"This is a column about Katie Ledecky. It has a simple thesis. The thesis is that Katie Ledecky kicks ass."
A New Yorker Faces His Phobia, One Stroke at a Time [New York Times] With Intensive Swim Lessons, a Man Attacks His Fear of Water
"Traumatized by childhood incidents, Attis Clopton was deathly afraid of water, so he attacked his phobia by enrolling in a program of swimming lessons."
Kali couldn’t hold her gaze. Her eyes rolled back into her head. She had an appointment for 3 p.m., but around noon, Traci called her husband, Joseph. “I got her in, but I don’t know if she’s going to make it that long.” This is the story of how Kali Hardig became the third known survivor of the naegleria fowleri amoeba.
Victorian Prudes and their Bizarre Beachside Bathing Machines. If you were a beachgoer in Georgian or Victorian times, more specifically, a female beachgoer, your day at the seaside would’ve likely had all the fun sucked out of it by a little invention known as the bathing machine.
So, it's almost spring here in the UK, and after a sunny weekend your thoughts might be turning to doing some Open Water Swimming! [more inside]
How to Empty a Swimming Pool (SLYT)
John Morillo of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, will apparently not turn down a dare, even if it causes an international incident and racks up fines in the five figures. For instance, if you tell him he can't swim from Windsor to Detroit across a busy shipping lane, he'll do it (with the assistance of eight beers). And he'll swim back, too, as evidenced by the fact that the U.S. Coast Guard found him on the Canadian side. As Morillo said, "If I’m going to be in the paper, I’d at least like them to say I actually made it, even though I got in trouble and everything." [more inside]
For the first time since the 1950s, Boston's Charles River opened for public swimming. [more inside]
Lets Swim To Work! "Centuries of boat traffic, heavy industry, sewage runoff and toxic dumping have ingrained in us the idea that urban waterways are not places for people. Even as cities have rushed to the water’s edge over the past couple of decades, building elaborate waterfront parks and esplanades, few have taken the next logical step: encouraging residents to dive in." [more inside]
WIRED has been running a fascinating series: Olympic Physics: Can Runners Benefit From Drafting?, Scoring the Decathlon, New [Swimming] Platform Is No Chip Off The Old Block [more inside]
How Speedo Created A Record-Breaking Swimsuit: After officials banned the swimsuit that caused records to fall at the 2008 Games, scientists are back with a new outfit that could break more. [more inside]
Excellence is mundane. Excellence is accomplished through the doing of actions, ordinary in themselves, performed consistently and carefully, habitualized, compounded together, added up over time.: An Ethnographic Report on Stratification and Olympic Swimmers (1989) [more inside]
When Cullen Jones competes in London at the end of this month, he'll be only the third African-American to represent the US on an Olympic swimming team- and he'll continue to challenge the stereotype that black people don't swim. [more inside]
Otter pups learning how to swim. Absurdly cute footage of a mother otter teaching her less-than-thrilled little ones how to get around in the water.
She won the World Championship less than a year after turning professional. She is undefeated in her event. She has repeatedly broken her own world record. Sports Illustrated calls her the world's greatest female athlete. [more inside]
Sure a baby has a swimming reflex but that doesn't mean watching them swim isn't absolutely terrifying.
The long-polluted New York rivers are getting cleaner, but can still be dangerous to swim in. There are efforts underway to clean up the Bronx River, but that will take years, if not decades. Until then, signs are posted, warning would-be swimmers, yet people still risk sickness to battle the heat. One current safe solution is the Floating Pool Lady, a barge that was remade into an 82-foot-long city parks department swimming pool. She first arrived in the Bronx in 2008, and she'll return to the Bronx in a week. There's a new Big Idea to bring swimmers back into the rivers: the +Pool, a floating swimming pool located within a river, designed with a series exterior walls to filter the river water and make it safe to swim in. While that's in the early design stages, you can take a chance and jump in a swimming hole.
Greatest calls in sports is a selection of 32 great calls in broadcast sports, chosen by Joe Posnanski, obviously US-centric but featuring some good choices. Want some elation this Friday? [more inside]
Philippe Croizon swam the English Channel this weekend. Making this a notable feat: the 42 year old Frenchman has neither arms nor legs after having lost his limbs in an electrical accident.
A recent drowning tragedy in Shreveport, Louisiana has brought to light a startling statistic in America: a majority of black youth can not swim. [more inside]
It's difficult to swim between most continents. But swimming between Asia and Europe is relatively easy, despite the ordeal of swimming the Mediterranean across the Bosporus, like Leander crossing the Hellespont.
Marine Safety Specialist Mario Vittone knows what it looks like when someone is drowning, and you probably don't. It's deceptively quiet, undramatic, and happens so fast that bystanders may not even know it's happening. A drowning person's brain kicks into an instinctive mode that prevents yelling for help.
Take a swim in the Infinity Pool, at the Marina Bay Sands Sky Park. The Sky Park has rooftop restaurants, nightclubs, gardens, trees, plants, and a public observatory with 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline. The Infinity Pool is the world's longest elevated swimming pool, with a 475-foot vanishing edge, 200 meters (55 stories) above the ground.
"One of the most significant papers ever published in the annals of science appeared recently; it deals, for the first time ever, with one of the biggest scientific questions ever faced by the scientific community, and uses cutting-edge technology and awesome powers of deductive reasoning and logic to reach shocking, paradigm-shifting conclusions."
"Of the four strokes swum in competition, butterfly is almost universally regarded as more exhausting than freestyle, breaststroke or backstroke. And therein lies its allure. In an age of ultramarathons, Ironman triathlons and crowds chugging up Mount Everest, long-distance butterfly swimming is becoming a new and less-crowded frontier for fitness fanatics." [more inside]
Martin, it's all psychological. You yell barracuda, everybody says, "Huh? What?" You yell shark, we've got a panic on our hands
Swimming with Great White sharks Mike Rutzen is an expert on the great white shark and an outspoken champion of shark conservation. His fame spread due to the images of his free diving exploits swimming with the animals without a cage. Mike has spent more time swimming cage-less with great whites than anyone else. He has since travelled the world lecturing on sharks and filming documentaries on them... [More video] [more inside]
Today FINA, swimming's international body, released a list of approved suits. And with that, swimming took its first step towards sanity or towards ruin, depending on where you stand. Since the approval of Speedo's LZR Racer before the Olympics and concomitant widespread destruction of world records, the swim community has been riven by the suits: Are they too much aid or are they just a technical improvement, like when tennis moved beyond the wooden racket? The debate is best catalyzed by the case of Fred Bousquet, first man under 19s in 50 yards and under 21s in 50 meters. Attacked by anti-suit zealot Craig Lord of SwimNews, Bousquet's coach fires back in a blog whose comments themselves do a great job of demonstrating the divide. (Lord responds.) [more inside]
The aquatic ancestry of elephants Scientists believe they have discovered why elephants have trunks - they used them as underwater snorkels. New research suggests that the animals evolved from mammals like the sea cow. [more inside]
And here I am kicking my own legs like a sucker. From DEKA Research the folks that made the Segway and DARPA the little defense department that could (bomb you) comes Power Swim which uses an oscillating foil to develop vortices that...uh, it makes you go faster in the water. Some pictures, here. [more inside]
Oh, deer. "The catching was slow and they looked back to check their lines. They saw what appeared to be a seal with its snout out of the water, but they didn't think any seals were around their fishing grounds and they kept watching."
After a six hour swim, Karen Gaffney finished crossing Lake Tahoe. She's also done the English Channel as part of a relay. Karen also has Down syndrome and is a motivational speaker. [more inside]
Long Wharf in Boston and European route E5 are now stops on convenient routes for anyone looking to save a little money on airfare. Whether you're heading from Newfoundland to England or Moscow to Alaska, Google Maps recommends these places as (literal) jumping-off points. Just remember to pack your goggles.
Martin Strel is at it again. Back in '02 he swam the Mississippi River, then went on in '04 to make a world record swim of 930 miles in the Yangtze river. Now he plans to swim the 3,375 mile Amazon "for peace and friendship", starting February 1st.
Tracks of Swimming Dinosaur found in Wyoming The tracks of a previously unknown, two-legged swimming dinosaur have been identified along the shoreline of an ancient inland sea that covered Wyoming 165 million years ago, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder graduate student.
"I have now made my own flexible dolphin monofin, look at the drawing and the pictures. When I am in the pool I really look like a too large fish ;-)))." Isn't "monofluke" more appropriate? (Via)
Learn to Swim or just refine your mad aquatic skillz with the cool multimedia instruction of the BBC Sport Academy. How's your Front Crawl?
Surfrider is a nonprofit environmental organization that produces a annual "State of the Beach" (explanation here) report with information about US beach access (public access and private ownership issues), water quality, beach erosion, surfing, links and more. Reports are available for Hawaii, West Coast, Gulf States, Southeast, Mid Atlantic, Puerto Rico, Northeast and Great Lakes. In-depth Water Quality reports for beaches in CA, HI, TX, AL, and parts of FL, as well as results of beach water testing conducted by (or sanctioned by) Surfrider Chapters are also available. There are also Surfrider chapters in: Australia, Brazil, Canada (no website), Europe and Japan. EPA: Beaches is also an excellent resource for information about the condition of US beaches. [via LII New This Week]
The Tao of Skinny-Dipping. [nytimes reg required] After long days spent defending their positions atop New York's most competitive fields, Manhattan's alpha males need to unwind. From mistresses to treadmills, these men have as many forms of relaxation as sources of stress. But some of the city's titans have a secret. They meet around private pools in private clubs and swim together, naked.
Happy Harold Holt Day! On this day in 1967, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared whilst swimming at Cheviot Beach near Melbourne. Conspiracy theories abound. Today, his memory is honoured by a memorial swimming pool.
The End of the Deep End. Citing safety reasons, North American cities are abolishing the standard public swimming pool that many of us grew up with. The deep ends of existing pools are being filled in, and new pools are being built shallower. Is this action too extreme, or are deep ends a real threat to public safety? (via Manifesto Multilinko)
Swimming the Columbia River - lengthwise. What have you been up to for the past week? How about the next 6 months? If you're Christopher Swain, the answer is "swimming - and lots of it". Swain plans swim the 1,243 miles of the Columbia River from headwaters to the Pacific over about 180 days. The further downriver he goes, the riskier it gets - aside from the rapids and ocean freighters that await him, he'll be in waters contaminated by atomic waste, PCBs and other toxins - which is the point of the swim, to raise awareness and support for river protection. "I learned that tasting every mile of a river is a great way to build the credibility to speak on its behalf"
Underwater rugby? "An air-filled ball is not suitable for underwater games, since they are bouyant and always return to the surface. For this reason, Bersuda filled the ball with salt-water. Since the density of the ball was now greater than that of normal water, it no longer floated to the surface, but slowly sank to the bottom. The sink rate could, within certain limits, be controlled by the concentration of the salt solution. The first underwater ball was invented." Apparently, it's big in Switzerland (located east or south of Germany). Anyone else know anything about it?
Tourists swimming with the fishes... Ok, more accurately swimming with sharks. Summer is coming and with it my little coastal town is starting to endure the first surges of tourist crowds. With the changing of the seasons comes the eternal question, just what can you convince tourists to spend money on? I live in great white shark country so it's unlikely that this particular tourist activity will take off locally. However, we have had problems with commercial shark chummers in the past.
Coach Touretski Suspended Over Steroids Charge - Leading swimming coach Gennadi Touretski has been suspended from the Australian Institute of Sport following allegations of illegal possession of anabolic steroids. This is very big news here in Australia at the moment.
Equatorial Guinea has a new swimming star: 22-year-old Eric Moussambani. He won his heat in the 100m freestyle, despite never having learned how to swim at all until January, and having never even raced more than 50m before this race. His winning time: 1:52.72. Since that's about a minute more than it takes most Olympians, it should be noted here that his two competitors had been disqualified for false states, so he had the pool to himself. You really need to see the video of him "swimming" to believe it. But it's obvious that Sydney now has its own Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards!