Aqua Notes

Pan Ams: An exercise in tough

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Beating Brazil in Brazil is like, hard. We knew it was going to be tough but now that we are in the competition and actually having to do it, well, it’s tougher to do tough than it is to talk about tough. I am reminded that this is and was always the case.

This young US team is doing a bang up job. There is no doubt about it. Every swimmer here has made the US proud, swimming their guts out in these Pan Am Games. They have been gracious in victory and defeat. I am sure that you will see some of these swimmers on the Beijing trip. Read more


Pan Am Open Water Swimming: Exciting!

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The race setting could not have been more beautiful, with the course stretching along the world famous Copacabana beach. The weather was perfect. The seas were a little rough. Make that really rough. In the distance the surfers looked on, missing barreling sets to see the Xtreme swimming.

Two US men summit the medal podium to kick off what is sure to be a great meet for the US team in swimming. The talented Fran Crippen won the 10K open water event today in a time of two hours 2 minutes, and 24 seconds. Chip Peterson finished just five seconds behind in what can be considered a photo finish for open water swimming. The two battled it out the entire race with Chip leading until Fran “Madman” Crippen pulled ahead at the end in a gutsy finish. Third place was Brazilian Allan Carmo in two hours 3 minutes and 53 seconds. Read more


2007 Pan Am Games

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Rio de Janeiro here I come. One Patrick O’Neil, member of the Race Club’s World Team and Pan American team, and your humble narrator have been sitting in the belly of a plane on the hot tarmac of Miami International Airport. Our flight has been delayed for close to seven hours. Couple that with the two hours drive up from the Florida Keys and another two for a timely check in and we are eleven hours en route and we haven’t even left yet.

We are due to fly to the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro sometime, through Washington DC, and then through Sao Paolo. It’s like flying from Los Angeles to Tokyo, through St. Louis and Kyoto. Crazy. But that’s what happens when you make the United States Swimming National team and anyone who has will tell you about some crazy flight. It’s some game of international leapfrog with layovers. It is my belief that a schizophrenic chimpanzee handles the travel arrangements for USS, or an undead Marky Ramone.

So, forgive me if I am a little grumpy. The bright side is that I’ve got a lot of time to write out my first piece for Timed Finals. I’ll try to write in about the happenings of the Pan Am Games in Rio. They should be good, if this delay isn’t an omen. Read more


Racing Is What It’s All About

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Greetings from Earth,

The Race Club: Racing Is What It’s All About

You can now challenge anyone, anywhere in the world, in any race you can dream up and settle it here.

In the Race Club Message Boards we have come up with a concept that is sure to change the way we race. A swimmer in the Los Angeles area is set to race a swimmer in San Diego. The proverbial gauntlet has been thrown down and we at The Race Club LOVE that! One swimmer is swimming and the other is kicking. Better than fine. But while this race was being formed the idea emerged to film the swims separately and post them on You Tube and our site. A virtual race.

“maybe when we are at practice on certain days we could all do a timed something… then all post the results for a virtual online meet/race. perhaps once a month or something… could be good!” Read more


Is Thorpe A Cheater?

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I put on a swim clinic at the Lakeland Hills YMCA in New Jersey last weekend. We also put on a diabetes expo with the BD diabetes team. Just wanted to say thanks to the hundreds of people that came. I had a great time. Thanks! If you didn’t catch me there I talk swimming and/or diabetes year round at our camps in the much warmer Florida Keys. Come visit us and we’ll make you a faster swimmer. Bring the whole family because there is plenty to do for everyone. I’ll see you soon.

Is Thorpe A Cheater? Oh, and the World Championships…

Because it’s the right thing to do I am going to start this Aqua Notes by covering the newsworthy swims of the World Swimming Championships. Who cares about Ian Thorpe when Michael Phelps goes a 1:43.86 in the 200 free? Michael had an incredible meet, no doubt. The 50 freestyle went to Ben Wildman Tobriner in an impressive time of 21.88. Congratulations to Ben, for dashing everyone’s Fantaswim picks! And to the beautiful Therese Alshammar for winning the 50 fly, Huzzah! The whole meet was spectacular! I could go on and on about the great swims but I’ll leave some for the water cooler. Now for the dirt. Read more


Say It Ain’t So, Rocky

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Sylvester Stallone. Who in their right mind wants to look like this?

He’s a mutant. He looks like he is about to pop, or start to bleed from his eyes, or start to bleed from his eyes, then pop. He looks constantly constipated, and asphyxiated. Holy cats! He’s gonna blow! If only he could manage to do this on camera it would create the only “must see” stuff of his career since Rambo (1, not 2). Read more


Black History Month

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Black History Month:

February was black history month. There are 300,000 registered swimmers with USS. Fewer than 2% are black. The Race Club is about racing in the pool but recently the other type of race is being addressed, with the release of the movie PRIDE, the news surrounding Cullen Jones and United States Swimming recently bringing in diversity specialists and creating outreach programs. Here is a link to an inspiring article about Brielle White, an African American swimmer that is training for the 2008 Games: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blackhistory2007/news/story?id=2759304 Brielle and I will be going to the Pan American Games this summer, and I look forward to getting to know her. Read more


World Championship Preview

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Someone,

Take a letter. Address it to Craig Lord.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21310178-14641,00.html

Above is the article from the Herald Sun, the interview that I had with Rebecca Williams. And below is the link to Craig Lord’s article for SwimNews.com

http://www.swimnews.com/News/displayStory.jhtml?id=5102

I get the feeling Craig Lord doesn’t like me very much. Fine, I can live with that AND sleep well. But look here, I didn’t slam Australian Swimming as some pinhead on another website suggests. I am DISAPPOINTED that the Australian team has faltered since Sydney, I’m not reveling in it. I have taken the time to cut and paste the context that I feel validates any comment I made to Rebecca in an article where we were discussing the Australian MEN’S swim team. Read more


The Sport Legend Movie

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There are two type of people in this world, those that believe there are two types of people in this world and those that don’t.

People either like the sports movie and have seen every one of them, or there are those who don’t like the sports movie and roll their eyes at the memory of that speech that is supposed to raise your hair that the coach always gives in the locker room to a dejected team that emerges to give 110%, winning at the last second. Whether you think that the sports movie is cheese or not, they do serve a purpose. Read more


Summer 2006 Season Recap

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I started training in June over in Croatia. The Hall Family headed over to Croatia to train and attend a couple of competitions. What sticks out in my mind is the meet organizer guy that dropped me off at the airport. He said as we pulled up to the gate, “I hope that you come back again next year …………. And TRY!!!” He didn’t even slow down that much as I was thrown from the car. I rolled a few times and dusted myself off.

But that’s where it all began, a 23.9 after just one swim practice after taking nearly two years off. I continued training though and by the Janet Evans Invitational a little over a month later I had my time down to a 22.7. Nationals saw another drop for me, a pleasant surprise of 22.49 which tied me for fourth place. I don’t understand how the selection process works but I was placed on the Pan Pacific team. Read more