Courtesy of: Jerry Lai - USA Today Sports
PHOENIX, Arizona, January 22. SWIMMING has seen a lot of great innovations in the sport in the past 150 or so years. The swimsuit alone has seen the biggest change as athletes have transitioned from the full bodysuits in the early 1900s to briefs up until the mid-1990s when bodysuits became popular again, and now we're back to briefs, and jammers for racing. But outside of the swimsuit, which obviously is the best invention for the sport, we wanted to know what you thought was the best thing that's happened to swimming in the past 100 years or so.
And by a large margin, goggles got the most votes with 74.60 percent. Goggles officially entered the mainstream when swimmers started wearing them at the 1976 Olympics, though they had been used in the United States for many years to help athletes get over the stinging burn their eyes would feel after an hour or two in chlorinated water. Well back in our poll in second was the pace clock that revolutionized interval training with 16.67 percent. And fins, which any Masters swimmer will probably tell you is the best thing since sliced bread, got 3.17 percent. A few people also picked other, saying something else was the best swimming invention. Maybe paddles? The fin on the back of starting blocks? There are plenty of great ones out there.
Let's move on to our new poll question, and with the NCAA championships coming up in about two months, we wanted to resurrect a longtime argument that the swimming and diving championships should be swimming only. A few teams throughout history have lost team titles based on diving, and others have thanked divers for helping them win team trophies. With the other aquatic sports -- water polo and synchronized swimming in particular -- getting their own college championships, should diving get one as well? Go to our home page at swimmingworld.com and vote yes or no. On next Wednesday's show, we'll let you know what the voters think about this hot-button issue.