Friday, August 13, 2004

Olympics: Phelps and Spitz

Word has begun to leak about the swimmers' relay selections for the USA Men in Athens. This is the story within the story around the swim pool, until the real splashing begins.

The coach, Eddie Reese, has a puzzle to handle. He is well suited to make the right decisions. He is fantastic. He is cool. He is above all the pressure. Everyone else outside of that circle of the squad now in Athens is but a pea-brain in these matters.

Coach knows best. Period.

Furthermore, don't rush these decisions. People don't need to know in advance, as things could change. The athletes need to prepare the best they can, and things will flow from there.

I love Michael's approach. He is going for ONE gold medal. That's the best approach. His coach too, Rob B., is great and knows best. Wonderful coaching and approach.

Meanwhile, the media needs to appreciate the quest and the voyage, as well as the team dynamics. I hope the press and broadcasters allow the stories to unfold and don't become the story themselves. No need to hype a slant at the Olympics. Just get out of the way and tell it straight.

I'm going to be glued to the tv starting tonight for the opening and the lighting of the torch. I could post a million times here, or else, make a new blog. I'm not sure what to do.


Mark Rauterkus said...

Looking back at the USA bronze medal relay(s). G. Hall in the AM did a 48.73 going in the 4th spot and M. Phelps at night did a 48.74 going second. The AM splits were G = 49.9, D = 49.01, N.W. = 48.1 and Hall, 48.7.

Coach Reese said, "To lose in that fashion is touch. It's not any fun at all."

Hindsight is 20/20. Coach still knows best at the time.

Way to go South Africa! World record! Wow.

What was Ian's split? Do the American's get shut out in the men's 100 free?

Anonymous said...

Tom Dolan on the Men's 4x100 freestyle relay

It was a pretty neat thing to see South Africa win the gold in this relay. No matter how much pride you have in your country, you can't help but feel happy for them. Those guys had a lot of pressure and swam out of their minds.

Roland Schoeman swam the first leg unbelievably. People don't realize those guys are great swimmers and by no means am I shocked they won. But I am shocked they broke the world record by a half second. They obliterated the world record. The guy who swam fourth -- Ryk Neethling -- I swam against him in college and he used to be a distance swimmer before transforming himself into a sprinter.

Those guys the past two years have been building and building. For people who don't follow the sport, it will be a big shock. But for people who follow the sport, the real shock is the time.

As for Michael, I totally agree with the decision for him to be on the relay. I think he swam well. Unfortunately, Ian Crocker was a little off in the leadoff and that kind of hurt us. But Ian is a great swimmer and he will come back and prove himself later in the week. It's very hard when you're swimming the first leg not to press and just let it flow.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Great to see that the fly leg in the US medley relay finals will be given to -- and earned by -- Crocker. Phelps is a gent, and a giant in terms of his team efforts throughout. And, he's got to be a tad spent. The .04 between gold and silver in the gun start relay is so close. I'd rather have the fresher body in the race in this instance.