it! I know you all have plenty of opinions on this one:
BRIEF SUMMARY OF AUGUST 5 ARTICLE IX PROCEDURE
TO: USA Swimming Board of Directors / All Staff
Attached please find a brief summary of the Tara Kirk arbitration hearing that just recently was completed.
As you know, since Jessica Hardy's positive drug test became public, Tara Kirk has been demanding that she be placed on the Olympic Team and be given the opportunity to swim the 100m breaststroke in Beijing.. This came to a head when she filed a Demand for Arbitration with the American Arbitration Association on Monday morning August 4, claiming that USA Swimming's refusal to put her on the team was a violation of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. She also filed claims seeking monetary damages, costs and attorneys fees from USA Swimming, as well as an order that USA Swimming's Selection Procedures be changed in the future.
Her arbitration demand requested an expedited hearing on her request to be named to the Olympic Team (while her other claims may be addressed at a later date). Under the USOC Bylaws, she was entitled to a hearing and decision within 48 hours. By Monday afternoon, an arbitrator (Al Ferris of San Diego) had been appointed by the AAA, and a hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, August 5 beginning at noon Pacific Time in San Francisco. The hearing lasted approximately 10 ½ hours. Mark Schubert, USADA's General Counsel Bill Bock and I all testified on USA Swimming's behalf. The USOC submitted an affidavit from Rachel Isaacs, Associate Director in the Sport Partnerships Department, expressing her opinion that the Selection Procedures were clear, fair, and equitable. Tara Kirk was present at the hearing but did not testify. We were represented at the hearing by Rich Young and Steve Smith of HRO. USOC Athlete Ombudsman John Ruger monitored the entire hearing by phone.
Under our Selection Procedures, Rebecca Soni had been named to replace Jessica Hardy in the 100m breaststroke in Beijing. Because Ms. Kirk was requesting that USA Swimming be ordered to put her in that event in Rebecca's place, Ms. Soni was represented at the hearing as an interested party by her own counsel.
As the hearing was held so close to the start of the Olympics, the arbitrator announced his decision verbally at the conclusion of the hearing, with a written order to be issued by September 5. In that verbal order, the arbitrator denied Ms. Kirk's claims, and found that USA Swimming had reasonably followed its Selection Procedures and had reasonably denied Ms. Kirk's demand that she be added to the Olympic Team.
USA Swimming's position all along in this matter has been that we are required to follow our published rules, and that is what we did. Hopefully this decision, after a long and detailed hearing on the facts, will satisfy those who publicly and privately have expressed concern.
Chuck Wielgus, Executive Director
August 6, 2008
13 hours is the average time to completion for those that have swum the English Channel.
Note: I wanted to share some thoughts from olympic rower Jennifer Kaido. Jen is a current U.S.Olympic team member and friend and former teammate of Sharon Kriz. (Sharon will be a member of Dynoswim's 24 Hour Liechtenstein Relay in November.)
Although Jen is a rower, the perspective she's been so gracious to share is applicable to swimmers and all athletes of all levels.(Photo: Bronze medal winners Sharon Kriz and Jennifer Kaido - from the 2005 Munich World Cup)
~By Jennifer Kaido - July 29, 2008
Family and Friends,
I finally made it to China! I can't believe my feet are on top of Chinese soil...and I'm rowing on Olympic waters. We landed around 2pm Beijing time (which is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard time) on Sunday. The flight was a little over 11 hours long. I made a new friend during that time...Sydney, a little, restless, friendly 18 month old (maybe?) girl who enjoyed hanging out with us in the back of the plane. Most of our Team was up, walking/standing around and congregating through out the plane. When we landed, I had no idea we were even close to the ground due to all the fog in the air. It looked like we were still up in the clouds. All the reports of pollution and humidity are true. It just looked like a really foggy, rainy day, but it was actually smog. I have never seen anything like it. People have compared it to the pollution of LA. It was hard to see a quarter of a mile in front of me. The first step outside was a blanket of thick, warm air. It was weird, the air was warm and thick, but I wasn't sweating like I usually do back home. Since the sun doesn't shine through the smog so much, it didn't seem as warm. After a few hours of customs, baggage claim, waiting around, taking the bus to the hotel, more security, waiting around and a team meeting, we finally made it to our rooms at 7:45pm. I went to bed at 8pm and woke up the next morning at 7am....just in time for breakfast.
We went for a few rows yesterday (Monday). Just light and easy to get back into the swing of things. The smog was pretty bad at the racecourse...you could hardly see a quarter of the way down the race course (250meters). When the sun wasn't behind a cloud, you could see the outline of it through the smog. Today (Tuesday) though was much better. It was rainy and windy which blew the smog away and I found out there are mountains around the race course! And the landscaping around the venue is beautiful! There was a little bit of blue sky and sun today, which made it very hot. By the end of the day though, you could see a haze setting back down around the mountains again. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
The security around here has been......well executed. These people are trained, and are happy to do it. There are security personnel and guards everywhere at the hotel and racecourse. We have to show them our accreditation when entering and leaving the hotel and go through metal detectors when entering. At the race course, we go through the same thing, except we don't have to show our ID's when leaving. It seems like there are at least 10 people around just waiting to help you or search you. One of my teammates tried to take a picture of an Olympics sign in front of the hotel and one of the 20 people standing around came rushing over to her to stop. I'm not sure why she couldn't take the picture of the sign but I think it had something to do with NBC having rights to all things Olympics. The hard part is that they have just been trained to do security and look for dangerous equipment, but they don't understand alot of our rowing equipment. They have given our coxswains and athletes hard times for bringing in stroke coaches and cox boxes which is needed for rowing but they didn't understand that. I guess it's good to know they are taking their jobs seriously.
For now, our focus will be to get back to regular training....getting in some longer rows, and doing some race intensity pieces. We have one and a half weeks until racing begins, so I may not send an email until then. I don't want to bore you with the exciting details of doing the same motion over and over again all while going backwards. We'll save that for racing...when the fun begins!
Until next time,
"Jean-Claude and the Vandammits" - our relay team - was represented by Kim Russo, Billy Geoghegan (support), Laura Burke, Dean Osterloh, Dan Cerasale, Kristen Adams, and John O'Fallon (Team Captain)
So, what can I say? We were one-third to one-half of the way through our race when it was called due to a severe storm and lightning. Even before the storm, swimmers were dropping out (none from our team of course) due to an abundant amount of jelly fish and the stings that go with that. Truth is, I'm quite disappointed but am committed to doing this race again next year. The only question that remains is if I'll do it solo or as part of a relay. Ask in six months and I should have the answer.
Despite the disappointments, I do of course want to bring your attention back to all of the people that through your support, you've come to help. And please know that if you'd like to, you can still donate to St. Vincent's by clicking through to the donor page. You can also learn about the great things St. Vincent's does directly from those involved. Just watch the video below.
Thanks so very, very much!
Watch this video from St. Vincent's:
"Please remember that it takes more than crossing the finish line first to make a champion. A champion is more than a winner. A champion is someone who respects the rules, rejects doping, and competes in the spirit of fair play. A champion is someone who surpasses personal limits. This means all of you can be champions, regardless of your final ranking."
~Jacques Rogge (2002 Olympic Committee president in a speech at the Winter Olympics that year)
You can also read one of the latest articles on Michael Phelps here at ESPN.