July 19, 2010 |
Is swimming the best exercise for lifelong health? I've always hoped so — for decades as a recreational swimmer and more recently, as a competitor in meets sponsored by U.S. Masters Swimming, a group of 50,000 similar enthusiasts ages 18 to over 100. After all, you can swim with just your arms if you have a bum knee, or with just your legs if you have sore arms. You can swim with arthritis. Or a recently replaced hip. So I was thrilled when I opened the May-June 2010 issue of Swimmer and found an article about a 2008 study by Steven Blair, a leading exercise scientist from the University of South Carolina.
June 27, 2012 |
OMAHA -- The kids had the kick. They kicked aside Natalie Coughlin , and one of the most decorated swimmers in American history is in danger of not making the Olympic team. Coughlin led Wednesday's 100 backstroke final at the halfway mark, but teenagers Missy Franklin and Rachel Bootsma passed her. Franklin and Bootsma are bound for London, and the woman who has won 11 Olympic medals in 11 tries might be bound for summer vacation. "I'm a little bummed, but not nearly as much as people are expecting me to be," Coughlin said.
August 23, 1994 |
It had been a scorcher of a day, but now beneath a three-quarter moon, a breeze was making it downright chilly at poolside, even for those who weren't dripping water and tired from exertion. Since last year, some official had decided that the lights previously strung over Leisure World Pool No. 1 were illegal, and this night there were glitches with the new lighting setup, leaving the swimmers in darkness some of the time. The underwater speaker similarly was cutting in and out. So the Aquadettes seemed to be enacting a mysterious nocturnal water rite rather than a glitzy synchronized swimming performance.
July 24, 2012 |
2008 was a banner year for swimmers: That year, swimmers broke 105 world records in all, including 17 at a single event in Croatia. A full 79 of those 105 records were broken by racers wearing a particular suit: the Speedo LZR Racer. The suit covered the whole body from shoulder to calf and was designed to optimize body compression and hydrodynamics. Its design was informed by tests in a NASA wind tunnel and numerous advanced computational models. The advantage given to racers by the LZR Racer was so great that Japanese authorities decided to break exclusive sponsorship agreements with other companies to allow their racers to use the suits; the decision came after a coach told reporters that "if swimmers don't wear the LZR Racer, they won't be able to compete" in the Beijing Olympics.
August 4, 1985 |
By now, most people have heard the grim stories of the one-dimensional, Spartan life style that goes with being a world-class swimmer. Ever since effective goggles were introduced in the 1960s, these athletes have churned through miles of laps a day with only an occasional hairball or fly on the bottom to break the monotony. It's a regimen that usually translates to five or six hours of training a day, in two grueling sessions with barely enough time to go to school in between.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 1991
The Board of Supervisors tentatively approved an ordinance Tuesday outlawing the use of motorized skis within 300 yards of any Los Angeles County beach and requiring riders to launch from boat ramps. The ordinance, which was approved without dissent but will require a second board vote, also prohibits fishing within 100 feet of swimmers or surfers and restricts the volume on radios to the limit required in residential neighborhoods.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2002
The Hansen Dam Aquatic Center's 1.5-acre swimming lake will reopen today after being closed for repairs since January, officials said. More than $2.5 million in work on leaking pipes and a cracked concrete floor was completed and the lake was refilled Wednesday, said Fred Egeler, spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the site in the northeast San Fernando Valley.
August 17, 2008
Re "Victory dance is only human -- or is it?" Aug. 12 Even this early in the Olympics, it is clear to most that the dramatic victory in the 400-meter relay of the American team over the boastful French team will be the event that remains etched in our memories. Pictures of the four American swimmers, total gentlemen and a symbol of America's diversity, have circled the world: the first African American swimmer to win a gold medal in the event and two Jewish athletes, surrounding the superstar, Michael Phelps.