SwimmingWorldMagazine.com Rewind: 10-Year Splashback – January 1997

By Jason Marsteller

PHOENIX, Arizona, January 28. IN the final January Splashback of the month, SwimmingWorldMagazine.com Rewind looks at the 1997 edition of Swimming World Magazine.

January 1997 Table of Contents
The Last Shall Be First By Jeff Prior – 28
Lenny Krayzelburg has gone from dead last at NCAAs last year to double backstroke champion at senior nationals.

Popov's Back…But Don't Expect Miracles By Craig Lord – 30
World record holder Alex Popov is back in the water after recovering from a stabbing wound that nearly killed him. But the psychological damage may be longer lasting than the physical damage.

Commentary By Phil Whitten – 31
Why are people saying all those nasty things about a nice Irish girl like Michelle Smith? Swimming World explains why.

Paint The Town Cardinal Red By Brady Bingham – 33
The Stanford Cardinal will vie for their sixth straight NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championship.

Too Close To Call By Bob Ingram – 38
With four teams ready to contend for this year's men's NCAA Division I Championships, Swimming World gives the edge to Michigan.

Kidz Korner – 19
TYR Age Group Swimmers of the Month – 20
Speedo American Relay – 22
AquaZoids – 25
U.S. Swimming News – 26

Editor's Note – 6
Mailbox – 8
Lane 9 – 12
Nutrition – 18
Statistics: Less Is Better – 44
For The Record – 46
Calendar – 51
1997 Major Events – 53
Classified Ads – 54
SwimMart – 55
FYI: Product World – 60
Ad Index – 61
Parting Shots – 62

Tennessee's Jeremy Linn, who captured the Olympic silver medal in the 100 meter breast with an American record, will be the defending champion in the 100 yard breast at the men's NCAA Division I Championships this March. At the women's NCAAs, Stanford, led by Claudia Franco, will be going for six straight team titles. (Cover photo by Tim Morse)

Here is an excerpt of the commentary piece on Michelle Smith written by Phillip Whitten that starts on page 31:

One of the great stories to come out of the Olympic swimming competition was the success of the "little" countries.

Though the United States won all six relays and dominated the medal count, and traditional powers such as Germany, Russia and Australia did well, swimmers from Belgium, South Africa, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Ireland also struck gold. Hungary, another small nation–but one that has a long history of Olympic swimming success—also did extremely well, winning three gold medals. Other countries-among them Israel, the Bahamas and Barbados–placed swimmers in the finals for the first time ever.

International parity is now a fact of life–and one that should be celebrated. It bodes well for the future of our sport.

The one discordant note in this symphony of swimming success has been the accusations of doping leveled against Ireland's unheralded Michelle Smith, a one-woman Irish wrecking crew who took three gold medals and one bronze back to her exuberant countrymen on the Emerald Isle. Smith and her supporters fired back, claiming that Americans and others who were accusing the wee Irish lass of doping were jealous or did not want to see swimmers from small nations succeed. Even President Bill Clinton got into the act, likening the charges hurled against Smith the accusations political opponents have made against him.

But Smith and her supporters are wrong in arguing that suspicions and charges of doping are motivated by nationalism, jealousy, racism, anti-Irish feelings, small nations feelings or disappointment that Janet Evans was knocked out of the final by Smith in the 400 free.

For the complete Swimming World Magazine article by Phillip Whitten, click here.

Premium online subscribers can view the entire January 1997 edition of the magazine, as well as any other edition of the magazine back to 1960. To order a premium subscription, please click here.

Cover, January 1997 Back