PHOENIX, Arizona, September 1. Paul Memont has been picked to be one of the starters for the 2012 Olympics, and on today's edition of The Morning Swim Show he talks about receiving the honor.
Memont also talks about some of the meets he's officiated at recently, and how he prepares for a meet. Watch the full show in the video player below and visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Show Transcript: (Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)
Peter Busch: This is the Morning Swim Show for Monday, October 3rd, 2011. I'm your host, Peter Busch in the FINIS Monitor Today. We'll talk to Paul Memont. He will be one of the starters for the swim racers at the London Olympics next year. Paul Memont joins us right now in the FINIS Monitor from Methuen, Massachusetts. Hey Paul, welcome to the Morning Swim Show. How are you?
Paul Memont: I'm great, how are you?
Peter Busch: Good. This is the first time we've had a starter on the show. We're very happy to have you on. How'd you get into being an official?
Paul Memont: Probably a typical story my children get into it when they were very young and I just never let go. It's a nice a place to be on a swim deck.
Peter Busch: How do you get selected to do the Olympics?
Paul Memont: It's kind of a mystery. You need to get on the FINA list first and that's very selective. It's very difficult and a little bit unknown, and then if you're lucky you get chosen to go beyond that.
Peter Busch: So that's how you get on that list. Do you have to have like, I mean I know, a football referee for example, they have certain criteria, you know. Did they get the call right kind of thing? Is it similar judgment style for you guys?
Paul Memont: More or less, yes. USA Swimming nominates and FINA accepts.
Peter Busch: Alright, so here's a weird question, but what is your starting style? Are you the kind of guy that likes to get them off quick? You make him hold their stance for a while? Describe what you like to do.
Paul Memont: I like to say it's just right.
Peter Busch: Alright, give me if you would, give me a start here how you're going to deal when Michael Phillips is on the block, you know for his first race at the Olympics.
Paul Memont: Same as last time, hopefully, so that he is not surprised just a "Take your mark."
Peter Busch: Alright, so we got 200 IM, biggest race, ever race looking forward to – Phelps is in four, Lochte is in five, give me the start here. What do you say when they're behind the blocks.
Paul Memont: Nothing. Only when you're on the blocks.
Peter Busch: Alright, so the whistle gets them up on the blocks.
Paul Memont: That's correct.
Peter Busch: Alright, then what? Paul Memont: Just "Take your mark."
Peter Busch: You won't say, you know, the event or anything? Paul Memont: Nope, we haven't done that in years. Just take your mark and hopefully they're all behaving, they're off to a great swim.
Peter Busch: Alright, I'm going to get disqualified here. What's the most famous disqualification you've ever given out?
Paul Memont: I don't think anybody famous.
Peter Busch: Nobody?
Paul Memont: Yeah, I don't believe so.
Peter Busch: You haven't dinged somebody? What are you looking for on the starting block there?
Paul Memont: I'm looking at getting them a fair start and nobody to have an unfair advantage.
Peter Busch: And what do you mean by that, though?
Paul Memont: Well, all even, come down together if they can and certainly get off together. Peter Busch: You kind of guy who will pull them back up if the one guy is lollygagging and taking his time getting down making the others stay in their stance.
Paul Memont: No, they can take their time to a point.
Peter Busch: So your son is a swim coach, right, South Carolina?
Paul Memont: Yes, yes. Jason, yes, I think you interviewed him last year or the year before.
Peter Busch: Oh, I think you're right. I remember that. So you got, you come from a swim family or you were swim dad, now, you're the starter.
Paul Memont: Swim dad, yes.
Peter Busch: Are you excited about going to London, Paul, I'm sensing a very even keel guy here.
Paul Memont: I try to be even. Like I said, I'm more nervous about this than that. I'm very, very excited. I'm pinching myself.
Peter Busch: What a fantastic opportunity, you know. Starter—
Paul Memont: It's unbelievable, really is. Peter Busch: Age group meets and now you're doing the biggest mate in the world.
Paul Memont: Right.
Peter Busch: Well, Paul, don't be nervous. You did great, thank you very much, good luck at the Olympics, have a lot of fun.
Paul Memont: Thank you very much.
Peter Busch: And may everyone have a nice clean start, right.
Paul Memont: Right, that's what we all hope.
Peter Busch: Alright, thanks for joining us, Paul.
Paul Memont: Thanks very much.
Peter Busch: Alright, that's Paul Memont joining us in the FINIS Monitor Today. That's it for today's show. I'm Peter Busch, reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.
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