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Old 12-07-2007, 09:42 PM   #121
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^ that literally sucked up the last 10 minutes. It takes a while to work your eyes down that long torso

If I won the lottery we'd both be on a plane in August
And what a lovely long torso it is.

I was having a bad day until I saw that.
Thank you!

Only 9 more months till August.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:19 PM   #122
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[q]
Michael Phelps sets world record at U.S. swim trials

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
7:15 PM PDT, June 29, 2008

OMAHA -- Michael Phelps got the U.S. Olympic swim trials off to the same start he did four years ago, uncorking a world record in the 400-meter individual medley on the opening night.

His riveting stroke-for-stroke duel with runner-up Ryan Lochte unleashed the crowd of 12,316 at the Qwest Center here Sunday night, and then Phelps thrilled them with the stunning time, 4 minutes 5.25 seconds.

Lochte himself, at 4:06.08, was under Phelps' previous world record (4:06.22), which was set in 2007.

The early crowd noise signaled to Phelps that "something special is going to happen."

He tried to temper his enthusiasm in the opening lap.

"I can't get too excited, it's only the first 50," Phelps said. " . . . I definitely started the meet off on the right foot. I'm happy to go 4:05."

That was only the beginning. There would be another world record and one American record for good measure before the opening session concluded: a world record from Katie Hoff, who went 4:31.12 in the 400 individual medley, and an American record from Larsen Jensen of Trojan Swim Club, who won the 400 freestyle in 3:43.53, edging Peter Vanderkaay's 3:43.73. Both went under Vanderkaay's American mark of 3:43.82, set in May at Santa Clara, Calif.

Said Hoff: "This one's definitely a shock for me."

That pretty much summed up an electric night of swimming.

[/q]



it's on.

but brilliant swim by Lochte. a huge, huge drop off his personal best.

my guess is that Phelps will be in even better form in Beijing.

those times were unthinkable even 4 years ago.

what was also unthinkable before Phelps is the idea of 12,000 turning out for a swim meet.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:10 AM   #123
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I watched that, he's amazing

I hope he doesn't wear that new suit too often
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:05 AM   #124
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I would respect swimmers of today more if it wasn't for the new suits that help break those world records.

If he will top Mark Spitz, then let's talk.
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:22 PM   #125
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New swimsuits have always been helping swimmers shave time.

Did anyone read Gary Hall Jr's comments on doping and swimming? He brings up Amy Van Dyken's name in the same breath as Marion Jones. I wonder if we'll ever find out why she was on BALCO's list.

You can always count on Gary Hall Jr for entertainment.
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:37 PM   #126
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I would respect swimmers of today more if it wasn't for the new suits that help break those world records.

If he will top Mark Spitz, then let's talk.



do you dislike goggles, lane lines, deep pools, and better training techniques?

all due respect to Spitz, but Phelps is a far better swimmer than Spitz ever was. he's vastly more versatile, swims harder events, wins by more, and swims against an entire globe of competitors.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:27 PM   #127
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The above are far more egalitarian, at least. The swimsuit benefits the swimmer that gets it ahead of everyone else (as will be the case in Beijing).

Maybe but if he wants to be best swimmer ever let's top Spitz achievement. It's hard to compare different athletes from different sports for any "best" debate.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:46 PM   #128
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The above are far more egalitarian, at least. The swimsuit benefits the swimmer that gets it ahead of everyone else (as will be the case in Beijing).

Maybe but if he wants to be best swimmer ever let's top Spitz achievement. It's hard to compare different athletes from different sports for any "best" debate.


everyone at that level has it. everyone. if they're not wearing it, it's through choice, and usually tied to sponsorship with another company (Nike, Arena, TYR).

not sure about your comment, though -- it is hard to compare Phelps to, say, Jordan or Federer or Woods. but i think you can compare him to Spitz.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:55 PM   #129
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In my opinion Phelps has already surpassed Spitz. Competing in the 200 and 400 IM as well as other individual & relay events is mind boggling. The speed suits have been around for 10 years or so now. I think the Atlanta Olympics is the last time I can remember more "traditional" swimsuits being used in competition. The current incarnation is just the fastest yet. I remember the first time I saw the knee length suits and thought "These will make you go faster?" Huh, who knew?

Put Phelps and everyone else in traditional speedos and he still dominates.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:44 AM   #130
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everyone at that level has it. everyone. if they're not wearing it, it's through choice, and usually tied to sponsorship with another company (Nike, Arena, TYR).

not sure about your comment, though -- it is hard to compare Phelps to, say, Jordan or Federer or Woods. but i think you can compare him to Spitz.
I don't know...the article I saw stated that one of the swimmers (not Phelps, and not Speedo but another company) got an exclusive sponsorship deal to wear a brand new suit in Beijing while others won't be able to wear that particular suit. I just think everyone should, at that level, get access to any new materials at the same time and then let's see who's fastest.

Well, what would Spitz do with these suits, and changes in swimming techniques and physical training ?
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:41 AM   #131
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Making a Splash

Speedo's new and controversial high-tech LZR suit is helping swimmers smash dozens of records. How the company plans to capitalize on Olympic gold.
Keith Naughton
NEWSWEEK
Updated: 3:15 PM ET Jun 20, 2008

Michael Phelps steps onto the blocks of a large indoor pool in Omaha. He's about to swim the 100-meter butterfly at an Olympic tune-up meet this month. He bends into his starting position, flaps his arms across his back and launches at the sound of the horn. In the first lap, he's only in second as he makes his flip turn. But with 25 meters to go, he turns it on and the crowd roars. In a few soaring strokes, he's two body lengths ahead and pulls away. He touches the wall in 51.04 seconds—the fastest in the world this year in the event. Backstage, reporters swarm Phelps. But instead of asking about his amazing finish, they pepper America's swim king with questions about the high-tech Speedo swimsuit he's wearing. "I don't usually get questions about my suit," he said. "It's kind of funny."

Don't laugh. Phelps's quest to top Mark Spitz's seven gold medals is only the second biggest swim story in the run-up to the Olympics. Speedo's LZR Racer swimsuit is causing the biggest splash in and out of the pool. The rubbery full-body corset would look more at home in a Batman movie than on the pool deck. But since it was introduced in February, swimmers wearing it have set a stunning 38 world records. Rivals' suits have set just three world records during that time, which has them crying foul (while scrambling to come up with their own sci-fi suits). The coach of the Italian team calls the LZR Racer "technological doping." The second largest U.S. swimwear maker, TYR, filed a federal lawsuit in California, alleging anticompetitive practices, against Speedo's parent company, the coach of the U.S. swim team and even a TYR endorser, Olympic medalist Erik Vendt, who switched to the Speedo. A Japanese swimmer under contract to Mizuno just set a world record in a LZR (pronounced laser), which he'll wear in Beijing. Swimming's governing body, FINA, approved the LZR for the Olympics, but controversy still swirls, which is fine by Speedo. "It's very nice to have your competitors recognize they're at a disadvantage," says Speedo's marketing chief Stu Isaac. "They're doing our marketing for us."

And Speedo will take the help. Despite its dominance in the pool, Speedo is not that big a fish. It does just $250 million in annual U.S. sales and about $555 million worldwide, say officials at Warnaco, its U.S. parent. With those relatively modest revenues, Speedo certainly can't afford to advertise on TV for the Olympics. But Speedo's athletic performance has made it the No. 1 swim brand in the world. In the United States, where it faces fierce competition from Nike and TYR, Speedo commands 61 percent of the competitive-swimwear market, according to sports-marketing researcher SportsOneSource. "Speedo is the Kleenex of swimwear," says analyst Marshal Cohen of the NPD Group. "But not since the advent of steroids have we seen so many record-smashing events."

This week at the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, even more world records could fall. And come August in Beijing, says U.S. swim coach Mark Schubert, "every world record is in jeopardy. The suit is definitely a factor." Throughout most of the modern Olympic era, Speedo has been leaving rivals in its wake. Founded in Australia 80 years ago (that's the origin of the boomerang logo), Speedo won its first Olympic gold medal at the 1932 Games in Los Angeles. During the 1956 Olympics, the Australian team debuted that barely-there brief that remains Speedo's signature look, and it swept the golds.

Spitz wore iconic red, white and blue Speedos when he won his record-setting seven golds in Munich in 1972. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Speedo debuted its full-body Fastskin suits that covered swimmers in fabric patterned on sharkskin, which Phelps wore four years later in Athens while winning eight medals. He says the LZR, with its water-repellent fabric and slick polyurethane panels, makes him feel like "a rocket," which is apt since NASA helped engineer it.

But there aren't enough Olympians to keep a swimwear company afloat. Speedo uses them, though, as show horses. It says it spent "tens of millions" developing the LZR Racer over the last four years, knowing it would never directly recover those costs. After all, the LZR is priced from $290 for men's jammers (think bicycle shorts) to $550 for the full bodysuit. The idea is that the 300,000 kids on swim teams—and everyday sunbathers—will want a piece of Phelps glory. Speedo will be ready with replica suits with the same flowing stars-and-stripes motif, but for $40-$78. "LZR Racer is a pretty small part of our business, under 5 percent," says Warnaco Group president Helen McCluskey. "But it's what gives us credibility. It's the couture version of Speedo."

Its creation began after the closing ceremonies in Athens. At the time, some experts suggested that the sharkskin design on Speedo's Fastskin suit was little more than a gimmick. After all, Spitz swam into history in tiny Speedos, without even a swim cap. A prominent doubter was Iowa State physiology professor Rick Sharp, a former collegiate swimmer, who wrote two papers questioning Speedo's performance claims. But rather than taking offense, Speedo was intrigued. "He was asking all the right questions," says Jason Rance, chief of Speedo's Aqualab global R&D center in England. So Rance called Sharp in 2004 to ask him to lead a team of outside experts to help build a better suit. "I laughed and said, 'Have you read my papers?' " recalls Sharp.

Speedo also enlisted NASA to do tests on drag-reducing fabrics. "We're just a bunch of nerds who don't swim," says NASA fluid-mechanics engineer Stephen Wilkinson. "This was new to us." In wind tunnels used to detect surface friction on spacecraft re-entering Earth's atmosphere, he tested scores of swimsuit swatches by blowing air across them at 63 miles per hour to simulate a swimmer as fast as Phelps. He found the fastest fabrics were coated with polyurethane, a slick, rubbery substance that slices through the water with less resistance than uncoated fabrics.

Speedo then began stitching together samples that Sharp tried out on Iowa State swimmers. Not everything went as planned. "We had one suit that looked great on paper," he says. "But then when we dove into the pool, it ballooned out like a parachute." The polyurethane panels, which act like a girdle to streamline swimmers, also proved problematic. "At first we put that girdle structure way up onto the rib cage," says Sharp. "But then we realized it restricted a swimmer's breathing."

It also wasn't so easy to wear. To prevent rips, Olympian Dara Torres found she had to "sit on the floor and inch it on like panty hose." Phelps's drawstring broke just before a race in May. Rattled, he quickly slipped into an old Speedo and promptly swam seven seconds slower than his world record in the 400-meter individual medley. His coach Bob Bowman says putting Phelps into a larger LZR solved the problem.

But despite the hype, there's one swimmer who's yet to set a record in a LZR: Michael Phelps. "The swimmer makes the suit, not the other way around," says Bowman. For Speedo, that means its success is not just riding on its high-tech Superman suit. It's also riding on the swimming superman wearing it.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:07 AM   #132
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Well, what would Spitz do with these suits, and changes in swimming techniques and physical training ?
Spitz was not a 200 or 400 IMer. I still have nightmares about being entered in a 400 IM. Phelp's events are more demanding all around. Phelps dominates in a traditional speedo, fastskin, or LZR.
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:09 PM   #133
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Technological improvements occur in every sport - that's just the way it is. In track and field, they are constantly updating spikes to help make sprinters run faster - doesn't mean they aren't as good as sprinters of the past, they just have more available to them.
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:41 PM   #134
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Spitz was not a 200 or 400 IMer. I still have nightmares about being entered in a 400 IM. Phelp's events are more demanding all around. Phelps dominates in a traditional speedo, fastskin, or LZR.


i swam the 400 IM. it's insanely hard.
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:44 PM   #135
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I don't know...the article I saw stated that one of the swimmers (not Phelps, and not Speedo but another company) got an exclusive sponsorship deal to wear a brand new suit in Beijing while others won't be able to wear that particular suit. I just think everyone should, at that level, get access to any new materials at the same time and then let's see who's fastest.

Well, what would Spitz do with these suits, and changes in swimming techniques and physical training ?


the issue is that in some countries, their national teams have exclusive contracts with certain manufacturers (i.e, Italy and Arena). this was an issue in Japan as well, and their best swimmer, Kitajima, wore a shirt that said "I am the swimmer" and a LZR, and then broke the WR in the 200 br. the Japanese swimming federation changed their rules, and now Japanese swimmers can wear a LZR if they so choose.

so it's not about the availability of the LZR, it's about the willingness of a sponsor to allow athletes or national teams under contract to wear a different suit.
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