As Jacco Verhaeren packs his thoughts and bags for a life as head coach to the Dolphins in Australia and great prospects ahead, we reflect on a moment in history when soaring Dutch Olympic prospects Down Under were dashed by politics; at one stage, Jan Stender was a coach who could boast a unique achievement – eight world record holders he coached lived on one street in Hilversum … but none got to race at Melbourne 1956, where a Dutchman was voted in as FINA president
Welcome to our collation of feature articles. Here you can find profiles, analysis of topical themes, consideration of long-term issues that reverberate in the world of swimming and obituaries.
Coach Fred Vergnoux talks to SwimVortex about the challenges of helping Spain to reign in the pool and the work underway to take the examples of the likes of aquatic matador(a) Mireia Belmonte and Melani Costa and have their toil and achievement ripple and roll out to the regions; Belmonte, meanwhile, is in a ‘transition’ year on the way to setting her Rio 2016 goals
In the US, holidays are approaching and with them will come long-held traditions, writes guest author Chuck Warner before he asks ‘What do you renew each year in your life? Your annual meal, phone call or visit?’. A simple “thank you” to a coach, a child, a teammate or a parent might be something they will remember the rest of their life. The richest reward of your own traditions may exist inside your self. For the eternal life we lead is the result of our personal traditions and those we share with the people closest to us
Thinking ahead: in her bid to leave her rivals breathless, not to mention speechless, at the end of sprint races, world 100m champion Cate Campbell is to harness lessons learned on recent world-cup tour: her aim is to dash to gold without taking a breath sometime on the way to the Rio Olympics. Her campaign is flushed with oxygen today with news that the Australian sprinter has signed a contract with Arena, the Italy based elite swim kit brand bearing the three diamonds
Is your approach to competitive swimming as a coach, athlete or parent out of the mainstream? Do you think differently…outside the box? Then consider your perspective to what Coach Ray Bussard injected into the sport during his relatively short, 21-year coaching career, writes guest author and coach Chuck Warner in his latest Lessons From Legends column
Australia’s Grant Hackett, one of the greats of distance swimming, leads the Class of 2014 champions and contributors heading for International Swimming Hall of Fame induction; by the time Hackett fell a finger shy of a third Olympic 1500m crown in 2008, he had stacked up a cumulonimbus of pioneering standards over 30 and 60 laps – “It is one-for-all, all-for one. It has to be like that, we all understand it and we all benefit from it. Some people say a swimmer goes to his blocks alone but that’s only partly true. I go knowing that I have my entire team with me. I carry them in my heart and my heart leaps out of my chest” – Hackett
Guest writer Chuck Warner considers the lessons to be learned from fellow US coach Bill Rose and his wife Siga at Mission Viejo Nadadores – from a time before the 10,000 challenge taken on by Mike Bruner through to Bill preparing charges for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio at 70 years young; “While many coaches in America have flocked to collegiate coaching and a seemingly easier lifestyle, greater job security and a chance to pick over the world’s top talent, the Roses continue to build swimmers from the proverbial cradle to the grave”
The USA has never lost a Duel in the Pool, neither in the days when it took in Australians and others nor since the start of swimming’s fledgling Ryder Cup in 2009. The clash of 36 European All-Stars and 33 Americans at Glasgow’s Tollcross on December 20-21 may well be the toughest challenge for the visiting squad; the hosts include: Florent Manaudou, Frederick Bousquet, Fabien Gilot, Jeremy Stravius, Yannick Agnel, Radoslaw Kawecki, Chris Walker-Hebborn, Yannick Lebherz, Michael Jamieson, Andrew Willis, Damir Dugonjic, Konrad Czerniak, Velimir Stjepanovic, Roberto Pavoni, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Francesca Halsall, Femke Heemskerk, Jeanette Ottesen-Gray, Camille Muffat, Lotte Friis, Melani Costa; Jazmin Carlin, Daryna Zevina, Sophie Allen, Hannah Miley and Mireia Belmonte; the visitors include Ryan Lochte, Tyler Clary, Katie Ledecky, Anthony Ervin, Jimmy Feigen, Cullen Jones, Eugene Godsoe, Jessica Hardy, Chase Kalisz and Conor Dwyer
The Swimnex™ table 2012 has been updated to draw a picture of the Rio 2016 Olympic podium across all Olympic events: the Games in Brazil or moments between then and now will witness 7 men’s world records and 8 women’s world records; 14 shiny suit times will not be surpassed, the count suggests
Each week around the world, swimmers, coaches, clubs and programs contribute to their communities with inspiration, guidance and acts of giving. In our new series, SwimVortex.com considers the Ripple Effect of the good work that spills beyond the pool. Australian Olympic medallist Tommaso D’Orsogna is in focus in his part of the world this week, having helped highlight water safety at a fundraiser at Peter McMahon’s Swim Factory
Chuck Warner on the method of the man behind Demont. At his ASCA Hall of Fame induction, Don Swartz said: “You know an interesting thing about life is that when you’re born, you’re crying and everyone else is smiling. And if you’ve lived your life well, when you die, you’re smiling and everyone else is crying”
One of the best breaststrokers in history, Brendan Hansen has embarked on a new chapter in his life, becoming a partner and coach for Lost Creek Aquatics in Austin, Texas.
Faith Leech, Olympic relay champion and 100m freestyle podium placer at Melbourne 1956 alongside Australian teammates Dawn Fraser and Lorainne Crapp, has passed away at the age of 72; to make up for a lack of pool, she worked on dry land, silting freestyle action by using a pulley attached to the kitchen door at the family home
In a chat with SwimVortex.com on the cusp of a question and answer session with coaches at the American Swimming Coaches Association World Clinic in New Orleans, Bob Bowman explained why he and his team in Baltimore are in the process of rebuilding the age program that gave rise to Michael Phelps and how and why the North Baltimore Aquatic Club is a success
Given the enjoyment she took from her scholastic days at Regis Jesuit, it reasons Missy Franklin is beyond eager to open her collegiate career at California-Berkeley. While Franklin has commenced training with the Golden Bears under the guidance of Teri McKeever, she’ll soon get into the mix of the thing she says she loves the most about swimming – the team atmosphere.
The hidden danger of practising underwater breath-holding. This would be, said Bob Bowman standing next to Cathy Bennett (the woman who taught Michael Phelps to swim) and addressing the ASCA World Clinic in New Orleans, “pretty painful and personal … the most important information I have ever given to coaches”. In the interests of education and prevention, here is the story of Louis Lowenthal, who lost his life in the days after Shallow Water Blackout struck at NBAC
American swim coaches gathered for their annual conference in New Orleans have received a dire warning about the suspected use of banned substances, including Human Growth Hormone, among young athletes in the United States as a consequence of a social fashion among the swimmers’ parents to use drugs forbidden in sport in their pursuit of youthful looks; the cost challenge for WADA, national agencies and international federations
Now that the World Junior Championships have concluded and with another month to go before the resumption of the FINA World Cup Series, it is a relatively slow time in the sport. As a result, it seemed like a good time to cruise through history and put together a lineup for the best all-time squad the United States could send into international competition
As one season comes to a close on the cusp of a World Junior Championships that will whet our appetite with the spray of the next wave, SwimVortex.com reflects on events at the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona. John Lohn hands out grades to the top nations, while Craig Lord considers the shifting tiding of world swimming, including an interim glance at our 2013 Swim League of Nations
The 15th edition of the World Championships wrapped up a little more than a week ago, which means there has been enough time to digest what took place at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona. As a result, SwimVortex has developed some brief report cards which grade the performances of various countries over the eight days of the World Champs. The Grades Are In: Men
The 15th FINA World Championships wrapped up two weeks ago, which means there has been enough time to digest what took place at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona. As a result, SwimVortex has developed some brief report cards which grade the performances of various countries over the eight days of the World Champs. The Grades Are In: Women
With just a few strokes remaining in the 100-meter butterfly duel between Michael Phelps and Milorad Cavic at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Phelps’ pursuit of eight gold medals looked over. Cavic had a visible lead, until Phelps dipped into his bag of magic tricks and pulled out an improbable victory.
SwimVortex’s cub correspondent Tristan Helmstaedt caught up with Katinka Hosszu in Berlin and asked ‘what you gonna do with all that money’ and what follows two world titles and 6 world s/c records
World Championships, 2013: links to our coverage of all finals and the stats file for each day showing the impact of the session on the all-time rankings top 10, textile and all suits, performers and performances – plus and overview of the meet on medals, finalists, world records set and the new world textile bests
The pioneers: what a week this was for Australian pioneer Sarah Frances “Fanny” Durack 101 years ago. The first woman to win an Olympic swimming title, Durack not only claimed the inaugural crown of crowns, the 100m freestyle, at Stockholm 1912, she also won a battle against the men who told her she could not compete and even when they changed their minds told her to pay her own passage to Sweden
The Pioneers: On this day 101 years ago, Canadian pioneer George Ritchie Hodgson (October 12, 1893 – May 1, 1983) clocked 22 minutes precisely to win the 1912 Olympic 1500m freestyle crown in Stockholm. Four days later, the only Canadian swimmer at the Games that year would add the 400m title, two triumphs that would make him the Canada’s only Olympic gold medal winner in the pool until Alex Baumann’s medley double in 1984
The United States has been the globe’s aquatic power for eons, and even as the country undergoes a transition period – replacing Phelps, Hansen, et al – there is no reason to believe the Red, White and Blue won’t remain on the top of the world pedestal. Here’s a glimpse at some of the storylines shaping up for the World Championships.
Now that Missy Franklin has completed her schedule at the United States National Championships, we can start looking ahead to what the Missile will be able to do at the World Championships next month in Barcelona. If history is any indication, Franklin will be even better than she was at Nationals. After all, the teenager has always flourished on the international stage.
The USA Nationals are done, the world titles form guide is taking its final form before battle in Barcelona from July 28 to August 4 – the US approaches its first major meet in a decade without Michael Phelps in its armoury of quartets. Here’s the top 8 start list for the 4x100m free at World Champs based on top 4 times per nation
“You mention the word “committees” in your next sentence and for those at the highest level of international sport, we all know that if you want to destroy high performance or compromise growth, then form a committee. This will do it quicker than anything else” – Bill Sweetenham in his open letter to Sir Clive Woodward, whose criticism of Australian sport has caused a storm Down Under
In an exclusive interview with SwimVortex, Ryan Lochte and his mentor at the Gators in Florida, head coach Gregg Troy explain the post-Barcelona world titles plan for the planet’s most versatile swimmer still in the swim; Gainesville will remain Lochte’s base but he will travel to work with programs around the world, possibly as far adrift as Australia, on a learning curve designed to make him a force in his 30s at Rio 2016
Fun follows Missy Franklin, and Missy Franklin follows fun. That’s the way of the world for the effervescent American teenager, she of immense athletic talent and equally skilled in the personality department. The young woman probably sleeps with a smile on her face, and it is this bubbly approach which plays a big role in her success.
This is the weekend 13 years ago when Sprint Tsar Alexander Popov rattle the world of sprinting with a 21.64 world mark over 50m free; the standard stood until the advent of shiny suits and while those helped the world sprint crew to understand how it might get beyond the legendary Russian, it was Popov who raised the bar four years beyond building a unique plinth in the pantheon with four Olympic sprint crowns to his credit
Roland Matthes, the most successful backstroke swimmer in history, was allowed to buy “forbidden” music in GDR times and still has most of the Cat Stevens vinyl he bought and “almost everything by The Beatles”. But don’t imagine the 62-year-old sitting in his armchair in his slippers humming to Eleanor Rigby. His latest concerts: Gossip and Pink. The Rolls Royce of backstroke won the 1st world titles 40 years ago
With the retirement of Michael Phelps, several spots will be open when the United States holds its world-title trials at the end of the month. In the 100 butterfly, Tom Shields is among the leading contenders to represent the USA in Barcelona: qualification would go a long way in furthering his long-course status. [Photo: Michael Pimentel, GoldenBearSports.com]
SwimVortex talks to coach Jon Rudd and considers what’s gone and what next for Ruta Meilutyte, the Plymouth-based Lithuanian who steps up to race in Monte Carlo on Mare Nostrum Tour today as she approaches the first World Champs of the new Olympic cycle, no longer a prospect but a proven force and looking every bit like a champion about to capitalise on the surprise of London 2012 [Photo: courtesy of Arena]
Olympic history is rewritten: the victorious “Great Britain” water polo team of the Paris 1900 Games not quite the one that was listed by the IOC and Olympic references galore. Today, SwimVortex can reveal the result of research by British swimming historian and archivist Wendy Coles and the actual list of those who did take part in the final 113 years ago
Obituary: Esther Williams, an American teenage swimming champion who became a Hollywood star in a decade of water shows and aquatic extravaganzas that did much to put water sports on the map, died today in Beverly Hills, California. She was 91. Williams made synchronised swimming – or water ballet – glamourous long before it became an official sport
Long known for producing rising stars, the United States is once again flush with some up-and-comers who might eventually make an impact in international competition. Keep an eye on this bunch, including Simone Manuel, a sprinter who could bolster a weak point for the American women.
Leading lights in FINA are having second thoughts about a proposal that would allow dolphin kicking to 15m out of starts on breaststroke in the face of clear opposition from Australia and the United States, among others brandishing a message of ‘leave well alone and let the tech talk where it can do some good’; Australia’s technical committee reached unanimous rejection vote on FINA proposal [Photo: Swimming Australia]
One of the most-used adages in society revolves around a glass. For some, it is always half-empty. These folks view the world primarily through negative lenses. They’re waiting for bad news. Others always view the glass as half-full, opting to take a positive view on life. These people tend to boast high levels of determination. There is little doubt to which group Elizabeth Pelton belongs [Photo: GoldenBearSports.com]
Whichever way you count it (shiny or not), butterfly has come a long way since the first world record was established on the stroke 60 years ago this week; on May 31, 1953, Gyorgy Tumpek, of Hungary, wowed a home crown in Budapest with a 1:04.3 swim over 100m. That was the first butterfly world record and the first of six global standards he would set over two laps. A new era had begun [Photo: USA Swimming]
May 1953 and again in 1957 will forever represent watershed moments in the sport of swimming. Sixty years ago today, butterfly celebrated its first official world record and 56 years ago the sport witnessed a wave of world records established under new rules that only recognised global efforts if swam in pools 50 metres (or 55 yards) long
Sometimes, the world around someone can change in an instant. Christian Sprenger knows the feeling, the sport’s roller coaster taking the Australian to lofty highs and a handful of lows. No matter the situation, Sprenger has handled his career admirably and faces the World Championships with a spring in his step
The title of his reality television show asks, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” Maybe a more appropriate question at this time of the year is this: What will Ryan Lochte do? As in, what can we expect from Lochte when he climbs the blocks in Indianapolis next month for the chance to represent the United States at this summer’s World Championships in Barcelona?
In an exclusive interview with SwimVortex, coach Fabrice Pellerin reveals that his former charge and the Olympic 200m free champ for Gaul Yannick Agnel is with Phelps mentor Bob Bowman as of yesterday on Whit Sunday; “I wish Yannick a good journey but I can no longer worry about his future … Nothing regarding Yannick is in my hands any longer.” Agnel to announce tomorrow his reasons for quitting
SwimVortex interview with Coach Fabrice Pellerin in French; “Rien de ce qui concerne Yannick n’est plus entre mes mains aujourd’hui”
Updated With Comment from Breeja Larson
By the time the World Championships in Barcelona are over, the state of the breaststroke could be altered forever. This summer, FINA will decide on a rule-change proposal allowing unlimited dolphin kicks to the 15m off the start. Current and former swimmers and coaches tell SwimVortex why they oppose the move
Lessons From Legends: After each season, and often after each race, a swimmer faces the question: Is my best effort good enough? This is especially true when the result of one’s effort is disappointing. Guest author Chuck Warner considers the case of Shirley Babashoff
ISHOF ’13: What a day this is at the International Swimming Hall of Fame at Fort Lauderdale in Florida: Hoogie, Hall Jr and the most successful woman medley swimmer in history, Yana Klochkova, prepare to have their pillars in the pantheon confirmed. In the mix, too, is the late Italian head coach Alberto Castagnetti
ISHOF ’13: I’ve heard it said about Gary Hall Jr that you either love him or hate him. Thankfully, cliches are made for cracking down the middle of their weakness. Hall, one of the biggest raw sprint talents the sport has ever seen, a man who made sure swimming spilled beyond the pool, stuck with it past the Popov era to emerge as a member of the club of Olympic champions who retained their crowns
ISHOF ’13: Medley queen in the Hall of Fame Class of 2013: Until the advent of Yana Oleksandrivna Klochkova, no woman had ever retained an Olympic or world medley title. In the four years from 2000 to 2004, she achieved both doubles Olympic and world
ISHOF ’13: The late Italian head coach Alberto Castagnetti will be honoured this weekend. His charges included Olympic champion Domenico Fioravanti and Federica Pellegrini, long-time 200m free world record holder Giorgio Lamberti as well as Roberto Gleria, Marcello Guarducci, Roberta Felotti, Massimiliano Rosolino and Emiliano Brembilla
As France gets set to stage its Night of Water fund-raiser for clean water provision, Alain Bernard, 2008 Olympic 100m freestyle champion, is fresh back from five days in Togo as an ambassador for UNICEF with good news and a hope of more to come
There have long been twists in the tale of Johnny Weissmuller. The latest is no less amusing that the rest: Ioan Paunescu, a retired history teacher, has removed the plaque commemorating Weissmuller’s ‘first home’: that was actually three doors along and was bulldozed to the ground to make way for a housing block in the communist era
Guest writer Chuck Warner on the magic of Jim Montrella’s Modern Swimming Concepts. He writes: So you read past the headline of this article. Perhaps that is because you’re old enough to remember Jim Montrella’s company called “Modern Swimming Concepts” that he started in the 1960s? Jim’s unique design of hand paddles became standard equipment
Swimming Australia today named Michael Bohl and Rohan Taylor as National Team Coaches for the EnergyAustralia Swim Team through to the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona this July and August
From tomorrow for eight days 571 swimmers will take to their blocks Down Under at the 2013 EnergyAustralia Swimming Championships in Adelaide against a backdrop of acrimony, investigation, accusation and confession
It’s 40th years since the first of Kornelia Ender’s 23 solo world records in the pool. In 2:23.01 over 200m medley in East Berlin, the 14-year-old took down the 2:23.07 world record in which Shane Gould (AUS) had claimed one of three gold and five medals in all at the Munich 1972 Games; Ender’s rise coincided with the use of systematic doping under State Plan 14:25.
Obituary: Karen Yvette Muir, a South African world-record holder at 12 who was denied international fame in the 1960s because of her country’s apartheid regime, has passed away. She was 60 and had been fighting breast cancer
Anti-doping: Athletes suspected of taking banned drugs should be allowed to take lie detector tests to try to prove their innocence, anti-doping chiefs will hear today at the Tackling Doping in Sport Conference in Twickenham, London. Delegates will be shown a demonstration of a polygraph test, with the likes of Mike Morgan, a lawyer with […]
Obituary: Bill Smith, the 1948 London Olympic Games gold medalist in the 400m freestyle and 4x200m free for the US, has passed away. He was generally considered the World’s outstanding swimmer from 1941 to 1949. Smith’s greatest years coincided with the Second World War. After watching him shatter world records in the 200, 400 and […]
News Round-Up: Australia: The Australia men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team will face the newly formed Integrity Panel after an “admission of guilt” following bad behaviour at a bonding session held in Manchester, England, at the staging camp before the London 2012 Olympic Games. After two reviews into the woes of the Aussie swim team in […]
Ryan Lochte tells AP’s Paul Newberry that he is loving his role as a reality TV star but is struggling to balance the demands of screen and training at Gainesville and the home of the Gators with coach Gregg Troy and team. The 11-time Olympic medalist told AP that “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” has […]
Fabrice Pellerin, mentor to Olympic champions Yannick Agnel and Camille Muffat, the freestyle duo who played a part in all but one of the national team’s tally of 4 gold, 2 silver and one bronze medal, has been voted Sports Manager of the Year across all sports by L’Equipe newspaper. The award is fitting recognition […]
SwimNews Statement: A note to our readers that the publication of our Olympic issue has been delayed. Nick Thierry, the founder and proprietor of SwimNews, is currently recovering from serious illness and is unable to man the editorial desk. During his absence, it will be business as usual at swimnews.com, whilst a team overseen by […]
Long-time Yale swimming and Hall of Fame coach Phil Moriarty passed away peacefully Saturday; he was 98 years old. Phil Moriarty’ grew up in New Haven, Connecticut in the shadows of Yale University Carnegie Pool. He was a self-described “pool rat” who occasionally trained as a high school swimmer under Yale’s legendary coach Bob […]
Obituary Ann Curtis Cuneo, an Olympic swimming champion from San Francisco, one of the names of the 1948 London Games and founder of her own swim club, died on Tuesday this week at home in San Rafael, California, a month before the Games return to the British capital. She was 86. Curtis won the 400m […]
Obituary Ron “Stix” Ballatore, latterly a Gainesville coach at the University of Florida, and formerly at the helm of the UCLA men’s programme at the University of California Los Angeles, lost his battle with throat cancer today, Gators sources informed SwimNews a moment ago. The list of Ballatore’s coaching achievements is long and includes playing […]
Obituary Murray Rose, legend of distance freestyle swimming, died today at the age of 73. He had been battling Leukaemia since Christmas. A sad loss to his family, Rose will be much missed in the world of swimming. Born on January 6, 1939, he grew to be one of the all-time greats of his sport. […]
Obituary Inge Sørensen, born 18 July 1924, and a Danish swimmer who held the distinction of being the youngest Olympic Games medallist in swimming and second-youngest in any individual event, has passed away. She was 86. Bronze medallist in the 200m breaststroke at the 1936 Summer Olympics at the age of 12 years and 24 […]