Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bro Out with BroSwimming.com

broswimming bro swimming interview mustache comedy

BroSwimming.com is a Tumblr page with meet footage, meat footage, humorous videos, mustaches, and interviews. From what I can tell so far, the group eats a lot of baked beans, occasionally shoot guns, and always find time for some pull-ups.

Quite an interesting addition to the swimming blogosphere, and definitely worth a mention. You can find BroSwimming.com on Facebook and tweeting @swimcanoe.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Boudia / McCrory Place Fifth in 10m Synchro #FINA2011 Finals

When I went to bed last night, David Boudia and Nick McCrory were seated 2nd after the 10m Synchro Prelims. I was away from my computer, but @DiversCircle (the diving cousin of @SwimmersCircle) was doing an excellent job with Twitter commentary.

Unfortunately, I woke up this morning to some disappointing news from About.com Diving: So Close, Boudia & McCrory Finish Fifth. Dang! We just can’t catch a break!

The Swimmers Circle also posted a breakdown of the event, but I thought I’d throw my two cents in with a data-driven perspective.

david boudia nick mccrory synchro 10m score graph

Using data from DiveMeets.com, along with the prelim and final scores, we can see exactly where Boudia and McCrory faltered. If they had done an “average” meet, they would have been good for silver with a 456.46. However, this graph comes with a silver lining, because the pair started and finished better than you would typically expect!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ankle Rehabilitation for Cliff Diver Orlando Duque

Orlando Duque ankle rehabilitation cliff diving physical therapy

Check out this video from Red Bull Cliff Diving. It’s cliff diving all-star Orlando Duque at the Red Bull Diagnostics and Training Center in Thalgau, Austria doing some physical therapy for a fractured ankle. Having been through a similar ankle fracture (and subsequent surgery) myself, I was fascinated to see the innovative therapy he is receiving.

Watch the video below to see Orlando’s rehabilitation regime, which includes juggling on a balance beam!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Relative Interest in Swimming by State [Chart]

ratio of high school swimming partitipants to state population map

This visualization was really fun to make! I started with NFHS data for 2009-2010 state high school swimming and diving participants (for some reason, Idaho, Tennessee and South Dakota were missing data). Next, I divided number of high school swimming participants by 2010 Census state population data and multiplied by 1000.

The result is a heat map of what I’m calling “relative interest in swimming” as represented by the number of high school swimming participants per 1000 state residents. So for every 1000 residents, this number represents how many high school swimmers you would find. It’s a little clumsy, but should give you some idea in the level of interest the states have in high school swimming.

I was actually surprised to see some of the states with smaller populations (such as Wyoming) actually have a disproportional participation in swimming – so with fewer high school students overall, they had the highest relative interest in swimming.

The top 5 states with the most high school swimmers relative to state population were: Minnesota (1.65), Wyoming (1.65), Deleware (1.62), Pennsylvania (1.55) and Connecticut (1.35).

Even though the number of high school swimmers in California (48,483) and Texas (14,286) are impressive stats, these states end up 8th and 41st in respective interest level because of their large state populations.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Change in Average High School Swim Team Roster Size 1970-2010 [Graph]

I found a data set on the National Federation of State High Schools Associations website that listed number of schools with swimming and diving programs, and the total number of participants for boys and girls. To determine average roster size, I simply divided the total number of participants by the number of schools offering programs.

average high school swim team size graph

The resulting graph shows a cross-over point where a number of factors caused girls’ team size to increase while boys’ team size decreased. It’s difficult to determine what factors (budget, interest, accessibility, etc.) contribute to changes in team size, but I’m guessing Title IX (1972) had a lot to do with it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kast-A-Way Swimwear: Keeping Up with a Growing Sport

greensboro aquatic center swimming north carolina

The sport of swimming fluctuates in popularity, and usually experiences an increase following the Olympic cycle. According to a survey by the National Sporting Goods Association, swimming is the 3rd most popular sport based on participation (not necessarily formal participation on a team).

In fact, an estimated 51,900,000 people (age 7 and up) participated in swimming during 2010, an increase of 3.4% since 2008. (Participation, based on the survey parameters, means swimming at least 6 times during the year). The only “sports” ahead of swimming were Exercising with Equipment and Exercise Walking.

More swimmers means more swimsuits, and an opportunity to reach new communities. Recently, Kast-A-Way Swimwear was awarded the chance to open a retail Pro Shop inside the new Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. As construction draws to a close, the GAC will become a state-of-the-art aquatics facility with 3 pools and a seating capacity of 2,500. The facilities should be open to the public on September 12, following a Grand Opening celebration the last week of August.

greensboro aquatic center swimming north carolina

The GAC already has plans to host the YMCA National Short Course Swimming Championship competition on April 2, 2012, and the 2012 USMS Spring Nationals.

greensboro aquatic center swimming north carolina

For more information on the Greensboro Aquatic Center, visit greensboroaquaticcenter.com, or follow the GAC on Facebook.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

In Brief #47: China Wins First Gold of #FINA2011

fina swimming worlds 2011

> China wins 1st gold medal of world championships chinadaily.com.cn
> Official Nicknames for Each of Oriental Sports Center Pools The Swimmers Circle
> Pac-Man Swimsuit the17thman
> Cliff Diving Q&A: Get to Know Steven LoBue Red Bull Cliff Diving
> Diving: Doubt over Waterfield SkySports.com
> Greensboro Aquatic Center Technical Specifications About the GAC
> Shanghai officials give FINA swimmers list of 15 restaurants that won’t poison them Shanghaiist
> Phelps predicts world record drought will end at swimming worlds cbc.ca

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ryan Lochte and Ed Moses Get A Reality Show Called “Stroke Kings”

ryan lochte ed moses stroke kings

Is this for real? I just read a tweet from @reezy_nation mentioning the Facebook page for Stroke Kings, reality show on Universal Sports about Ryan Lochte and Ed Moses.

ryan lochte ed moses stroke kings

From Facebook.com/StrokeKings:

Stroke Kings is a series that delves into the rigorous training of two Olympic swimmers who struggle to resist being consumed by the seductions of celebrity and overcome personal hurdles. Beneath Lochte’s brash, “king of college town” façade, there is a kid grappling with never-ending family issues. Meanwhile, Moses must come to terms with the fact that his Hollywood playboy lifestyle and current business ventures will need to take a back seat in order for him to realize his Olympic ambitions. Ryan Lochte and Ed Moses are best friends who know what it takes to succeed at their sport’s highest level, but they also know that it’s not worth anything if they’re not having fun. Their lifestyle and unfiltered personalities will intrigue, captivate and inspire.

ryan lochte ed moses stroke kings

At first I thought it was a joke, but it looks like Stroke Kings will be airing Monday nights at 7:30pm EST/PST starting July 11, 2011. It looks like Speedo and USA Swimming are supporting this project, so I guess we’ll just see what happens.

ryan lochte ed moses stroke kings

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this idea of a swimlebrity reality show. Not to be confused with the Google search results for Stroke King (singular) which is a website that posts reviews of pornographic videos!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Visualization of CDC Drowning Statistics by State (Map)

I love data, so I was thrilled to find that the CDC database includes a map-making feature. Check out the visualization I made with the drowning death rates between 2000-2006:

drowning statistics by state

Can you draw any conclusions from the map? It looks like Florida and states bordering the Mississippi River have higher rates, possibly because of their access to large bodies of water. That’s all speculation of course. What do you think?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Two Kinds of Google Goggles

google goggles

It appears that Google is in the goggle business (in more ways than one). The first, and more well-known type of Google Goggles is the search function that allows you to use your mobile device camera to search for logos, locations, products, and landmarks just by snapping a picture!

google goggles

Check out this video from GoogleMobile that demonstrates how the Google Goggles work:

“Wouldn’t it be great if you could just put on a pair of magic glasses and instantly find out more about the world around you!”

I’ve tried it out, and although the technology is still young, it’s still fun to see what comes up in this new form of augmented reality.

Not the kind of goggles you had in mind? Well, you may be interested to discover that Google might be getting into a more tangible form of goggle products. According to this article, Google has acquired a patent for a “multi-function display apparatus” that includes a method of calculating heart rate, lap, and position that is then “transmitted into the wearer’s field of view by means of a fiber optic element and projected at a focal point within the focusing range of the wearer’s eyes” (source).

The patent was originally granted to inventor Harry Linden in 1996. More research into Harry Linden’s inventions reveal a product called Time Window that displays information on an LCD screen inside a goggle lens. However, this idea seems to be old news as “Linden’s company is working with fiber optics to create a system that essentially transmits the image formerly confined to the LCD directly onto the lens surface of goggles or eyewear. The image is transparent so as not to interfere with wearers’ vision” (source).

google goggles

Could this be the technology covered in the patent that Google acquired? The description certainly seems to include transmitting information via fiber optics into the goggle field.

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