Swimming World September 2021 Presents – Voice For The Sport: The Essence Of Sport – By Brent Rutemiller

Voice For the Sport Tokyo Olympics pool

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Voice For The Sport: The Essence Of Sport

By Brent Rutemiller

Has sport at the Olympic level lost its essence and morphed into an athlete becoming the symbol of a sport versus the participant in sport?

When that line is crossed, lessons no longer have meaning, and the athlete now represents more than her or himself. As a symbol, the athlete now represents agents, corporations, governing bodies, marketing firms and sponsors…AND all THEIR agendas. That is a dangerous place to be.

I always thought that the essence of sport is for us to find ourselves. To learn how to perfect a skill. To learn how to exercise mind control. To accept the ups and downs that mirror real life. To learn to overcome setbacks and to accept victory in a humble way.

I always thought that the essence of sport is to set goals and learn how to achieve them no matter how high or hard or how long it takes to accomplish.

I always thought that the essence of sport is to find your demon, confront it and defeat it. To learn how to overcome mental blocks and debilitating defeats. To teach us about ourselves and to carry those lessons into real life.

One of the greatest lessons that sport teaches us is how to learn to control our mind in the most pressure-packed moments and to learn from it. To take those lessons into real life so you can deal with real issues like divorce, family death, job loss, illness and financial disaster.
You don’t win in sport as much as you win in life.

But when the platform of Olympic sports is no longer a sport, but a profession or job, it loses its essence and moves onto an entirely different platform.

This is the precipice where we find ourselves today.

It is the sports’ governing bodies, staff and coaches that need to put safeguards in place to focus on the performance and not the outcome. To prevent mental health issues by presenting mental growth as a healthy result of participation and mindfulness.

We must not lose the essence of sport, and no athlete should ever become a symbol of the sport. That stops the learning progression and places an unfair burden on the individual and, thus, lays the groundwork for real mental health issues.

The essence of sport is to improve mental health—not to break it down.

Brent T. Rutemiller
Publisher of Swimming World Magazine
CEO of International Swimming Hall of Fame
“If you want to win, first help someone else win!”

To access the full issue of Swimming World September 2021, click here to download now!

Swimming World September 2021 - Golden Boy Caeleb Dressel Puts On A Show In Tokyo With 5 Gold Medals and 2 World Records - COVER
[PHOTO BY ROB SCHUMACHER / USA Today Sports]

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FEATURES

2020 TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES
by John Lohn, Dan D’Addona, 
Matthew De George and David Rieder

010  |  LIKE NO OTHER
There has never been an Olympics like the one held in Tokyo from July 23 through Aug. 8. Even the Games themselves were known as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games despite the fact that the actual event was held a year later! Yet, once the competition got started—at venues without any spectators—the XXXII Olympiad provided all of the anticipated emotions, surprises, goal fulfillments and more.

014 | MALE PERFORMANCE OF THE MEET: Caeleb Dressel (100 Fly)

014 | FEMALE PERFORMANCE OF THE MEET: Tatjana Schoenmaker (200 Breast)

015 | BEST WOMEN’S RELAY PERFORMANCE: Australia (400 Freestyle Relay)

016 | BEST MEN’S RELAY PERFORMANCE: USA (400 Medley Relay)

017 | BEST INDIVIDUAL RELAY PERFORMANCE: Adam Peaty (100 Breast/400 Medley Relay)

018 | BIGGEST UPSET/SURPRISE: Ahmed Hafnaoui (400 Free) & Lydia Jacoby (100 Breast)

019 | BREAKOUT PERFORMER: Bobby Finke (800 and 1500 Free)

020 | COUNTRY ON THE RISE: Italy

021 | RESILIENCE AWARD: Sarah Sjostrom (50 Free)

022 | OLYMPIC PHOTO GALLERY

027  |  RETURN TO NO. 1
by David Rieder
After a two-season absence as Swimming World’s girls’ high school national champions, Carmel High School (Ind.) has returned to claim its seventh overall team title since 2011.

029  |  SWIMMING WORLD MAGAZINE’S GIRLS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET
by Bob Klapthor

031  | MAKING HISTORY
by Dan D’Addona
Carmel High School (Ind.) is the first school in 21 years to have both its girls’ and boys’ swimming teams win Swimming World’s national high school championships in the same year—a feat last accomplished by Bolles (Fla.) in 2000.

033  |  SWIMMING WORLD MAGAZINE’S BOYS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET
by Bob Klapthor

COACHING

038  |  WHAT COACHES WISH PROSPECTS KNEW ABOUT RECRUITING
by Michael J. Stott
When it comes to college recruiting, swim coaches agree: they’re looking at much more than swimming times. They’re evaluating the whole package: academic, athletic, personal… and more!

041  |  SPECIAL SETS: ERIN GEMMELL—OLYMPIC BLOODLINES
by Michael J. Stott
Bruce Gemmell of Nation’s Capital Swim Club provides an interesting capsule of coaching for his 16-year-old daughter, Erin, as she prepared for her first U.S. Olympic Trials experience and earned a spot on the U.S. Junior team headed for the Berlin and Budapest World Cup stops in October.

043  |  Q&A WITH COACH JEFF JULIAN
by Michael J. Stott

044  |  HOW THEY TRAIN  TRENTON JULIAN
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

037   |  DRYSIDE TRAINING:  GOLD MEDAL WORKOUT (PART 2)
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

047  |  UP & COMERS:  HENRY WEBB
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008  |  A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

040  |  THE OFFICIAL WORD

046  |  HASTY HIGH POINTERS

048  |  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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