Friday, August 08, 2008

Why I Hate Swimming

Swimming is an example of combinatorics gone wild. You have breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, then, 50, 100, 200, and 400 meters of each. Then, there's the medley relay. Thus, about a gazillion ways to win a gold in swimming.

In running or skiing, they just see who gets to the finish line fastest. If you want to run backwards, more power to ya. The fastest guy in breaststroke? Does anyone care who is the fastest sideways runner? I don't see why we should care about the stroke style, other than to pump up a medal count.

Then there's the neat story about how Nike paid Cullen Jones $1M+ because he's an inspiration. He's not one of the US's best swimmers, but he's black. I hope his medley wins, just to see the over-the-top news reports on how a black guy broke the color barrier, as if a black athlete is something that our nation needs to rid the stereotype that blacks can't compete in athletics.


Anonymous said...

If u want to just watch the "fastest across the pool" events just watch the freestyle. Its that simple. There are different events in skiing and track and field too: Swim backwards? What about jumping over a bunch of hurdles? Seriously, why should we care who can throw a stick (javelin) the farthest? If track and field was a real, manly sport, they would stick with tossing a big ass boulder. That would be a real achievement. Or in skiing, going around all those "damn annoying" gates? If skiing was a serious sport, it would be a balls to the wall sprint down! There would be one event, and it would be called, "Whoever gets down this damn mountain fastest is gold, everyone else is a loser" yea, thats it! as for the "first black" that can swim story, well, that is the media's creation.

Anonymous said...

There is a stereotype that blacks can't swim, as demonstrated in this video where Joe Frazier nearly drowns when racing other sports superstars:

Anonymous said...

I agree it's unfair to assign much meaning to the "most gold medals" title, other than it makes you the best swimmer ever, which is pretty impressive.

What I like about swimming is that world records are constantly being broken. I.e., this is a sport that is still rapidly changing and improving in terms of technology, training, etc.

Anonymous said...

Just about anything is more interesting when you know what is being accomplished and especially if you have attempted the thing being appreciated. Knowing how the depth of the pool, the number of lanes, how 20% of the race is spent under water, the strain of 17 races in 8 days, the differences between suits, etc. makes swimming kind of interesting.

Besides, where else can Two Jews and a black man help a white boy fulfill Olympic dreams?

Anonymous said...

i hate swimming too. I do far too much of it. If it were up to me I'd quit swimming tomorrow.

However, You're basically ignorant about the art of swimming regarding the different strokes.

But you're on to something with the lack of diversity in the sport. It's basically a white thing. Also rich white folks will send their brats to expensive team swim practice at public pools for all the rest of ordinary poor folk to watch, which gets depressing to after a while.

Also they will hire totally obnoxious russian swim coaches with possible mob connections to push you out of your lane for their one little kid, who's nice enough, but doesn't care that much about swimming, while his arrogant dad is up in the bleachers playing with his laptop and acting all important on his cell phone.

They also take over all the lanes with one kid per lane, obnoxious swim coach mothers.

They try to walk slow to stop you from getting to your lane.

I hate swimming...