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 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, 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, 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
> 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
> 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

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Coca-Cola “Eight-Pack” of Athletes Includes David Boudia

The Coca-Cola Company announced in a press release, that eight athletes will serve as “Ambassadors of Active Living.” The “Eight-Pack” are a group of Olympic Champions, medalists and hopefuls that will be featured on advertising and marketing materials leading up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Why an 8-pack and not a 6-pack? From the press release:

Shifting from a Six-Pack to an Eight-Pack of Olympic athletes is another part of Coke’s continued efforts to offer consumers new ways to experience the brands and beverages they love. Recently the Company evolved its packaging lineup to include eight-packs of 90 calorie mini-cans and a new 1.25 liter contour bottle to better meet the needs of consumers in the same way its Olympic Eight-Pack will fuel America ‘s passion for the Olympic Games.

David Boudia is the obvious choice for an “Eight-Pack” marketing campaign…

david boudia coke coca cola eight 8 pack

The Coca-Cola “Eight-Pack” of athletes includes:

  • David Boudia – silver medalist in men’s platform (10M diving) at 2008 FINA Diving World Cup and winner of 14 national diving titles; 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials 10M Dive Champion; member of the 2008 Olympic Team
  • Henry Cejudo – 2008 Olympic gold medalist in 55kg freestyle division (wrestling); youngest American wrestler ever to win an Olympic gold medal at 21 years of age
  • Marlen Esparza – 2010 U.S. national champion in women’s boxing; gold medalist at the 2008 Pan American Games; longest winning streak at the U.S. nationals and undefeated in every U.S. event competed in the last five years; number one ranked female amateur flyweight boxer in U.S. for the last five consecutive years
  • John Isner – currently ranked 39 th in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) standings; winner of record-breaking singles tennis match at Wimbledon ; which lasted for 11 hours and 5 minutes; widely recognized as having one of the hardest serves on the ATP Tour
  • Shawn Johnson – winner of one gold and three silver medals in women’s gymnastics at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games; member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team; three-time gold medalist at the 2007 World Championships in All-Around, Floor, and Team; and four-time gold medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games in All-Around, Balance Beam, Floor and Team; and 2008 Olympic Trials All-American champion
  • Jessica Long – seven-time Paralympic Gold medalist in women’s swimming; member of 2004 and 2008 U.S. Paralympic Teams; 2008 Paralympian of the Year; seven-time World Championship gold medalist and two-time silver medalist in 2010
  • Alex Morgan – drafted number one overall in the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer Draft; youngest member on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team
  • David Oliver – Beijing 2008 Olympic medalist in men’s 110M hurdles; member of 2008 U.S. Olympic team; 2010 Male Track & Field Athlete of the Year; 2010 U.S. Outdoor Champion

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Greg Louganis Dives with Gary Hunt in Athens

greg louganis and gary hunt red bull


Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champion Gary Hunt traveled to the Olympic swimming pool in Athens to dive with the legendary Olympic gold medalist, Greg Louganis, ahead of the third stop in the Series.

Louganis will be a celebrity judge for tomorrow’s cliff diving competition in Athens, Greece. The event will be webcast live on Redbull.TV. Tune in to cheer on Purdue diving alum, Steven LoBue!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Former Big Ten Diver, Steven LoBue (Purdue), Qualifies for Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

steven lobue red bull cliff diving world series

Steven LoBue, a Big Ten diving alumnus from Purdue University (2003-2007), recently qualified for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Steven was among the top 7 finishers in a qualifying event at the Hawkesbury River in Sydney, Australia – which guaranteed him a spot on the 2011 World Series (schedule).

From left to right: Michal Navratil, Slava Polyeshchuk, Andrey Ignatenko, Cyrille Oumedjkane, Sasha Kutsenko, Alain Kohl and Steven Lobue

The seven qualifiers in Australia will join Gary Hunt, Orlando Duque, Artem Silchenko, Kent De Mond and Hassan Mouti to make up the field for the 2011 World Series which begins in Rapa Nui on March 12 (source).

I can’t believe I dove against Steven in college, and now he’s 1 of 12 cliff divers on an international circuit! That’s so cool!

As I mentioned in a previous post, the competition in La Rochelle (FRA) will be held after dark. The cliff diving event will be lit by floodlight for a new look at an already extreme sport! Yikes, good luck with that!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In Brief #46

> My Toughest Workout Ever, Barre None Training Day by Kaitlin Sandeno
> AAARGH! More Excuses from Phelps as he qualifies his win SCAQ Blog
> Two for two: Phelps tops Lochte in Austin Universal Sports
> More evidence that sitting too much is bad even if you exercise Sweat Science
> Rob D, the Discovery Channel

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