Jul29
6 Things I Know about Kate Ziegler

 

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-Kate Ziegler is from Great Falls, VA and is 19 years old

-She qualified for the US Olympic team in 400m and 800 meter freestyle,  the two longest events for females.

-Ziegler broke the world record by ten seconds in the 1500 freestyle in 2007 which was one of the greatest and oldest records in the books set by Janet Evans in 1988. Evans was a dominating swimmer in the 80s, her record (from 1988) still holds in the 800 freestyle which is the longest event at the Olympics for females.

-Ziegler is ranked in the top 8 leading into the Olympics. She is considered one of the favorites in this event including the other great distance swimmer from the US Katie Hoff

-Ziegler is one of those rare swimmers who chose professional swimming over college swimming right out of high school.

-This is Ziegler’s first Olympics yet she holds one of the greatest World Record set by female swimmers. It is going to be interesting watching her also challenge the Americans next female hope Katie Hoff who is going to be in 5 individual events.

to be sure...she'll want to know these 20 Facts about the Great Wall of China.

and find Beijing on a Map of China.

 

Guest Blogger - Micah Belew

Jul27
6 More Things I Know about Michael Phelps

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 I wrote previously 8 Things I Know about Michael Phelps.

There's a lot more to know. 

-Michael Phelps is going to be competing in the Olympics in 8 events.

-There is an Olympic Medal count record set by a guy named Mark Spitz in 1972. Spitz won 7 Gold medals and set world records in all 7 of them.

-Well, the days have changed. With increasing technology in swim suits and swimming pools, people are now specializing in events; it is very common for swimmers to swim just one event in the Olympics. Spitz in '72 did not even have a cap or goggles on.

-Spitz had also set that record when US was dominating that era in swimming. It was not too difficult for US to win the relays where as now all the countries are very competitive.

-Spitz won two distances in 2 strokes, and all the relays. Well, Phelps is doing two individual medleys, and also two distances of butterfly, and 200 freestyle, and also the sprint 100 freestyle for the relay. Phelps is also less than half of a second close to both distances of backstroke world records (which he is not swimming at the Olympics). He is good at all strokes.

-all I want to say here is Phelps is the greatest swimmer who has ever lived - hands down. Good at all strokes and distances. But he doesn’t have the record of 7 golds in one Olympics (6 gold at the '04 Olympics) and/or hold 7 World records at once (currently 6 world records). I think he is the best regardless but people still argue.

-I really want to see him win 8 golds. Don’t you?

to be sure...she'll want to know these 20 Facts about the Great Wall of China.

and find Beijing on a Map of China.

 

Guest Blogger - Micah Belew

Jul25
6 Things I Know about Dara Torres

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-Dara Torres is from Florida and she is 41 years old

-She qualified for the 50 meter and 100 meter freestyle but is only going to compete in the 50 because of her age.

-2008 Olympics is her 5th Olympics starting from '84, '88, '92, '00, then '08.

-She made an 8 year break comeback because she wanted to win a medal in 2000, and she did. She was 32 years old then.

-8 years after that she came back as a 41 year old to not only qualify but to break American records and win both events at the trials.

-In the 90s, swimming was said to be a teenage sports, kind of like gymnastics. People said if you are in your 20s you're old, especially for female swimmers.

Well Torres came back at 32 and redefined that. This year as a 41 year old, she’s telling swimmers now in their 30s to step it up. T

hat whole excuse about being too old in any sport really, doesn’t work anymore because of her. And for us young people, she taught us it’s ok to take a break.

Find Beijing on a Map of China

Guest Blogger - Micah Belew

Jul24
10 Things I Know about Eric Shanteau

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-Eric Shanteau is from Liburn, Georgia and is 24 years old

-Shanteau qualified in the 200 Breast stroke

-He swam for Auburn University and now trains at Longhorn Aquatics in Austin Texas.

-He was at the World University games when he won the 200 and 400 meter individual medley. However he has never made a big scene in a large scale meet. No Olympics or medals from World Championship

-Shanteau was 11th at the 04 Olympic trials in this event. He did not even final.

-Shanteau and another swimmer, Scott Spann, won the top two spots taking Brendon Hanson who held the world record for four years out of this event

-Shanteau, the week before the Olympic trials in Omaha (where trials were held) was diagnosed with testicular cancer. His doctor cleared him for the meet.

-Shanteau is putting off the surgery until the Olympic is over unless there is a sign of it spreading. He told the doctor who was advising the surgery now that he does not want to disrupt his lifelong goal.

-Shanteau is also known as the first male swimmer to maintain a 4.0 and become a national champion at Auburn.

-Sounds like a great athlete. He is finally at his dream stage. I hope he gets it,  with all his heart.

After that he needs to make an appointment with Lance Armstrong. Lance beat testicular cancer and then won his 7 Tour de France meets. 

Guest Blogger - Micah Belew

Jul23
10 Things I Know about Matt Grevers

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-Matt Grevers is from Lake Forest, Ill and is 23 years old.

-Grevers swam for Northwestern University and now trains at Tucson, Arizona

-He is 6-7, and 215 pounds. Wow big guy!

-Grevers has qualified for the 100 meter back stroke and 4x100 freestyle relay

-He beat Ryan Lochte in the back stroke to earn the spot he lost many times in NCAA swimming

-Grevers was 7th in the 100 backstroke and did not even final in the 100 freestyle at the 04 Olympic trials

-Grevers is now representing the great American back stroker where US has been known as a leader in the back stroke the past decade or so

-Grevers is also going to contribute to the 4x100Freestyle relay we have been anticipating

-Grevers has not made a big scene in large international meets and this is his first Olympic games.

-Grevers came through in the Olympic trials for US in the backstroke which pretty much put him as one of the favorites at the Olympics. We will see how other countries do in the backstroke against this giant swimmer.

Jul22
One More Big I Know about Natalie Coughlin

More about Coughlinnatalie.coughlin.1.jpg

Natalie Coughlin has a really good swimming profile. However when I think about Coughlin something better comes to my mind. It’s a story my coach told me in high school. Let me tell you a short story that will make you want to watch Coughlin on TV.

Coughlin was probably the greatest NCAA female swimmer in the history. In NCAA, athletes get four years, each year having a maximum of 3 individual events that they can compete in.

Well Coughlin in 3 years, every time she raced broke a record. Whether an NCAA record or just a pool record, she broke it every time. Coughlin, at her NCAAs Senior year won 2 of her individual events with records, of course, and had one more race the 200 backstroke to go. Coughlin in the event was in the lead till about the last 25 (last length) and she lost. It’s one of those “what happen to her???” moments. She did not get 2nd but 3rd losing to current WR holder Margaret Hoelzer, and former WR holder till 2008, Kristy Coventry.

It was the worst race ever for her, bringing to an end almost winning 12 individual events, the maximum possible.

Well the story doesn’t end there. That night Coughlin came back in the relay and broke the 100 free style NCAA record going first in the relay (First person gets official time in the relay) which was not one of her strokes that she had ever swam individually. Wow"

So what was the lesson my coach gave me? He says, “every time you step up on the block, it’s a new opportunity”. It's in everything we do in life. How many times do we say “man I screwed up, I've been doing so well but why bother now” or “I did bad in this so I’m just gonna give up”.

Well every time we get that chance to step up, it’s a new opportunity to make it happen, the way you want it to be.

That's the lesson I learned from Coughlin.

Guest Blogger - Micah Belew

Jul21
7 Things I Know about Natalie Coughlin

-Natalie Coughlin is 25 years old and is from Vallejo, California.

-She swam for University of California at Berkeleynatalie.coughlin.jpg

-Coughlin won the 100 meter backstroke and 4x200 free relay in '04 Olympics

-She currently holds the 100 backstroke world record and is on the 4x200 free relay team that set the world record

-Coughlin is one of the top speedo models who sponsors her. You will find her if you pick up a speedo swim suit magazines

-Coughlin is one of the greatest female swimmers in history, she won and holds lot of NCAA records

-She is competing in the 100 freestyle, 100 backstrokes, and 200 Individual medley.

-Coughlin has a chance in winning several events in my opinion in the 100, 200 Freestyle ,100, 200 back, 100 butterfly, 200IM. But she’s only swimming 3 individual events. She has the potential to set records in terms of medal count but she seems to not care.

I can respect her for just wanting to swim what she likes.

 

7 Things I know about Laure Manaudou

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-Laure Manaudou is 22 year old French swimmer from Villeubanne, France

-Manaudou won the Gold in 2004 Olympics in the 400 meter freestyle event, silver in the 800 meter and bronze in the 100 meter backstroke

-She has set World, European, and National records in many events, and is considered one of the best swimmers Europe has ever produced.

-She currently holds the world record in the 200 freestyle which she set last year

-Manaudou is currently ranked in the top 25 for 100, 200 backstroke and 200, 400 freestyle

-I hear rumors that she likes a lot of attention, well… There are naked pictures posted on the internet of her. So that rumor is probably true.

-I also hear that she is a very “on and off” swimmer and that she likes to do whatever she wants.

She got bronze in the 800 freestyle last Olympics and I don’t even see her in the top 25 in that event this year. It is hard to call her lazy because all her events are hard ones.

What do you think?

Guest Blogger - Micah Belew

 

Jul20
7 Things I Know about Jessica Hardy

-

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-Jessica Hardy qualified for the US team in the 100 breast stroke, 50 freestyle and the 4x100 freestyle relay.

-She is 21 years old and is from Long Beach California.

-She competes for the University of California at Berkeley

-She holds the world record in the 50meter short course (25meter pool) breast stroke (not an Olympic event).

-She was close to making the 100 freestyle event for the US team. It’s rare to see swimmers that specialize in freestyle and breast stroke since biomechanically people are so different in each stroke events.

-Jessica caught my attention when I first read that she was the high school swimmer of the year. Soon after, she went to the World Championships in 2005. She did not win however.

-She broke the World record at her first international meet. She had been somewhat low key since till this year. I’m excited to see if she is going to light up something special.

-The breast stroke for women has been dominated by great swimmer from South Africa, Heyns, until  Lesiel Jones (Australia) took over that role. It would be fun to watch an American crunch through swimmers like Jones to become the history making breast stroke champion for the United States.

Guest Blogger - Micah Belew

 

Jul19
9 Things I know about Eamon Sullivan

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-Eamon Sullivan is from Perth, West Australia

-He is about 6 feet 3, 171 pounds… Wow! Skinny!

-Sullivan holds the world record in the 50 meter freestyle and is ranked second in the 100 freestyle.

-Sullivan did not make it to the Olympics in 04 for the 50 meter event so my guess is that he never went under 22 seconds. The World record was 21.28 meaning he made about a second jump…another wow.

-Australians were always known for the middle distance to distance swimmers, such as Ian Thorpe.

-It’s a big deal down under when they get good sprinters.

-Sullivan did not win any major international championship individually. Is it an Olympic year thing? Or is he good for real? 21.28 is way faster than the former world record (21.6 by Popov and then Bernard 21.5 this year four days before Sullivan brokre the WR).

-Sullivan is followed in rank in the 50 by 3 French and 3 US swimmers. So he’s the guy for Australia.

-The 50 this year does not include the former two time Olympic champion Gary Hall, so it is going to be a good fight.

Guest Blogger - Micah Belew

 

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