One week every four years is like Christmas to all of us involved in the sport of swimming. The top athletes in the sport put a very bright spot light to our sport and make the country aware of the wonderful sport of swimming and the great athletes that compete for the USA. Here are some highlights so far -
- We are racers. Watch Lilly King, Katie Ladecky and Michael Phelps pull races out at the very end of the pool. That is a skill that our country prides itself on. We know how to race and we know how to win. When the race starts everyone wants to win, but some people refuse to lose when it is late in the race and everyone is very tired, Both Katie and Lilly found another gear in the last 10 meters of their races. Thank you for making us all proud.
- Our athletes are clean. There have been very few swimmers from our country that have been on the dark side of performance enhancing drugs. I am proud of the proactive stance we have and appreciate that our governing body, USA Swimming has been a leader in trying to enforce strict drug guidelines. Everyone should appreciate the stand that Lilly King took prior to the 100 breaststroke. She ramped the pressure on herself to Mach 2 with her comments and then stood up and delivered. Incredible and I have a new hero in the sport.
- Watch how we swim relays. The USA really knows how to crank out relay medals and the majority of them are gold. Our swimmers understand team concept much better than most other countries. It is important on a relay team that the anchor is not the fastest but the toughest. The person who will die before they let another team get by them but the other swimmers on the relay need to know the match-ups and the weak swimmer needs to be exploited on the other team and the slower swimmer on our team needs to be protected. Great racing.
Watch the swimmers, watch their strokes. Get a picture in your mind of what a great stroke looks like and try to imitate it in practice. Most importantly - GO USA.