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  #61  
Old 08-01-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Richardsk is right, and so is Terry, that it makes more sense to rejoice in what Sun Yang did if you're in it to see how far it can be taken, rather than to collect a bunch of medals.

Perhaps such a mentality is the luxury of those who don't compete for a living, however. It's one thing to win gold, quite another to win gold while executing the most classically beautiful form.
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  #62  
Old 08-02-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi Lawrence

Medals are important, of course, to competitive swimmers, especially Olympic medals. Sometimes a post-swimming career can be built on an Olympic medal or two. I gather the place they hate most is fourth, although often it's a very meritorious swim.

Human nature is a funny thing and silver and bronze medals just don't have quite the same cachet. In Beijing Phelps beat Cavic by 1/100th of a second, which is as near as dammit a dead heat but Phelps was the hero and Cavic the loser as far as the media were concerned.
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  #63  
Old 08-02-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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It is always nice to see great performances by any individual. Naturally that connection of team and or nationalism inspires us to root for those close to our hearts.

I recently had the opportunity to observe a group of special olympians just beginning to train for a state swimming meet. Twenty to thirty individuals some who had never been in the water before. I challenge anyone to watch this group of individuals and not come away with a whole new respect for what success is.
The effort, companionship, joy, support for all is unparalleled.

Yes, it is at a different level and may not even fit in this conversation. They get a joy of competition from fact they are simply competing, not wining by the slimmest of margins.

Swim Silent and Be Well
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  #64  
Old 08-02-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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I don't care where a swimmer is from. What inspires me is athletic performance taken to new levels. Hackett's pro-Oz stance is all too predictable and, to my mind, lacks imagination and grace.
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  #65  
Old 08-02-2011
sasquatch sasquatch is offline
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Default Sun Yang's Breathing

There have been many very good observations here about Sun Yang's achievement, long stroke and kicking technique. I noticed something interesting about his breathing and thought I'd post it here since he's being analyzed, but I'm also going to post in the O2 in H2O forum.

Here is a video link that was posted previously in this thread
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smjkw...eature=related

As has been noted in this thread, he has a very high stroke length; I noticed that he breathes almost exclusively to the right on every other stroke. There are more places to see it in the clip, but there are a few where I noticed his "unique" breathing practice in and out of the turns. At ~2:00 I thought I saw him breath on three consecutive strokes (right, left and right again) as he breaks the surface after his 950m turn. I thought it was odd, but wasn't sure I was seeing it correctly from the underwater angle. Then I noticed it again at 3:32 (1100m turn) where I could clearly see him turn his head to the left for a breath. I know that most distance swimmers don't spend a lot of time underwater (relative to sprinters) but thought the three consecutive breaths illustrated how important it is to get the oxygen you need (especially for those of us who are a bit more interested in swimming for fitness, enjoyment or even sustainable speed vs. all-out sprinting speed).

Later in the clip ~4:20 (1200 m turn) I noticed that he followed the same breath per stroke pattern for the last three strokes prior to holding his breath through the turn. I didn't go back to check for more evidence, but I would bet the "6-breath turn" is just the way he does it through the majority of the race.

Short version; for human swimmers it's more important to learn how to maintain good body position while breathing than learning how to survive while breathing less than you need to. It's good to have oxygen while swimming. Fish even need it, they just don't have to come to the surface like we mammals do to get it.

Anyone who's ever suffered through some coaches' "necessary" lung-busting hypoxic set may want to keep this video as Exhibit A in defense of breathing.
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  #66  
Old 08-02-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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I also noticed his extra breaths. His impeccable form must help get those in without slowing down.
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  #67  
Old 08-02-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
In my opinion nationalism is silly and even sillier in sport.
Perhaps a matter of opinion, but I agree entirely. At the World Championships I thought it was entirely positive to see less US domination and more nations sharing in the medals.

And any mild disappointment I may have felt for the US Women in the soccer championship was far overshadowed by delight for the Japanese who deserved uplift.
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  #68  
Old 08-02-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
It's one thing to win gold, quite another to win gold while executing the most classically beautiful form.
I gave a free community class two weeks ago at a local lake, something I do each summer.
During the class I made the comment that people seem far more inclined to be impressed by, and speak up to compliment, examples of grace in swimming than speed.

And, at least among TI folk, the excitement over Sun's swim seems to be beauty first, speed second.
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  #69  
Old 08-02-2011
dshen dshen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasquatch View Post
There are more places to see it in the clip, but there are a few where I noticed his "unique" breathing practice in and out of the turns. At ~2:00 I thought I saw him breath on three consecutive strokes (right, left and right again) as he breaks the surface after his 950m turn. I thought it was odd, but wasn't sure I was seeing it correctly from the underwater angle. Then I noticed it again at 3:32 (1100m turn) where I could clearly see him turn his head to the left for a breath. I know that most distance swimmers don't spend a lot of time underwater (relative to sprinters) but thought the three consecutive breaths illustrated how important it is to get the oxygen you need (especially for those of us who are a bit more interested in swimming for fitness, enjoyment or even sustainable speed vs. all-out sprinting speed).
I thought I was imagining things when I saw him breathe 3 consecutive strokes! I'm glad someone else saw it too!

That's something I gotta try sometime....
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  #70  
Old 08-03-2011
dobarton dobarton is offline
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Default Breathing

Let's think about this a moment. I absolutely agree with the observations that remind us that being able to breath with perfect form is critical, as mentioned above.
Take it a step further though. How often is he really breathing. 28 strokes/50 meters is what I'm reading. Take out turns because he holds his breath through these. AT BEST, he's breathing 28 times a minute!!! That is RIDICULOUSLY slow for an elite athlete in an elite race! Resting respiratory rate is 8-15 depending on what you're doing and your baseline health. I challenge any of us to keep our respiratory rate below 20 even on a medium paced walk.
My point is that there is no way to maximize performance by decreasing respiratory rate. If your SPL over 50 meters is 28, you will HAVE to breath every other or more often. A respiratory rate of 30-35/min would be more consistent with most runners at a moderate pace, maybe even faster. Why wouldn't that be true for a swimmer at a fast 800 or 1500 meter race?
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