Swimming World Presents – Who “Shot” the Swimmers? A History of Swimming Through the Eyes of Photojournalists

Swimming World January 2021 - Who Shot The Swimmers - The History of Swimming Through The Eyes of Photojournalists - Reifenstahl and Ertl filming in life raft
Leni Reifenstahl (L) and Hans Ertl filming in life raft [PHOTO CREDIT: ISHOF]

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Who “Shot” the Swimmers?
A History of Swimming Through the Eyes of Photojournalists

By Bruce Wigo
PHOTOS BY INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME

This is the first part of a series that highlights an International Swimming Hall of Fame exhibit showing the history of swimming through the eyes of the photojournalists who have covered the aquatic sports for more than 150 years.

Without cameras and the photographers who have used them, and fading memories. It is through the miracle of photography that the heroes and great moments of the past and present are remembered and will live on.

For most of the early years of sports photography, photographers were technically handicapped by primitive equipment, limiting photos to posed images of swimmers.

THE GENIUS OF HANS ERTL
The first major breakthrough in photography came with the development of the hand-held, 35mm Leica camera in the 1920s. But the first great photographer, whose creativity and innovations ignited the imaginations and artistic genius of future generations was Hans Ertl.

Ertl was born in Munich, Germany in 1908 and first made a name for himself as an expert mountaineer and mountain guide. His career took a turn when he was hired as a stuntman for mountain films that were popular in Germany in the early 1930s. It was during these shoots that he became fascinated with filmmaking. After teaching himself the principles of photography, he began working as an assistant cameraman. He was a workaholic, extremely ambitious, and he soon developed his own creative and innovative techniques.

THE RISE OF LENI RIEFENSTAHL
Ertl’s work at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, greatly impressed Leni Riefenstahl. Born in 1902, Riefenstahl’s early childhood was marked by a love of the outdoors, climbing trees, running and swimming. “Nothing was too high for me or too steep or too dangerous,” she later recalled.

Then she discovered dancing, and by her early 20s, she was performing all across Europe until an injury forced her off the stage and into acting. Between 1925 and 1929, she starred in five successful motion pictures before realizing her dream of writing and directing herself in a film called Das Blaue Licht (The Blue Light) in 1931. When it was released in 1932, the script and her acting received mixed reviews, but the cinematography received universal acclaim.

“I can’t remember a single picture in which every shot had such startling beauty,” raved the critique in the New York Times.


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SW January 2021 - Cover - Michael Andrew - Taking the Road Less Traveled[PHOTO BY MINE KASABOGLU/ISL]

 

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Swimming World Magazine January 2021 Issue

FEATURES

011 A YEAR LIKE NONE OTHER
by Dan D’Addona
The top story of 2020—the COVID-19 pandemic—impacted all of the year’s stories in aquatics…from age group, high school, college and Masters competition all the way to the Olympics!

012 THE TOP 10 PERFORMANCES OF THE MILLENNIUM’S FIRST 20 YEARS (2000-19)
by John Lohn
One month after we selected the Swimmers of the Millennium (to this point), we have picked the top 10 performances of the millennium’s first 20 years. The swims that were selected were not just based on speed, but carried a certain level of significance or marked a defining moment in the sport.

020 TAKING THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
by David Rieder
Michael Andrew has been the target of criticism the last seven-and-a-half years for his decision to turn pro at 14, his unique training style (USRPT), his training plan and more. But he’s also enjoyed success along the way and is ready to move to the next level as he prepares to qualify for the 2021 Olympics.

024 WHO “SHOT” THE SWIMMERS?
by Bruce Wigo
This is the first part of a series that highlights an International Swimming Hall of Fame exhibit showing the history of swimming through the eyes of the photojournalists who have covered the aquatic sports for more than 150 years.

028 A SHOOTING STAR IN SEOUL
by John Lohn
American Matt Biondi had it all. The physique. The pure talent. The inner drive. Add those traits together, and it is no surprise that Matt Biondi—over the span of three Olympiads—cultivated one of the finest careers the sport has ever seen.

031 2020 WORLD & AMERICAN RECORD PROGRESSION
compiled by Andy Ross

033 NUTRITION: IF YOU WANT TO BE AN OLYMPIAN OR WORLD CHAMPION, THEN TRAIN LIKE ONE!
by Dawn Weatherwax
A strong immune system means fewer days out of the water.

038 MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH OLIVIA SMOLIGA
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COACHING

015 SELLING PROCESS TO SWIMMERS (Part 1)
by Michael J. Stott
In 1993, Swedish cognitive psychologist Anders Ericsson wrote that greatness wasn’t born, but grown. His ideas later formed the basis for the “10,000-hour rule” described in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers” (2008), which holds that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a skill or field. Known by the term, “process,” to coaches, Swimming World details how they use that learning curve to improve the performance of their swimmers.

036 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: FREESTYLE TECHNIQUE FOR SPRINT AND DISTANCE (Part 1)
by Rod Havriluk
Many sources suggest that swimmers use a different freestyle technique for sprint and distance events. However, science (both physics and research) shows us that a swimmer can optimize performance in events of all distances by using the same arm motion with a different arm coordination.

040 SPECIAL SETS: TOUGH SETS THE DON SWARTZ WAY
by Michael J. Stott
Don Swartz, now at North Bay Aquatics, was Rick DeMont’s coach at Marin Aquatic Club in the early 1970s when he set world records in the 400 and 1500 meter freestyle. The halcyon era was a time of mega yardage being done by the likes of DeMont and fellow Olympians Brian Goodell, Bobby Hackett and Australia’s Steven Holland. When it came to designing tough sets, you could say that Swartz had a front row seat.

043 Q&A WITH COACH KATIE ROBINSON
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN MIRIAM GUEVARA
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

035 DRYSIDE TRAINING: RESOLUTIONS FOR SWIMMING FASTER IN 2021!
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

047 UP & COMERS: LEVENIA SIM
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

027 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT SPORTS CARTOONS?

042 THE OFFICIAL WORD

046 GUTTERTALK

048 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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