Let me get the personal stuff out of the way...
#1. We are officially moved into our new place. It's still in Rexburg (sadly), but it's a nice place, a lot more room, air conditioning, a washer/dryer, and FULL UNBRIDLED ACCESS to the INTERNET!
#2. That being said, yours truly transported his entire apartment (which, contrary to what his father thinks, did NOT consist of 3 boxes) with naught but his God-given strength and a Chevy Tracker. That's right, that feeling you have is jealousy, and don't worry, it's normal.
#3. I need to finish some books. Right now, on my iPod, I have:
- Obama Nation by Jerome R. Corsi
- The Case Against Obama by David Fredosso
- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
- The Phantom Menace by Terry Brooks
- Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman
- Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt
- Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva
and that's not including the radio (Jim Rome, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and sometimes Dr. Laura). Ashley thinks I'm a dork (you need to have more music on there)
Now for the post.
The Introduction of the United States to Swimming?
I'm biased. I will say that first. I swam varsity for 4 years in high school, I played polo for my last 2 years, I swam for a semester here at college, and I'm anxiously awaiting for when I can get out of Rexburg to start swimming USS Masters. With that out of the way, I am very impressed with this year's coverage of swimming.
In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, I didn't pay much attention. Probably because we didn't have cable, probably because I didn't care that much, but I didn't watch very much. In 2004, I was on my mission in Korea, and it really wasn't feasible to watch swimming. Yet this year, I've been absolutely drawn.
There's many different reasons why I'm drawn. Perhaps its because track doesn't start till later in the year. Or because Peter Vanderkaay, a dude I swam a few meets against (and got my butt slammed in), is in his 2nd straight Olympics. Maybe it's Dara Torres, 41 years old, winning a silver in the 4x100 relay. Maybe it's Brenden Hansen vs. Kosuke Kitajima in the 100m breaststroke for redemption. Or maybe, just maybe, it's one Michael Phelps going for 8 golds this year.
Every time Phelps swims, I'm intrigued. I'm drawn to the charisma he has when he swims, and the dominance he brings to the sport. Do I think he's going to do it? No. I think he'll tie Spitz's record, which is an achievement all in itself, but 8 will be difficult. I think he can do it in the individual events, and while he's got a Gold in the 4x100m relay (which was spec-friggin-tacular), it was a bit close. He's still got 2 more relays (4x200m freestyle relay, 4x100 medley relay). But the problem that's going to happen is the relays take the control out of your hands.
From a former swimmer, here's the perspective. When swimming individually, you have control. If you are Phelps, you can take the pace you want. You can start out fast, try to get people to chase and tire them out. You can have the flip turns the way you want, and when it's individual, you have the control over that last integral 25 meters.
In a relay, all you can do is cheer. You do your part, get out, and watch, and hope that they can keep up the pace you've set or the ground that you've made up. He doens't have control. And what would make me worried (if I were Phelps) was how close the 4x100m relay was.
So my prediction: Phelps will tie the record that Spitz set in the 72 Olympics in Munich, but won't get the 8 golds to give him the record.