Swimming World Presents – A Voice For The Sport: 2021 Can’t Come Soon Enough – By John Lohn

Voice FOr the Sport Tokyo Olympics pool

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A Voice For The Sport

2021 CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH

By John Lohn

 

Usually, columns that look at the coming year are written in December, just ahead of the flip of the calendar. That was my initial plan for this spot…until it hit me recently that I didn’t want to wait any longer. Like many individuals around the world, I’m done with 2020. Most notably due to COVID-19, it has been a brutal year, and 2021 cannot come soon enough. No, it may not be perfect, and it is likely to contain its share of challenges. But it can’t be worse than 2020, right?

So, I’m hitting the fast-forward button and looking ahead to the next year, specifically at a few developments that would bring a much-needed smile and tip of the cap.

No. 1: Let there be NCAA Championships in the winter sports. Last March, as COVID-19 took off in ferocity, we saw the men’s and women’s NCAA Champs get wiped out. For seniors, it was an unfortunate way for their collegiate careers to end. Even if the times might be foreign to most of the world, racing in short course yards is special to the United States, and watching the team atmosphere reign in a primarily individual sport is highly enjoyable.

No. 2: At the delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo, I would like to see Australian sprint star Cate Campbell claim the first individual Olympic title of her career. It doesn’t matter if the gold medal arrives in the 50 freestyle or 100 free. To see Campbell prevail in one of those events would be a more-than-appropriate result for a woman who has been superbly consistent and impressive throughout her career. The Australian carries herself with grace and has not been afraid to use her voice, whether speaking out against doping violators or arguing for better treatment of the athletes who are the reason the sport is a top Olympic draw.

No. 3: As the days wind down on his Hall of Fame career, it would be satisfying to see Ryan Lochte race in a fifth Olympiad. Although the veteran is no longer the force he was in the early 2010s, he has the ability to represent the United States in Tokyo in the 200 individual medley. Lochte has undoubtedly slipped up during his career, including his involvement in the infamous Rio gas station incident. But his talent in the pool is inarguable and largely underappreciated due to the shadow cast over him by Michael Phelps. To see Lochte exit the deck on the Olympic stage would be fitting.

No. 4: This hope is pretty much an impossibility, but in reaction to the cuts of several NCAA Division I programs, I would love to see a few schools announce the addition or reinstitution of a few squads. If I could select a specific program to be brought back, let me see the UCLA men competing once again, and rekindling the proud tradition the school snuffed out by the school’s administration in 1994.

No. 5: Finally, I’ll take an appearance in an Olympic final for Japan’s Rikako Ikee, the subject of last month’s “Voice for the Sport.” Since beating leukemia, Ikee has logged her first race and is building for a run at the 2021 Games. To see Ikee race in a home Olympics—with the crowd roaring as she is introduced—would be a wonderful development…and the antithesis of the doom and gloom that was so prevalent in 2020.

Maybe a few of these preferences will come true, but the biggest point here is this: As a world, we have endured a rough year, the pandemic causing the most angst and hurt. As 2021 approaches, there are sure to be a few more bumps. Yet, a positive attitude, search for bright spots and—most important—holding onto hope can go a long way toward enjoying a better year.

 

John Lohn
Associate Editor-in-Chief
Swimming World Magazine

 


SW October 2020 - Lia Neal - Working For Change COVER[PHOTO CREDIT: BECCA WYANT/FINIS, INC. PHOTOGRAPHY]

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Swimming World Magazine October 2020 Issue

FEATURES

012 WORKING FOR CHANGE
by David Rieder
In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, elite swimmers Lia Neal and Jacob Pebley created Swimmers for Change to promote diversity and to make swimming a more inclusive sport and a more inclusive community.

020 THE TROUBLE WITH SPRINTERS (Part 4): REVISITING THE CAREER OF GARY HALL JR.
by Bruce Wigo
As Dave Marsh and Mike Bottom explained in the previous issue, if there is a problem with sprinters, it is because, mentally, they are wired differently from other athletes. Potential trouble then seems to start when coaches and administrators are unable to understand their behavior and their needs. But while causing trouble for some, the aquatic sports world would not be where it is today without the rebellious personalities of sprinters.

026 DEFYING ALL ODDS
by John Lohn
There is no doubt that the Summer of 2004 remains the defining moment in South African swimming history. That’s when Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns, Darian Townsend and Ryk Neethling shocked the world with their Olympic gold medal and world record-setting performance in the men’s 400 meter freestyle relay in Athens.

COACHING

010 PLAN B: WHEN BEST-LAID PLANS GO AWRY
by Michael J. Stott
Bolstering swimmers—in sickness and health—is part and parcel of a coach’s job. When done right, everybody wins.

038 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DR. ANDERS ERICSSON’S CONCEPT OF DELIBERATE PRACTICE
by Rod Havriluk
Dr. Anders Ericsson left a vital legacy for athletes striving to become experts. His deliberate practice concept specifies the key components that help athletes progress to an expert level. The success of deliberate practice suggests that a coach prioritize deliberate practice strategies in team training and relegate conditioning to secondary importance.

040 SPECIAL SETS: MICHAEL PHELPS—FROM GOOD TO GREAT
by Michael J. Stott
The sets included in this article are taken from the 2001-02 short course and early long course season. They are a representative sample of Coach Bob Bowman’s early program in developing Michael Phelps as the greatest Olympic swimmer of all time.

043 Q&A WITH COACH DAN’L MURRAY
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN EMANUEL FAVA
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

030 DRYSIDE TRAINING: NO SEASON, NO RACING…NOW WHAT?
by J.R. Rosania
This pandemic has shut down our competition calendar. Whether it’s a high school, college, professional or Olympic season, we need to perform exercises that will help us stay strong, fast and explosive.

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: EMILY WAY
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

015 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

023 DID YOU KNOW? MARY HOERGER

031 PREP SCHOOL DIRECTORY

042 HASTY HIGH POINTERS

047 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT
Swimming World is now partnered with the International Swimming Hall of Fame. To find out more, visit us at ishof.org

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