Dolphins Go Night Swimming In Readiness For Rio 2016 Olympic Midnight Finals

Third placed Cate (L) and winner Bronte Campbell of Australia
Cate, left, and Bronte Campbell shared podiums in the 100m and 4x100m free finals at world titles in 2015 - in Rio they will chase history - by Patrick B. Kraemer

The Dolphins, Australia’s swim team, have gathered at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra this week to live a topsy turvy life in preparation for conditions at Rio 2016 dictated by the Olympic colonialism of U.S. broadcaster NBC and sports politicians putting dollars before athletes.

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The Dolphins, Australia’s swim team, have gathered at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra this week to live a topsy turvy life in preparation for conditions at Rio 2016 dictated by the Olympic colonialism of U.S. broadcaster NBC and sports politicians putting dollars before athletes.



It’s humiliating and infuriating that athletes have to adjust their training and metabolism according to the desiderata of a tv network. I can’t believe they had no saying in this. Fina should be dismantled.


Humiliating and infuriating? I don’t think so. Humiliating and infuriating are nations whose politicians refuse to accept refugees and aid people who dying of humanity reasons.

Sure the swimming times are not ideal and what the Dolphins are doing is in no way a great initiative, it’s fairly obvious to me. But the fact is an Australian team or Russian team etc going to Brasil for the Olympics are going to have to adapt to time zone regardless and elite athletes are used to this so swimming at 8pm or 11pm should really not be that big a problem. In fact the ones who will find it hardest to adapt are people who actually live and train in that time zone every day.

It is what it is, no point winging about it, go help a kid in Africa who will die of aids before he knows what the Olympics are.


Felix, a jet leg has nothing to do with the changing the sequences of daily activities – food taking, resting, sleeping, exercising, socializing etc. Not everybody are used to get loaded at late night and it can affect the performance. Of course you can change nothing in the order of your activities by making a shift by 5 hours. But you have to come to bed when everybody around are waking up, and waking up when other people are finishing their daily businesses. It will be fine if your body don’t care about Sun light and you don’t plan to do anything else but swimming. But you are in the Rio for God sake, at Olympic games in Olympic village. For many it is one time opportunity to know what it means to be an Olympian. There are also some obligations like press conferences, team meetings etc. Swimmers and their coaching staff cannot isolate themselves from surrounding environment.


Swimming is the first 8 days, 90% of them are going there to compete and everything they do will be focused on that then they can party as hard as they want. They should count themselves lucky it’s not the last 8 days. I don’t hear athletics carrying on like a little bunch of little girls when they race late at night.


And I’ve never heard an excuse from Michael Phelps about his Olympic programs, drug testings, media obligations etc and no one in Rio will have a program or perform like he did in Beijing.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, precisely. The argument has nothing to do with adapting to time zones.

Craig Lord

Felix, the world turns and life goes on, just as every Olympics for the last longer than we’ve been around has unfolded with people starving and thirsting to death in Africa and elsewhere … war has twice intervened to stop the Games but much else, including famine and exodus have not. Olympic colonialism of a broadcaster has little to do with adapting to time zones, the issues going well beyond that, as I’m sure you’re aware. Of course all will adapt as they can and the most professional teams with the biggest back-up with do that better than others for a number of reasons, including economic. That isn’t the point being made.

Craig Lord

Roy, yes, I’ve always been British and always will be … a Celt by ancestry, too, so don’t let accents fool you 🙂 Your comment on the crisis was very good (and long)… just off topic and not what I want to monitor here. Thanks for understanding.


Am with Craig and the others on this one. Acclimatising to a different time zone is an accepted “fact of life” with international travel and international competition in sport.

The question is; was this change to the competition schedule’s timings necessary ? Does this also involve a further alteration to competitors “circadian rhythms” ? Yes

Yes, some athletics finals DO end up later at nights as do matches in various other (indoor) sports particularly through the rounds but this has been “general practice” for years in these sports.

People WILL adapt but that doesn’t alter the fact that this change was NOT necessary and brought about by the abject capitulation of the IOC & FINA to an outside interest, namely NBC.

Perhaps the prime mover and facilitator of this manoeuvre should be duly rewarded. NBC’s very own “bought and paid for” IOC member (and SVP Sport) …. for a country that is NOT the USA should be given a golden opportunity to actively participate in the Games. Archery target comes to mind but let’s open the floor to suggestions ….


Many heads of the various international sporting federations are also members of the IOC and once there; it tends to take death or major scandals (major unaccounted dollars or dead girl/live boy variety) to get them out !

As to the power, its a bit blurred. Most sports with some semblance of international competition tend to aspire to Olympic status given its status as the “biggest circus of them all”. The IOC tends to hold the whip hand with regards to “who gets in and who doesn’t and who’s spot is under threat”.

The IOC has taken to setting “caps” on participant numbers per sport. Other than that, the individual sporting bodies set the quotas per country and qualification standards. The officiating of the various competitions is under control of the relevant sporting body.

FINA COULD have taken a stand on this issue but with Maglione (El Presidente) a very comfortable “member of the club” …….. The Athletes Commission may sound nice but they are only “temporary members” (6 year terms rather than ongoing) and they have no real clout. Money talks and prevails …… end of story.

BTW, the gent’s name is Mr Alex Gilady; “purportedly” from Israel.


Felix, with all due respect, what do refugees have to do with this? This is a swimming website and we talk with passion about swimming, so we use adjectives such as infuriating and humiliating. Then of course we as grown-ups know that these are not life-and-death issues and there are much more important matters in life, but this is so obvious it does not need to be mentioned.

Other people already told you about the difference between adapting to different timezones and having to go against circadian rhythm so I won’t go there. As for the “champs don’t complain” argument, I don’t think so. Many champs and coaches have in fact complained, among them, for example, George Bovell, a multi-Olympian and very tough guy who came back from an ugly injury and reinvented himself as a swimmer. So no “little girl” at all. And he is not alone. These guys invest years and years chasing the Olympic dream and should be at least consulted on choices that will affect their performances.

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