USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?


A place for the discussion of all things not closely related to the sport and its competitive side. (as always, locked for the duration of major international championship)

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby guru » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:36 pm

With still a few days - and TEN events - to go, the US looks ready to blow away it's medal totals from 2008

Beijing - G 12; S 10; B 11 - 31 total

London(thru 8/3) - G 11; S 7; B 5 - 23 total
guru
 
Posts: 10266
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:32 am
Location: Strava, racking KOMs https://tinyurl.com/qf2ntch

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby jhc68 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:52 pm

I have a question: How does it happen that an American 15 year can set a world record and win OG gold in a swimming distance event while it would be inconceivable to think of a high school 10th grader doing the same thing on the track?
jhc68
 
Posts: 3291
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:31 am

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby j-a-m » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:12 am

jhc68 wrote:I have a question: How does it happen that an American 15 year can set a world record and win OG gold in a swimming distance event while it would be inconceivable to think of a high school 10th grader doing the same thing on the track?

Great athletic achievements take time.
j-a-m
 
Posts: 2449
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:21 pm

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:31 am

jhc68 wrote:I have a question: How does it happen that an American 15 year can set a world record and win OG gold in a swimming distance event while it would be inconceivable to think of a high school 10th grader doing the same thing on the track?

Track may have not had any 15-year-olds compete at the highest level but it certainly has had 17-year-olds do it, especially on the women's side.
jazzcyclist
 
Posts: 10860
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:32 am

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby Conor Dary » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:51 am

jhc68 wrote:I have a question: How does it happen that an American 15 year can set a world record and win OG gold in a swimming distance event while it would be inconceivable to think of a high school 10th grader doing the same thing on the track?


Most kids, like I did years ago, start competitive swimming when they are about 8 to 10 years old. So peaking when you are about 16 or so is, or was, pretty much the norm. That has changed a bit in recent years, since swimmers are staying in the sport longer.
Conor Dary
 
Posts: 6297
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:32 am
Location: कनोर दारी in Ronald MacDonald's Home Town, and once a Duck always a Duck.

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby preston » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:20 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
jhc68 wrote:I have a question: How does it happen that an American 15 year can set a world record and win OG gold in a swimming distance event while it would be inconceivable to think of a high school 10th grader doing the same thing on the track?

Track may have not had any 15-year-olds compete at the highest level but it certainly has had 17-year-olds do it, especially on the women's side.

Really? Name a WR breaking 17 year old woman? The only person I can even think of getting close was Jelimo and she was 19, I think; maybe Felix, but that's a medal, when you're talking about WR...it happens in swimming it does not in track and field. Also, when American teenagers do it every Olympics there are no questions, but the chinese girl is questioned when she does it.
preston
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby odelltrclan » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:26 am

jhc68 wrote:I have a question: How does it happen that an American 15 year can set a world record and win OG gold in a swimming distance event while it would be inconceivable to think of a high school 10th grader doing the same thing on the track?


As others have stated, they start serious training much earlier than track. Secondly, most of the great young performers are women, who physically mature faster than men and so such a performance is not an anomaly as much a for the men. Yes, we have seen Michael Phelps achieve success in the pool at a young age (15 for his first Olympics) but he did not set a world record at 15 and did not medal. Thirdly, I think this 15 year old American girl in the 800 is simply an outlier, like Janet Evans or Mary Meagher. A genetic wonder who happens to hit the right event at the right time.

Also, probably most importantly for "raising eyebrows" is the fact of how the race was one by the Chinese girl. She swam the last 100 in an astonishing time and the last 50 faster than the men's race at the same distance. Legit or not, and I assume it was totally legit, that will open anyone's eyes.
Last edited by odelltrclan on Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
odelltrclan
 
Posts: 1554
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:30 pm

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:32 am

preston wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:
jhc68 wrote:I have a question: How does it happen that an American 15 year can set a world record and win OG gold in a swimming distance event while it would be inconceivable to think of a high school 10th grader doing the same thing on the track?

Track may have not had any 15-year-olds compete at the highest level but it certainly has had 17-year-olds do it, especially on the women's side.

Really? Name a WR breaking 17 year old woman? The only person I can even think of getting close was Jelimo and she was 19, I think; maybe Felix, but that's a medal, when you're talking about WR...it happens in swimming it does not in track and field. Also, when American teenagers do it every Olympics there are no questions, but the chinese girl is questioned when she does it.

I didn't say break a WR, I said compete at the highest level, and there have certainly been some 17-year-old African distance runners who have competed at the highest. Generally speaking I think track puts a greater premium on physical maturity than swimming does, especially on the men's side. 17 seems to be the world-class cutoff for track while there have been 14-year-old world class athletes in swimming (eg. Janet Evans).
jazzcyclist
 
Posts: 10860
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:32 am

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby odelltrclan » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:35 am

preston wrote:Really? Name a WR breaking 17 year old woman? The only person I can even think of getting close was Jelimo and she was 19, I think; maybe Felix, but that's a medal, when you're talking about WR...it happens in swimming it does not in track and field. Also, when American teenagers do it every Olympics there are no questions, but the chinese girl is questioned when she does it.


Part of your question is the answer. The American system has been producing these performers and performances by many different swimmers for generations. When another country comes along with almost no history of doing so, it can raise an eyebrow. Especially given China's past and comments made by some of their leaders.

We also have continually seen WR's improve in swimming I think for several reasons:

1. Things that were not even thought about years ago have been fine tuned and developed, such as underwater dolphin kicking for a full 15 meters. When I was swimming, you did a flip turn and that was it. Swimmers today learn to maximize every aspect of the race.

2. Athletic talent has improved. In the 1980's, 1990's we did not see nearly the swimmer body types we are seeing today. We saw the 5' 10" body types succeeding. You look at the top level sprinters now and they are all 6'5", 6' 7", etc. Bigger feet, bigger hands, bigger paddles. You look at Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt. They are giants among women and we have generally not seen women of this size very frequently.
odelltrclan
 
Posts: 1554
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:30 pm

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby justcallmev » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:13 am

odelltrclan wrote:
preston wrote:Really? Name a WR breaking 17 year old woman? The only person I can even think of getting close was Jelimo and she was 19, I think; maybe Felix, but that's a medal, when you're talking about WR...it happens in swimming it does not in track and field. Also, when American teenagers do it every Olympics there are no questions, but the chinese girl is questioned when she does it.


Part of your question is the answer. The American system has been producing these performers and performances by many different swimmers for generations. When another country comes along with almost no history of doing so, it can raise an eyebrow. Especially given China's past and comments made by some of their leaders.

We also have continually seen WR's improve in swimming I think for several reasons:

1. Things that were not even thought about years ago have been fine tuned and developed, such as underwater dolphin kicking for a full 15 meters. When I was swimming, you did a flip turn and that was it. Swimmers today learn to maximize every aspect of the race.

2. Athletic talent has improved. In the 1980's, 1990's we did not see nearly the swimmer body types we are seeing today. We saw the 5' 10" body types succeeding. You look at the top level sprinters now and they are all 6'5", 6' 7", etc. Bigger feet, bigger hands, bigger paddles. You look at Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt. They are giants among women and we have generally not seen women of this size very frequently.



If I recall, this trend began with Michael Gross, "the Albatross". He was about 6'6" - 6'7", and his wingspan was just shy of 8". He had a beautiful butterfly stroke...
justcallmev
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:52 am

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby guru » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:22 am

To update the medal count - the US actually had a better Olympics than Beijing in swimming. Even though they amassed the same number of overall medals(31), the 2012 team scored 16 golds as opposed to Beijing's 12, along with 9 silver, and 6 bronze.

While I'm sure this info can be found somewhere online, I'm curious the last time T&F outmedaled swimming
guru
 
Posts: 10266
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:32 am
Location: Strava, racking KOMs https://tinyurl.com/qf2ntch

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby preston » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:57 am

guru wrote:To update the medal count - the US actually had a better Olympics than Beijing in swimming. Even though they amassed the same number of overall medals(31), the 2012 team scored 16 golds as opposed to Beijing's 12, along with 9 silver, and 6 bronze.

While I'm sure this info can be found somewhere online, I'm curious the last time T&F outmedaled swimming

If you look at the graph in this article http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087 ... _US_News_5

Swimming looks to have passed T&F in 1968 for the first time and has bounced above and below since but has been ahead since '92
The performance decline of U.S. track and field is stark. From the 1896 through the 1988 Olympics, the team averaged 31 medals a Game, while the U.S. swim team averaged 17. Since the 1992 Olympics, the average per-Game medal haul for track and field fell 24%, to 23 medals, while the swim team's grew to 32, an increase of 83%.

For much of the 20th century, the U.S. team held a near monopoly on the best training and facilities. From the start of the modern Olympics through 2008, U.S. track and field teams collected 732 medals, including 309 gold, with the former Soviet Union's team a distant runner-up: 214 medals, 71 gold.
preston
 
Posts: 1075
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: USA Swiiming opening the door for USA Track?

Postby odelltrclan » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:15 am

With the retirement of Phelps, and with Lochte, Grevers, etc. climbing up the age scale, it will be interesting to see what happens in Rio. I see a possible reversal of fortune for Track v. Swimming next time around, in the overall medal count, though probably not by much.
odelltrclan
 
Posts: 1554
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:30 pm

Previous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 9 guests