Best of Off Deck: Rowdy Gaines Discusses New Olympic Events

In one of Swimming World’s best Off Deck episodes of 2017, NBC Sports analyst Rowdy Gaines joined host David Rieder to discuss the news that the women’s 1500 free, men’s 800 free and mixed 400 medley relay to the Olympic schedule in 2020. Watch the full episode below.

In this episode from June 10, Gaines explained how he felt about finally achieving balanced event lineups for the women and men and how he thinks the additional of the new distance events will benefit the competition. He discussed how Katie Ledecky could benefit from the addition of event in which she has been dominant in recent years.

Gaines also detailed what he likes so much about women and men competing together in a mixed relay and the strategy involved in such a relay, and he shared his mixed emotions on the 50s of stroke not being added. Finally, he reflected on whether the value of an Olympic swimming medal is lessened with more events added for a total of 35.

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar

    Rowdy Gaines is a treasure and the (almost) perfect swimming announcer. They don’t come any better.

    While I like at least most changes – adding the girls 1500 free – the mixed sex relay, I don’t like Rowdy’s argument for *equality* being the basis for having the boy and the girl events being identical. Putting equality as the key argument is a sad commentary on our society and social politics. If boys have something, girls have to get it too. If girls have something, boys have to get it too. Come on Rowdy, you are better than that.

Author: David Rieder

David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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