Harvest Is In: Time To Stack The Bales In The Barn

The World Championships begin. We recall the thread back to 1973 and look at what happened 40 years ago. In 2013, the season has been weathered, thick and thin, good days and bad. The harvest is in but the bales still need stacking. Now starts the craft of the champion and the coach who wants that status on his or her CV

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The World Championships begin. We recall the thread back to 1973 and look at what happened 40 years ago. In 2013, the season has been weathered, thick and thin, good days and bad. The harvest is in but the bales still need stacking. Now starts the craft of the champion and the coach who wants that status on his or her CV

Comments

aswimfan

Great article!!!!

Anexfrenchswimmer

Amazing stories ! Thanks !

Markus

I would like to cite Ines Geipel, who was a victim of GDR doping herself. She said in an interview in a German newspaper, referring to the skinny and fat free look of nowadays swimmers:

“Such bodies are impossible and not natural..”.

I hope the generation HGH will not suffer the consequences of the medical side effects in 20 or 30 years, as the victims of state plan 14:25 did.

Will the public and the media still care about the elite swimmers of today in the future? Will anybody take the time and money to investigate the health status of these persons over such a long period of time?

McGillRocks

Incredible Wickham’s CR lasted 29 years. Is that the longest swimming record ever on the international stage?

Lane Four

One thing I remember about the Belgrade championships was the size difference from the 1972 East Germans to the 1973 East Germans. Swimming World published a chart showing the size changes of those competing from 1972 to 1973. Of course no one guessed that it was the drugs which was causing these changes. Most assumed it was massive amounts of weight training and dietary changes. We were obviously a naive group back then. So the rest of the world began incorporating huge weight training programs into their swimming programs as well as changing into the skin tight suits. Naturally there were time drops as the rest of the world’s female swimmers were becoming stronger as a result of the weight programs. But as the rest of the world was catching up to the DDR 1973 times, those same DDR swimmers were dropping their 1973 times into another realm by 1974. Frustratingly, it was always a game of try and catch up. The problem was that the world could not quite catch up because of the “drug” advantage the DDR secretly had up its sleeve. There was the occasional great swimmer who, for a short time, could compete at the DDR’s level, but once they caught up, the DDR would take the game into a new realm. Naturally, thanks to the drugs. Anyway, back to 1973. There was a photo of Ender printed in Sports Illustrated taken at the Belgrade pool in her skin tight suit after getting out of of the pool. You could see her unbelievable ripped six-pack right through the suit. Not to mention there was nothing resembling a 14-year-old girl under that suit. And just to make a point, a photo of Shirley Babashoff was positioned side by side with that Ender image. Shirley looked like a lithe, strong but very NON-muscular 16-year-old swimmer. Ender, on the other hand……well……
So now 40 years have gone by. If there was one good thing to come out of that meet, the DDR domination forced the female swimmers to rethink what they thought was possible vs impossible. They were forced to think about faster times. They were forced to train harder and their own time drops were nothing short of remarkable. Belgrade is going to always remain in the memories of those who were fortunate enough to have experienced the changing of the guard. And we will never forget that women’s 400 medley relay. My God. I can still remember the East Germans getting further and further away from the USA. With each DDR swimmer splitting a time which was quite a bit under the world record time for that stroke. At the end of the race, the backbone of the American women’s team had been destroyed for that competition. Sixteen years later the nightmare was over. And so we have moved on.

Craig Lord

Yes (it didn’t last that long as a world record, of course)

Craig Lord

I hope so…

felixtzu

Only Brazilian to take a world title??

Surely there were two last time round.

Craig Lord

Thanks – the brackets removed… from a note penned before Rome 2009… the list was chosen from a much bigger list of amazing moments… too log to run in one file 🙂

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