The last night of swimming in the Olympics was bittersweet. I was sorry to see Phelps retire, but I was excited to see the next generation headed by some awesome women.
I’m a Phelps fan and was rooting for him. I do like Lotche, but I like Phelps’ style a little more. It’s very natural, fluid, more animal than human. And after the race, he looks like a bear, with the ears and him focusing on the board, then kinda sailing over the dividers. It reminds me of a bear. I’m not sure what he’s going to be up to now, but I wish him happiness. And would like him to know I’m willing to ghost write his autobiography.
I’m not a huge swim fan, but I have great appreciation for it. I know enough so if the ship goes down I can make it to the life boats. When I think about it sometimes I wonder how they go forward, much less so fast. Take the breast stroke. First you have to dive off the blocks. That takes a lot of leg power to launch. Once you’re in there and wiggle your way back to the surface, you’ll contract your body a certain way, getting your head above the water so you can do this little thing called breath. Then you shoot your body out straight like an arrow. This apparently is how you go forward. Your feet push against the water, translate: your feet push against liquid in order to go forward. The conclusion I’ve come to is swimmers have cores made out of cement.
I was really proud of Soni and thought it was unfair to comment on her stroke. They called it a “teeter totter” approach. They weren’t being mean I don’t think, and they shouldn’t. It’s obviously working for her. No one made fun of the windmill running guy. In fact they made a movie out of him and a legendary score.
That’s a segue to what I thought was a great way to open an Olympics that’s heralding firsts for women. First women’s gold in judo. Some of the first women to compete from the Middle East. The next generation of swimming powerhouses were women.
Missy Franklin seems like a genuinely nice person and I’m glad she did so well. Schmidt did well. Soni did well. Swimming was crowned by the baby of the team (and US delegation). It was what the Olympics are all about in one race. Ledecky is 15, not a lot of experience, and going against the host country’s favorite. She had nothing to lose so she went for it. The commentators were afraid she went out too fast and would burn out. Then they remembered she was 15 and had a battery like no one else out there. She didn’t know any better. She dove in and went for it. She couldn’t drive herself to Olympic Trials, but she won a gold medal. Rebecca Adlington was graceful enough to tell her it was amazing.
Swimming is a great way to open the Olympics, but when it’s over, you feel an energy drop. Now what? We can look forward to Rio for some awesome swimming from some familiar female faces. My problem is a majority of my eye candy was provided by the male swimmers (thanks to their cores made of cement). What am I supposed to enjoy now?