Tuesday, February 9, 2010

NBC Uses Memorable Swimming Moment To Promote Winter Games

It’s Tuesday, so of course I was watching The Biggest Loser on NBC when I saw an ad for the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. But the ad wasn’t what I expected. I looked up from my laptop to see Jason Lezak’s anchor leg in the Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

There’s nothing wrong with re-living a great American moment, but since this isn’t the first incident, I’m worried that the best marketing strategy for the Winter Olympics is: “Hey, remember how cool the Summer Olympics were? Watch the Winter Olympics!”

Maybe not everyone is as excited for figure skating as I am (my cat’s name is Sasha Cohen), but there has to be something universally appealing about the Winter Games. What about footage of snowboard halfpipe set to alternative rock music? That do anything for ya? How about downhill skiers flying around turns in slow motion with the AllState insurance guy narrating with a message of perseverance and hope? Getting excited?

Maybe swimming is just that much cooler than every winter sport.

See also: Michael Phelps Is Swimming To The Winter Olymipcs?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Here Come The Water Babies

water babies swimming

It’s like a swimmer baby-boom! In the past week I’ve seen posts from my blogger colleagues about two high profile baby stories: Jason Lezak and his wife Danielle gave birth to Ryan Nathan Lezak on Tuesday afternoon, and Laure Manaudou is pregnant with Fr

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Is It About Sea Turtles?

why sea turtles eric shanteau

Check out this great SWOT Team video … SWOT is a partnership among Conservation International (CI), the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG), Duke University

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In Brief…

kast-a-way swimwear in brief

> Erik Vendt swims for fun and has some great advice for open water racers! SCAQ Blog
> Hardy Is Vindicated, But Fight Continues Reach For The Wall
> Gaul Urges Europe: Start 2010 Rules Now SwimNews.com
> Italian swim federation pushes suit equality SwimNews.com
> Greenspan film to feature Jason Lezak USA Swimming
> Fresh From Italy…Via Wisconsin Garrett Weber-Gale
> Hansen Eyes Olympics, But Won

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What The Heck Are The Maccabiah Games?

An Associated Press article found on Universal Sports gives us a little more explanation why Jason Lezak is not planning to compete at the World Championships. Specifically, the article says that “Jason Lezak will skip the upcoming world swimming championships and instead compete in Israel’s Maccabiah Games in tribute to his Jewish heritage.”

But just what are the Maccabiah Games? Let’s zoom over to Wikipedia for a quick summary:

The Maccabiah is held in Israel every four years under the auspices of the Maccabi Federation, a part of the Maccabi World Union. Although primarily for Jewish athletes, Arab Israelis can also participate. It is sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee and World Federation of Sports. The Maccabiah Games is one of the five largest sporting events in the world by participation, and is considered a Regional Games by the International Olympic Committee.

Getty Images breaks it down even further by simply calling The Maccabiah Games the “quadrennial Jewish Olympics.” Pictured below, Jason Lezak presents a t-shirt to the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat (source).

Lezak is currently in Israel and apparently he’s having a blast. In an interview for the 18th Maccabiah Games official website, Lezak said this about his visit to Jerusalem: “This whole experience is the main reason for this visit. It

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Swim Stars Safety PSA’s on YouTube

Swim stars Jason Lezak, Amanda Beard, Janet Evans, and Mark Spitz have released some public service announcements about water safety. As part of the “Be Water Aware” Campaign, these messages “[focus] on educating the public on how they can stay safe in the water, including learning to swim, supervising kids in and around the water and much more!” (source).

Amanda Beard’s video has the most views, with 217, for her PSA on sun safety. Trailing in the number of views are Jason Lezak’s video on life jackets, and Mark Spitz’ PSA on following the rules (with 8 total views).

I guess people aren’t that excited about following the rules, even when Olympic legend Mark Spitz tells them to.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Olympic Swimmers Help With Great Turtle Race 2009

olympic swimmers help out with great turtle race 2009My friend Mike, of The Adventures of Travelin’ Mike, sent me this info just now. It looks like the next Great Turtle Race will be launching this Thursday, April 16th. The race is put on by Conservation International and National Geographic, and will track 11 leatherback sea turtles from the Canadian Atlantic coast all the way to the Caribbean.

There is a website that allows you to sign up for updates on the race (link). “All 11 turtles are tagged with a satellite-tracking device that will allow you to follow them, in real-time.” According to the educational website GreatTurtleRace.com, “U.S. Olympic swimmers Amanda Beard, Janet Evans, Jason Lezak, and Eric Shanteau will “coach” our competitors and post notes of encouragement to the turtles throughout the race.”

It is also rumored that Aaron Piersol and Rowdy Gaines have signed on to help out with this conservation awareness event, as well as rock bands REM and Pearl Jam.

For more information, and to track the turtles online, sign up on the Conservation International page here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

In Brief…

kast-a-way swimwear in brief

> 2009 Zone Diving Roundup Central (Complete) by Swimming World Magazine
> Bodysuit wars: Who wears the high-tech swimsuits? (Photo Gallery) by Universal Sports
> A Champion’s Thoughts with Miho Takeda by FINA Aquatics World
> FINA Bureau Meeting Press Release by FINA.org
> Jason Lezak, America

Monday, March 9, 2009

Video: How Lezak Won Gold in Olympic 4×100 Free Relay

I still vividly remember watching Jason Lezak anchor the men’s 4×100 meter freestyle relay at the Beijing Olympics. I was watching the Olympics in a Buffalo Wild Wings on the big screens usually reserved for March Madness and baseball’s opening day. When swimming came on, my friends and I rushed home so that we could hear the commentary and control our own instant replays on DVR.

This analysis by The New York Times, that I found on HowSwim.com, is a great way to re-live the race.

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