2018: Bumper Year Of Swim Milestones On The Trail Of Phelps, Meyer, Matthes & More

The moment when Michael Phelps stopped the clock 0.01sec ahead of Milorad Cavic at Beijing 2008 - as captured by Patrick B. Kraemer, who along with Heinz Kluetmeier and others caught a series of iconic and prize-winning images of the historic moment when a hope of eight golds lived to fight another day

This year marks a series of major anniversaries in swimming history, including the 10-year anniversary of Michael Phelps past Mark Spitz with eight Olympic golds and the 50th anniversary of the Mexico 1968 Olympics, of Debbie Meyer’s triple and the doubles of Mike Wenden’, Mike Burton, Roland Matthes, Charlie Hickcox and Claudia Kolb, and the last laugh on butterfly of Ada Kok. Here we trawl through some milestones we’ll be pitching our tent at throughout the year ahead

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This year marks a series of major anniversaries in swimming history, including the 10-year anniversary of Michael Phelps past Mark Spitz with eight Olympic golds and the 50th anniversary of the Mexico 1968 Olympics, of Debbie Meyer’s triple and the doubles of Mike Wenden’, Mike Burton, Roland Matthes, Charlie Hickcox and Claudia Kolb, and the last laugh on butterfly of Ada Kok. Here we trawl through some milestones we’ll be pitching our tent at throughout the year ahead

Comments

Richard Ortiz

Craig, you have to wonder what could have been the “future” if Michelle Smith de Bruin had NOT been tested. Personally, I don’t think she would have had as much success as she had in Atlanta simply because her “winning” times truthfully were not that fast. By 2000, there was a new group swimming incredibly fast putting Michelle’s 1996 times to shame.

Craig Lord

Yes, a good observation, Richard. Of course, we cannot know how she and her ‘coach’ would have responded in a world of a different outcome but we can look back at a 4min mid-50s best a couple of seasons out from a sub-4:40 400IM Olympic gold ahead of Wagner and Egerszegi and know that we lived through a moment of steep aberration. Those beaten lived through a moment that lives on for as long as the Olympic and FINA realms are places in which the rogue result, historic and otherwise not only finds a comfortable home of acceptance but a permanent record that comes with status, prestige and subsequent, post-athletic careers that live in the light while the what-might-have been lives of those beaten, in water and by the abuse they suffered, carry on in the shadow of an Olympic blind eye.

Richard Ortiz

Amen to what you say, Craig. To put it mildly, a cheater got away with her crap and the innocent suffered. The blind old men continued to make their way to their bank accounts rubbing their hands together greedily laughing and spitting on the victims sitting in the gutter with their hands out asking for justice. I can never imagine what Allison Wagner experienced emotionally losing THREE WORLD TITLES (one Olympic and two world championship) to out and out cheating. Unfortunately, she is just a name with an asterisk rather than the title of World and Olympic Champion. You are absolutely correct about the what-might-have-been…… Like the athletes who have fallen to temptation, the leaders have taken the fruit from the tree and there is no going back. So now what do we do? This farce can’t go on. Revolution? Cessation? Bring the curtain down and start all over? Like the song says, “there are none so blind as those who will not see.” We are being led by blind men. Where do we find the visionaries who can lead? Anyway, keep up the good fight, Craig! Well done!

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