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Old 11-18-2008
Donal Donal is offline
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Donal
Default Swim champion Alan Ford passes

Quote:
(Alan Ford) became the first swimmer to break 50 seconds for 100 yards, a barrier that some likened to the four-minute mile. No one else accomplished the feat for another eight years.

Ford was an unusual champion. At 5 feet 9 inches and a muscular 170 pounds, he was far smaller than Weissmuller. Unlike Spitz and Phelps, he was built more like a bullet than a beanpole.

Under the tutelage of the legendary Yale coach Bob Kiphuth, who emphasized muscle building and dry-land training — this was before the advent of goggles, when swimmers were restricted to about 90 minutes a day in a chlorine-treated pool — Ford became a physical specimen.

“He had the perfect body for swimming,” Phil Moriarty, one of Ford’s coaches at Yale, said in a telephone interview on Friday. “He was slim in the areas where he had to be slim, and he was strong. Swimmers were like that back then; they weren’t tall people, but they were strong.”
NY Times (sub)

Update: Here's an International Swimming Hall of Fame video of Ford's stroke and turn.

Last edited by Donal : 11-18-2008 at 03:37 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old 11-18-2008
terry terry is offline
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I read that Times obit too. What I found interesting, and a little disappointing, was that he died of emphysema from a heavy smoking habit. He began smoking in the service during WWII, gave it up at his wife's urging after the war when he resumed training for the 1948 London Olympics. But his wife said, he couldn't wait to start smoking again.
It feels so antithetical to swimming.
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Old 11-19-2008
Donal Donal is offline
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Smoking wasn't seen as the big health risk that is recognized now. NY Times also shows this series of ads from the first half of the twentieth century with doctors, babies, Mickey Mantle and even Santa Claus endorsing cigarette smoking. Tobacco companies provided free cigarettes for servicemen, many of whom became addicted. I feel fortunate to have been informed of the risks before I reached the age when friends were starting to smoke.
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Old 11-19-2008
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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It's a mystery to me why anyone smokes nowadays, when the risks are so well known. Back when I was a lad, though, almost everybody smoked and you were regarded as a bit odd if you didn't. But by the 'fifties the connection with lung cancer was established, although the tobacco companies were still fighting back.

I hate to see young girls smoking. It seems more girls than boys smoke these days. I suppose they feel grown up.

I enjoyed the footage of Ford swimming. His turn seemd very fast although I couldn't actually make out what kind of a turn it was. Pre-flip turn I suppose.
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Old 11-20-2008
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donal View Post
Smoking wasn't seen as the big health risk that is recognized now. NY Times also shows this series of ads from the first half of the twentieth century with doctors, babies, Mickey Mantle and even Santa Claus endorsing cigarette smoking. Tobacco companies provided free cigarettes for servicemen, many of whom became addicted. I feel fortunate to have been informed of the risks before I reached the age when friends were starting to smoke.
Actually, it may not have been as big a health risk back in the days when people spent more time outdoors. I had a grandfather on my mother's side who smoked most of his life and lived to be 89, but he was an Indiana farmer for a good portion of his life, and in later years ran a tug boat on the Ohio river with his brother. So when he wasn't smoking, he was breathing a lot of fresh air!
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