Swimming World Presents – A Voice For The Sport: Thinking Outside The Box

Voice For the Sport Tokyo Olympics pool

The latest issue of Swimming World Magazine
is now available for download in the Swimming World Vault!

Non-Subscribers Can Download This Issue Here

A Voice For The Sport: Thinking Outside The Box

By John Lohn

 

When the COVID-19 pandemic began to run rampant through North America last March, there was little thought this virus would remain a dictator for an entire year.

Yet, 12 months later, we are indeed still dealing with the coronavirus, its power continuing to affect all aspects of life. Healthcare workers have been pushed to their max. Many schools are operating in a hybrid form. Businesses—large and small—have faltered.

As the vaccine to counter COVID-19 is slowly distributed, we can only hope this two-prong step is successful in neutralizing what has been a global tragedy.

As the world seeks to move out from under the COVID Cloud, adaptation has proven to be a key trait in taking a step forward. And with the Olympic Games seemingly set to unfold in Tokyo this summer (following a one-year delay), our sport has demonstrated a measure of flexibility that deserves applause.

How can we provide athletes the chance to pursue their dreams during a pandemic? It is a question that had to be answered by sporting officials around the world. And swimming has operated in fine form by seeking out thoughtful and creative ways not to further punish individuals who have dedicated years of their lives to their sport.

A decision by Swimming Canada in late January nominated six athletes—five women and one man—to represent the Maple Leaf in Tokyo. With COVID-19 disrupting training and requiring significant restrictions on the Canadian Olympic Trials, the nation’s governing body for the sport opted for a path that honored the efforts of its top stars and alleviated worry, such as if COVID-19 struck during the qualifying process.

More, Swimming Canada still intends to hold a qualifying competition for those seeking to join the anointed six—Penny Oleksiak, Kylie Masse, Maggie MacNeil, Taylor Ruck, Sydney Pickrem and Markus Thormeyer. If an athlete performs at a high-enough level at Trials, he/she will also earn a ticket to Tokyo.

“What is being presented allows us to have more options in an uncertain situation,” said John Atkinson, Swimming Canada’s High Performance Director. “It gives us greater ability to nominate the best teams to represent Canada, and it gives the athletes greater ability to train and compete to make Team Canada.”

Not long after the Canadian announcement, USA Swimming unveiled its plans for a two-tier version of its Olympic Trials. After much deliberation, USA Swimming revealed a format that will consist of Wave I and Wave II competitions. The top two finishers in each event in Wave I will advance to the Wave II meet, which will feature the top athletes and serve as the selection event for Tokyo.

Behind a little creativity, USA Swimming developed a setup that will give more than a thousand athletes the chance to race at the Olympic Trials, while also ensuring that the best of the best are advantageously positioned to chase berths to the Olympic Games. Most important, the format respects the seriousness of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing.

“We figured out this was the best option and that it still allowed all athletes to have a crack at the Olympic Trials, which, for many athletes, is the pinnacle of their careers,” said Mike Unger, USA Swimming’s Chief Operating Officer. “But it also then allowed us to pick the best Olympic team.”

Most recently, Swim Ireland used its discretion to grant Shane Ryan and Darragh Green Olympic bids. In the days ahead, it would not be surprising to see additional governing bodies follow suit.

It will be interesting to see how the next few months unfold, and whether there is a need for further adjustments by governing bodies around the world. If nothing else, some of the early adaptations we have seen suggest open-minded approaches that deserve a tip of the cap.

John Lohn
Associate Editor-in-Chief
Swimming World Magazine

 

Click here to download the complete March 2021 issue, available now!

Swimming World March 2021 - Shane Casas - COVER[PHOTO CREDIT: CONNOR TRIMBLE]

 

Get Swimming World Magazine and Swimming World Biweekly FREE When You
Become A Member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame

New! 30 Day Membership to ISHOF AND Digital Swimming World Subscription for just $10 a month!

Want more? Get a 1 Year ISHOF Family Membership With Swimming World Print AND Digital Subscription Order Now!

Non-Subscribers can click here to download this issue for only $5.94

Swimming World March 2021 Issue

FEATURES

012 THIS SHOULD BE WELL WORTH THE WAIT
by Dan D’Addona
A year ago, all eyes were on Cal and Texas in what looked to be one of the greatest men’s NCAA Championship duels ever. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out that showdown, but spirits are running high one year later—not only for that much anticipated Cal-Texas confrontation, but for the simple fact that college swimmers will again be able to come together and compete at a national championship.

014 YES, VIRGINIA, NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOUR MOVE
by Dan D’Addona
For years, Stanford and Cal have been battling each other for national supremacy at women’s NCAAs, with the Cardinal and Golden Bears finishing 1-2 in the last three championships. Before that, Cal had put together four team titles since 2009. But in 2021, look for Virginia to make its move—not only as a new rival, but quite possibly as a new champion!

016 ALL SYSTEMS GO…FOR NOW!
by Andy Ross
Although the NCAA Division III and NAIA had canceled their championship swimming and diving meets in early February, NCAA  Division II was still a “go,” thereby preserving the possibility for Queens University of Charlotte to pursue its sixth straight men’s and women’s team titles.

018 DOC’S GUYS
by John Lohn
In the late 1960s into the early 1970s, Doc Counsilman’s Indiana University swimming program was a focal point of the sport. His legendary teams were a dominant presence not just on the collegiate scene, but also on the national—and international—stage.

021 THE “MOUNT RUSHMORE” OF NCAA DIVISION I SWIMMING
by Andy Ross
If there were a sculpture made of the top American NCAA Division I swimmers similar to the one depicting four U.S. Presidents on Mount Rushmore, Tracy Caulkins, Natalie Coughlin, Pablo Morales and John Naber would be worthy honorees. No other swimmer has won more NCAA D-I individual titles than those four.

024 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: OLYMPIC RIVALRIES OF YESTERYEAR
by John Lohn
Rivalries have always defined the sport. Michael Phelps vs. Ian Crocker. Gary Hall Jr. vs. Alexander Popov. Shirley Babashoff vs. East Germany. These are just a few rivalries that stand out and should long be remembered. But what about the rivalries from the early days of swimming? As our “Takeoff to Tokyo” series continues, Swimming World takes a look at some of these rivalries from yesteryear.

026 WHO IS THIS GUY?
by David Rieder
Before the summer of 2019, Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas had been swimming under the radar. But if his performances since then are any indication, the end results could be spectacular. His coaches see his potential as basically unlimited, and recent history makes it tough to disagree. As for Casas, he has similarly lofty expectations for himself.

029 ISHOF: THE VALUE OF SWIMMING IN WAR
by Bruce Wigo
In the early 1900s, there was scarcely an American alive who was unfamiliar with the name of Frederick Funston. He was the most decorated and celebrated hero of the Philippine-American War (1899-1902)—famous in military and swimming history for his willingness to have his men swim across rivers, under fire, when, according to press reports, “They couldn’t otherwise get at the enemy quickly enough to suit them.”

COACHING

041 SPECIAL SETS: BOWE KNOWS SWIMMING
by Michael J. Stott
Bowe Becker has trained with Sandpipers of Nevada coaches Ron Aitken and Cutter Haupt as well as Kelly Kremer at the University of Minnesota (2015-19). The eight-time NCAA All-American, Big Ten champion and conference record holder in the 50-100 free now swims with the ISL’s Cali Condors. Coach Haupt provides some sample workouts from November 2014, which were done prior to that year’s December sectionals.

043 Q&A WITH COACH MATT BARANY
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN MAGGIE PURCELL
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

040 DRYSIDE TRAINING:  PULLING POWER
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: LIAM CUSTER
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT PRINCE DABULAMANZI & THE BATTLE OF ISANDLWANA?

011 THE OFFICIAL WORD

032 2021 SWIM CAMP DIRECTORY

047 HASTY HIGH POINTERS

048 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.