Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In Brief…

> The full story behind Sasquatch DiveMeets.com
> Past Decade of Women’s NCAA Results Swimming Science
> Sterling silver swimming charm Kast-A-Way Swimwear
> An Open Letter To My Diving Friends The Screaming Viking!
> 2012 London Olympic Aquatics Center Under Construction Video About.com
> Backstroke in Caramel, GTD Prizes, & More Race Footage

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why Do Swimmers Keep Getting Bigger?

Rolandas Gimbutis matt grevers and ryan lochte
(L) At 6’10″ 247lbs, Rolandas Gimbutis (Lithuania/University of California) was the tallest swimmer at the Beijing Olympics; (R) From the gallery on SwimNetwork.com, Matt Grevers and Ryan Lochte tower over Carolyn Dirks at the Rededication Ceremony of the Carolyn Dirks Building.

This ScienceDaily article, found via aquadonis on Twitter, talks about a study conducted by an engineering student in which the heights and weights of world record-holding athletes were correlated to their winning times. Both 100m Dash runners and 100m swimming sprints were analyzed. The results added support to an overall trend in athletics — that elite athletes are getting bigger, and at a quicker rate than the population average.

The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, and a full version can be found here provided by Constructal.org.

Methods for analyzing the swimming statistics, found in the scientific publication, first show a strong positive correlation between world record speed (m s^-1) vs. time. Next, a slightly scattered correlation of mass (kg) vs. time was identified. When time was factored out, a statistically significant positive correlation between speed and mass was discovered. Similar procedures were followed for the analysis of speed vs. height (below).

Charles, D. J., & Bejan, A. (2009). The evolution of speed, size and shape in modern athletics. J. Exp. Biol. 212, 2419-2425.

According to the original publication:

“The mean height of humans has increased by roughly 5cm from 1900 to 2002 … During the same century, the mean height of champion swimmers and runners has increased by 11.4 cm and 16.2 cm, respectively” (source).

To answer the WHY in the swimmers’ size trend, author Jordan Charles looked to a broader base of research known as the constructal theory. This organizing theory of design in nature describes animal locomotion as “a rhythm of body motion constructed such that the animal achieves a balance between two expenditures of useful energy: lifting weight on the vertical, and overcoming drag while progressing on the horizontal.” Which means that the constructal theory of design actually predicts the body-mass scaling relations in swimmers. It looks like the mechanism causing the trend is a capacity for faster movement if your body scaling closely resembles the most mathematically efficient proportions for balancing vertical and horizontal movement in the medium (land, air, water).

Could the results of this study suggest the future implication of swimmer weight classes? I’m not so sure. Although it’s fun to postulate, the world record to height correlation doesn’t seem so impressive in absolute terms. For example, the study considered the world record of 57.4 set by Johnny Weissmuller in 1924. Weissmuller was actually a fraction of an inch taller than Eamon Sullivan, 2008 record holder at 47.05, and weighed almost 20 pounds more than Sullivan.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

USA Swimming Stars Tour Will Make You “Fitter and Faster”

fitter and faster tour

Some of your favorite Swimming Stars will be on tour following the FINA World Championships to host swim clinics to provide a chance to meet and interact with Olympians. According to Swimming World Magazine, the line-up includes: Matt Grevers, Peter Vanderkaay, Megan Jendrick, Mark Gangloff, Christine Magnuson, Ben Wildman-Tobriner, Ous Mellouli and Lacey Nymeyer.

The tour is being organized and marketed by Arluck Promotions, in association with the USA Swimming Foundation, with a nod to the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid.

David Arluck, president of Arluck Promotions, was quoted in the Swimming World article:

“We want to remind kids why they love to swim,” said David Arluck, President of Arluck Promotions, a Miami Beach based sports marketing firm putting on the event. “It’s not every day you get a chance to meet an Olympian. To get the chance to swim and engage with multiple Olympic athletes makes it a truly unique experience that will significantly impact these kids and their passion for the sport.”

Tour dates and locations can be found at SwimChampions.com

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In Brief…

kast-a-way swimwear in brief

> The bare-faced solution to swimming

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mel Talks With Gentle Giant Matt Grevers on SwimNetwork

Gold Medal Mel talks with Matt Grevers about goals for World Trials, the most competitive American event, and Cinderella-man podium moments. Matt is very well spoken which is either a result of his degree from Northwestern or his media appearances promoting his sponsor TYR Sports. It’s probably a combination of the two, but his Olympic podium story gave me chills!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Photo: Wall-Sit Photo-Op with Grevers and Lochte

From the gallery on SwimNetwork.com, check out Matt Grevers and Ryan Lochte posing with Carolyn Dirks at the Rededication Ceremony of the Carolyn Dirks Building.

matt grevers and ryan lochte are tall

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Navy SEALs Recruiting Swimmers, Water Polo Players

navy seals recruiting swimmers and water polo playersHave you been hearing about the Navy SEALs in swimming and water polo news recently? Yeah, me too. This is no coincidence, because the U.S. Navy is looking to recruit civilian athletes who stand a better chance of actually completing the difficult SEAL training.

Last night, the CBS Evening News reported how Navy SEALs are in high demand because they specialize in high-risk operations, like Sunday’s high profile rescue of cargo ship captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates. However, finding recruits with an adequate level of physical fitness has been difficult–especially while the Navy is trying to increase their number of active SEALs without lowering standards.

It was reported that the Navy has been ordered to expand the number of active SEALs from roughly 1,800 now to 2,500 by the year 2012. Right now, only around 25% of recruits ever complete the demanding training. The Navy wants to raise the completion rate to 50% without lowering expectations by looking to recruit athletes who excel in sports requiring endurance and discipline.

Sports targeted for Navy SEAL recruitment efforts are rugby, wrestling, swimming and water polo.

CBS Evening News reports:

Terry Schroeder coaches the U.S. Olympic water polo team. He’s helping get the word out to top high school swimmers that the Navy SEALs are looking for young men like them.

“I think there’s a lot in common,” Schroeder says. “We learn to battle, we learn to work hard.”

So what have you noticed? There’s been an increase in civilian outreach including new marketing campaigns and events. Michael Phelps and the U.S. Swimming National Team sparked a lot of attention when they spent the day training with Navy SEALs (previous blog post). Garrett Weber-Gale even blogged about going to a shooting range with Navy SEALs (link).

The U.S. Navy also organized the first SEAL Fitness Challenge at Arizona State University, which allowed 330 athletes age 13 and up to challenge themselves against the SEAL standards. The event was hosted by the Naval Special Warfare Recruiting Directorate (NSWRD) in association with I-High Marketing (source).

SEAL Fitness Challenge 2009 saw Matt Grevers in attendance, where he was quoted saying “This humanizes the SEALs for me. It’s less intimidating knowing that they’re just cool, normal guys

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In Brief… Photo Edition

kast-a-way swimwear in brief photo edition

> Ryan Lochte T-Shirt Cannon from Flickr: i_hate_username
> Matt Grevers’ Olympic Tattoo from Flickr: mikebesto
> London Tower Bridge Swimming Sculpture from Flickr: law_keven
> Water Polo Tabby from Flickr: flying_hairballs
> Boudia and Finchum Synchro Platform via The New York Times
> Children of Glory (2006) Screenshot by IMDB: Szabads

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Driving Range Sensation, Matt Grevers

Matt Grevers hits the long ballI got a “tweet” with this great video. Oh, the perks of following Gold Medal Mel on Twitter. Check out the latest episode of On The Road with Chris and Mel. In this edition, Matt Grevers surprises USA Swimming employees and even his agent, David Arluck, by driving a golf ball 300+ yards (video).

“Grevers hit the ball beyond the driving range. Like, the people on the next fairway need to look out for Grevers’ ball. He has no regard for accuracy, no regard how far he’s actually going to hit the ball, but that thing goes a mile.” – David Arluck (Arluck Promotions)

The video is posted on the USA Swimming Foundation page on Facebook, so become a fan and watch more great videos!

I guess I always pictured Grevers being a little clumsy because he’s so tall and spends so many hours a day in the water. According to the video, he’s got skills! I’m no expert on correct golf technique but I’d say he’s not quite there as far as his form goes–but hey, I should talk right? After 9 holes I switch over to “fun points,” its my own scoring system where I always win!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tracer Titan Comic Book Remix

matt grevers tracer titan

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