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Despite being the son of a talented Australian cricketer, as a boy Ian Thorpe was useless at ball sports (an affliction with which Heroes of Swimming sympathises; in fact, we wonder if Ian is also a rubbish dancer). Thorpe’s older sister told him to come swimming with her instead, but he was allergic to chlorine and had to swim with his head out of the water. It didn’t stop him winning his first race.
By the time he was 13, Thorpe was already more than six feet tall. He was also now putting his face in the water, and going extremely quickly: at 14, he ducked under the four-minute barrier for 400m freestyle, and a few months later he shaved that time down to 3:53.44 at the Australian Swimming Championships. It got him into the team for the Pan Pacific Championships as the youngest Australian swimmer ever to represent his country.
Read Charlotte Observer
A longtime Charlotte swim coach has been banned for life from USA Swimming, seven months after he was charged with misdemeanor sexual misconduct involving a minor.
Jamie Thomas, 54, owner and head coach of New South Swimming in Charlotte since 1997, had been on leave from the club since July.
On Monday, the sport’s governing body announced Thomas’ permanent suspension for violation of the USA Swimming code of conduct. The suspension means he is prohibited from coaching or owning one of its club teams.
“The safety of our athletes is our top priority,” USA Swimming spokesperson Karen Linhart said. “It’s very important to have the right people in our sport, acting in the ways of our code of conduct and doing the right thing.”
Graham Hill, national coach of Swimming South Africa (SSA), said he left the national swimming trials for the Commonwealth Games a disappointed man after the conclusion in the Kings Park pool in Durban on Saturday.
“The final night was a big disappointment as I expected at least another two or three qualifying times tonight,” Hill said on Saturday.
“I thought Rene Warnes (400 individual medley) and Myles Brown (1500 freestyle) should at least have qualified as they came so close.
“I expected to have 12 swimmers overall to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, but now we only have nine.”
Read New Tang Dynasty
Former Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima has urged Japan’s young swimmers to step up after a collective flop at the national championships left him wondering if he needs to postpone his retirement.
The “Frog King” won double breaststroke gold at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics but at 31, and expecting his first child with his pop star wife, he is getting ever closer to hanging up his goggles.
However, he may have to remain in competition for a while yet after nobody went inside Japan’s 100m and 200m breaststroke selection times for this year’s Pan Pacific Championships and Asian Games.
Read Swimming World
USA Swimming has put an end to months of speculation with an announcement today that Michael Phelps is expected to race at the Arena Grand Prix in Arizona next week.
Phelps has been somewhat quietly making a comeback to competitive swimming since last fall, when the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that the Olympic legend had taken two out-of-competition random drug tests, something a retired athlete does not do. [...]
The events Phelps is swimming in Mesa will not be known until the release of the psych sheets later this week. He’ll be in good company under the Arizona sun. USA Swimming also announced that longtime out-of-the-pool friend and in-the-pool rival Ryan Lochte is scheduled to swim in Mesa. Lochte has been working his way back to top form sinceinjuring his knee in November and the crowd would love to see the two best 200 IM swimmers in history battling side by side once again.
See ekstrabladet.dk, 25.000 readers have spoken, and their votes together with an expert panel decided that Formula 1 racing driver Kevin Magnussen is by far the greatest (active) Danish sports name, as of now. Lotte Friis was 10th and Jeanette Ottesen 12th.
The full list
Jonathan travels to the island of Bonaire to take a course in freediving from Karol Meyer, a world-champion freediver. Soon he learns how to hold his breath and dive—with no scuba tank!
Now in its second year, British Gas SwimBritain is supported by a host of big-name swimmers including fellow London 2012 medallists Ellie Simmonds, Michael Jamieson and Becky Adlington alongside funny man David Walliams, who all completed the challenge at events around the country last year alongside thousands of swimmers.
Find out more and register for this year’s events at swimbritain.co.uk
Full Press Release
DAVID WALLIAMS JUMPS IN THE DEEP END AS HE TAKES ON OLYMPIC SUPERSTAR BECKY ADLINGTON AT THE LONDON AQUATICS CENTRE
David Walliams and Becky Adlington made a splash at the London Aquatics Centre to encourage Britain to get back in the water this summer for British Gas SwimBritain 2014.
The tables were turned as the Britain’s Got Talent judge took to the water to see how he measured up against the Olympic gold medallist, who was making her return to the pool which saw her claim two bronze medals at London 2012.
Channel-conqueror Walliams and gold medallist Adlington swapped swim notes as they kicked off their training ahead of the British Gas SwimBritain challenge, a programme that aims to encourage more people to swim more regularly and help the nation rediscover their love of the water.
Now in its second year, British Gas SwimBritain is supported by a host of big-name swimmers including fellow London 2012 medallists Ellie Simmonds, Michael Jamieson and Becky Adlington alongside comedian David Walliams, who all completed the challenge at events around the country last year alongside thousands of swimmers.
There are two ways to take on the challenge; SwimBritain1000 is a four-person relay where each team member swims 250m four times around a specially-designed course in a dedicated 50m pool.SwimBritain500 is a shorter distance where team members use the same course, swimming half the distance (125m four times). Every participant will have access to two free coaching sessions to help them train for their challenge.
Back on dry land, Adlington and Walliams also completed the SwimBritain Fitness Test, a simple step up test that enables swimmers to track their progress as they train for the challenge. The Fitness Test is available online at swimbritain.co.uk and can be completed at home.
Walliams, who has already completed numerous swimming challenges, including his heroic 140-mile swim down the River Thames for Sport Relief in September 2011, said:
“Taking part in the British Gas SwimBritain open water event last year was brilliant fun – I was really bowled over by the buoyant atmosphere on the day, so I’m excited to be back again for 2014.
“I feel at home in the open water, so I’m excited to try the swim in the pool at the London Aquatics Centre this year – it’s a new challenge. Training against Becky today was a bit nerve-wracking as she’s such a swimming icon. It was a case of sink or swim so I think I gave it my best shot!”
Adlington, who retired from competitive swimming at the age of 23 last year as Britain’s most successful swimmer, said:
“I may have retired from professional swimming but I will always love being in the water and a challenge like British Gas SwimBritain is brilliant as it’s really inclusive – not just for professional swimmers, as David proved today!
“Joking aside, swimming offers everyone a full range of health and fitness benefits so the more people we can encourage to swim regularly, the better. It’s a full body workout without any stress on the joints. A gentle half hour swim can burn up to 200 calories, so I’d love to see as many people as possible joining in and giving SwimBritain a go.”
British Gas ambassador, Duncan Goodhew said: “We’re excited to be able to bring British Gas SwimBritain back for another year following last year’s success with thousands of people taking part across the country. By offering free coaching sessions and new for 2014, the fitness test, we hope to inspire all ages and abilities to swim more regularly with a range of tools to help them along the way.”
Registrations open today. For further information on venues, how to sign up your team and get training plans and tips, visit swimbritain.co.uk/
As expected, Lauren Boyle will head the Kiwi charge for medals in Glasgow. The three-times bronze medallist at last year’s world champs in Barcelona will contest the women’s 200 metres, 400m and 800m freestyle events and lead the 4x200m freestyle relay team.
Glenn Snyders should be in the medal hunt in the 100m and 200m men’s breaststroke events, but faces a tough task to grab gold ahead of 2012 London Olympic 100m gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh from South Africa.
Matthew Stanley (men’s 400m freestyle) and teenager Corey Main (100m backstroke) are the other individual event able-bodied competitors in the New Zealand team.
Luis Villanueva, Swimming NZ high performance boss, said high qualifying standards for the Games meant only the country’s elite gained spots for Glasgow in individual events.
“Trust Your Buddy”. Right!
A group of almost 50 friends will swim in 17 counties across Ireland over 38 hours to raise money for their friend who is in a coma after a tragic accident.
Pádraig Schaler is a hugely popular 23-year-old who is currently in Germany receiving rehabilitative neurological care after being knocked from his bike and injured in Cape Cod last summer.
In testament to his popularity, his friends have organised Swim for Pádraig, a fundraising swim on his behalf.
They have already raised €22,500, which will go towards the treatment of the talented Dublin swimmer and passionate Gaeilgeoir.
The swimmers will travel around Ireland over 38 hours from today to tomorrow (12 – 13 April), brazing freezing waters to swim in every county with a coast.
An independent report released Friday says the University of Missouri failed to follow parts of the federal law that governs sexual harassment on campus when handling the case of a former swimmer’s suicide.
The report concludes administrators on the Columbia campus should have investigated 20-year-old Sasha Menu Courey’s 2011 death after her parents raised questions about the events leading to her suicide. Menu Courey alleged she was sexually assaulted during her freshman year by as many as three football players, 16 months before she died.
The school previously said it didn’t act sooner under the Title IX law because neither Menu Courey nor her parents sought a police investigation and didn’t respond to a later request for information.
The case has since been referred to Columbia police.
An oarfish in Mexico was filmed by tourists as it swam right up to the beach. After being turned away gently from the beach sand with a paddle, the 15-foot oarfish swam under a kayak, continued to swim around the Mexican tourists, and eventually disappeared. The oarfish and human encounter was caught on video and shows the amazing beauty of the sea serpent of the ocean. According to an April 7 Popular Science report, the video was taken by the tourists during a recent March Shedd Adventures trip to the Sea of Cortés, in Baja, Mexico. The trip was organized by Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.
Photo by mueritz
Read The Northwestern
Five men had to swim to safety after the ice they were fishing on broke loose on Lake Winnebago.
Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputies were called to Lake Winnebago near Waukau Road in the town of Black Wolf Thursday shortly before 10:30 a.m. When deputies arrived they found a 58-year-old West Allis man and a 56-year-old Menasha man on shore, said Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Anthes.
The men told deputies they were with three other men on the ice when they noticed their lines were angled differently and that the ice had shifted away from shore, leaving a 30-foot gap of open water that was seven feet deep, Anthes said.
All five men swam back to shore.
Photo by sailorbill
At the Danish Open / European Trials in March, Rikke Møller Pedersen was only 0.83 sec from the 200 meter breaststroke world record, that she set at the Barcelona 2014 World Championships. She wasn’t fully rested at the trials, but is that now at the Swim Cup Eindhoven 2014, with a declared mission to take down the world record sometimes between tomorrow and the European Championships in Berlin in August.
It was in the Barcelona 2013 World Championships semifinals, that Pedersen broke the world record, and became the first Danish swimmer to hold a world record in an Olympic event, since Ragnhild Hveger lost her 400 free standard to Australia’s Lorraine Crapp in August 1956. She was beaten by Yuliya Efimova in the Barcelona 2013 final, 2.19.41 to Rikke’s 2:20.08, but kept the world record.
In December 2013, Efimova and Pedersen battled again at the European Short Course Championships in Herning, Efimova then ending up denying Pedersen a home win in the final, 2:14.39 to Pedersen’s 2:15.21. Efimova broke Rebecca Soni’s 2:14.57 from the 2009 US vs Europe Duel in the Pool, but then in January the news broke that Efimova in October had tested positive for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), bringing her Herning 2013 European short course titles and records in serious doubt.
Fueled by the successes in Barcelona and Herning, Rikke Møller Pedersen in January proclaimed that she had literally put a lid on sweets and other cravings, admitting that she had not only one but ‘a mouth filled with sweet teeth’. She bought a plastic box to stuff it all in, and wrote a big sign on it saying ‘Rikke control yourself! 2:19.11 going down”. The goal according to her Facebook profile to take down the world record at the Berlin 2014 European Championships. The box went behind locks in the loft, Pedersen joking that it was ‘an idiot proof plan’, as she usually is too lazy to walk the stairs.
Image courtesy of Rikke Møller Pedersen
Already at the 2014 Danish Open / European Trials in March, Pedersen surprised herself with a world-leading time of 1:06.19 in the 100 meter breaststroke, and a 2:19.94 and second-best result ever in the 200 breaststroke. Several seconds ahead of the world competition this year, with 12 days to go before the full taper that they plan for now at the Swim Cup Eindhoven 2014. She indulged herself in two wine gums, in celebration.
On her personal blog rikkemoller.com, she notes that the new and healthier lifestyle has already given a tremendous boost to her career, with improved results both in physical tests and in swimming times. By cutting down on unhealthy junk food, her appetite for ‘real food’ has improved, resulting in improved energy levels in the pool and daily life. Her body composition has improved, and the benefits from training has resulted in improvements also where it matters the most: in races.
Now at the Swim Cup Eindhoven 2014, Rikke Møller Pedersen clocked 1:06.42 in the 100 meter breaststroke, noting on Facebook that it was ‘not the time that I had hoped for, but still the second best time swum this year, meaning that I have the 2 world best times for now in 2014’. She repeats that she is tapered for this event, and looks forward to the 50 and 200 meter events. If all goes well, she might have to change the text on the box.
On Tuesday, 70 percent of Sioux Falls voters voted “no” for the construction of an outdoor pool complex at Spellerberg Park. That vote leaves room for an indoor pool in the area. It’s something some swim team members are looking forward to.
Summers mean swimming for area swim teams like the Snowfox and the Sioux Falls Seals and soon swimmers across Sioux Falls could see a new indoor pool option.
“I’ll be honest with you, I’m very happy for the Snowfox Swim Team, but I’m elated for the citizens of Sioux Falls and what they have,” President of Snowfox Swim Team Russell Miller said.
Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet is arranging a vote for Denmark’s Greatest Sports Name as of now, starting with 36 two days ago that have now been narrowed down to 20. Two of the 20 are swimmers Jeanette Ottesen and Lotte Friis, whom we all can for vote for now until Sunday morning. The public vote will count for 50% of the decision, while a panel of branding experts, media and sports politicians will decide the other 50%, to be announced Monday morning. Go do your bit ! :-)