Swimming World Presents “A Voice For The Sport – Olympic Delay: Potential Winners and Losers”

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A Voice For The Sport 
Olympic Delay: Potential Winners and Losers

By John Lohn

The countdown began anew on March 30. That was the day the International Olympic Committee announced the new dates for the Tokyo Games, which were postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Around the world, athletes across all sports redesigned their calendars and started a new march toward the next Olympiad.

For many, the need to adjust planning was a formality. It was something that had to be handled, and the athlete would react in the best manner possible. As ready as Caeleb Dressel was to make the summer of 2020 a defining moment in his career, the multi-time world champion will be just as prepared in July 2021. For someone at the peak of his career, the delay of a year will not make much of a difference.

However, the postponement will undoubtedly have an impact on some—in positive and negative fashion. For those returning from injury or blossoming into a global force, the extra year is an opportunity to fine-tune skills to make them factors on the biggest stage in the sport. In a way, the delay is a reprieve…or a redshirt season of sorts.

Of course, there is always a flip side of the coin. What about the athletes toward the end of their career? Can they remain competitive enough to make 2021 meaningful and walk away into the next stage of their lives the way they envisioned? Or will Father Time—he of undefeated status—deliver his infamous knockout blow?

How the Olympic delay affects next year’s Games will come down to the way athletes embrace its reality. Accept the postponement as a part of life, and mental obstacles will be dodged. Lament the turn of events from March, and a psychological wall might be constructed. Obviously, there is a more advantageous approach to take.

Regardless of the adopted attitude, the postponement of the Tokyo Games will almost certainly provide distinct examples of athletes who benefited and individuals who were damned. From the category of upstart, Carson Foster is someone who may reap rewards from the delay. Although he is already a highly appreciated talent who was expected to contend for a Tokyo berth this summer, a year under the watch of Eddie Reese at the University of Texas, where Foster will be a freshman in the fall, is likely to have him even more prepared to battle deep competition at the United States Olympic Trials next June.

The extra year for Foster is an opportunity to further grow, and the same can be said for other rising talents, such as American teens Torri Huske and the Walsh sisters, Alex and Gretchen. Barring injury, they should enter the 2021 Trials stronger, more polished and more prepared than they would have been for 2020.

“Overall, it is definitely not going to hurt me in any way,” Huske said of the delay. “It will only help me and set me up to do even better.”

If surging youngsters can be considered beneficiaries of the Olympic postponement, so can those who have dealt with injury or illness. No athlete wants to enter an Olympiad or an Olympic Trials uncertain if his or her body is prepared. With the delay, the likes of Bronte Campbell (shoulder) and Nathan Adrian (testicular cancer) know they will have a more solid block of training ahead of them, provided they do not face additional physical issues.

For someone such as Ryan Lochte, who will turn 36 later this summer, the question is simple: Can he fight off “old age” for one more year? Lochte took a glass-half-full outlook concerning the delay. Rather than fear time, he opted to view the situation favorably.

“It’s a minor bump, but I got to look at the positives of this,” Lochte said when the Games were postponed. “I get to have another year of training, another year of getting better, working on my technique and getting stronger in and out of the water. I think I’m going to become an even better and faster swimmer than I am right now.”

Come next summer, we’ll have a clear idea of who benefited from the Olympic delay and who was sabotaged. What we know now is this: Both categories will be filled.

John Lohn
Associate Editor-in-Chief
Swimming World Magazine

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Swimming World Magazine July 2020 Issue

FEATURES

017 A NEW HOPE
by Dan D’Addona
The COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the globe and changed the lives of everyone in the world. Now, there is some light at the end of the tunnel as the world struggles to find normalcy again.

020 ISHOF: “CALLING ALL TROUBLEMAKERS”
by Bruce Wigo
Sprinters are a different breed of swimmer. They’re not just free spirits, but they seem to be rule breakers and troublemakers who also are catalysts for positive change. In the first of a two-part feature, Swimming World takes a look at the stories of two of the most well-known female sprinters who fit this image: Dawn Fraser and Eleanor Holm.

023 GREAT SCOT(T)
by David Rieder
Scotland’s Duncan Scott should be an Olympic medal threat next year in the 100 and 200 free and maybe even the 200 IM, and he will be a key cog for British 800 free and 400 medley relays with gold medal aspirations.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: A STAR OF SWIMMING…AND HOLLYWOOD
by John Lohn
The latest installment of our Takeoff to Tokyo series looks at the career of the legendary Johnny Weissmuller, one of the first stars in the sport, and then a Hollywood hero.

COACHING

012 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: THE VALUE OF HAND FORCE ANALYSIS: PART IV—FREESTYLE
by Rod Havriluk
The first three articles in this series (Part I—Butterfly, Part II—Backstroke and Part III—Breaststroke) presented information about the value of using hand force analysis to reinforce positive technique elements and identify limitations. The current article includes more general information about force analysis with a freestyle example.

014 AEROBIC OVERLOAD: VOLUME REVISITED (Part 2)
by Michael J. Stott
Last month, Swimming World examined the role of volume in aquatic training. This month, some of America’s most successful swimmers share how volume shaped their development.

042 Q&A WITH COACH TOM JOHNSON
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN EMILY OVERHOLT AND MARKUS THORMEYER
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

011 DRYSIDE TRAINING: THE NEED FOR STRENGTH
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: ZACH TOWER
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

010 THE OFFICIAL WORD

019 DID YOU KNOW? NO TO TOPLESS BATHING; HIGH DIVING; AND FIRST FULLY AUTOMATIC ELECTRONIC TIMING SYSTEM

029 2020 AQUATIC DIRECTORY

041 DADS ON DECK

047 GUTTERTALK

048 PARTING SHOT

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