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Different strokes is ridiculous

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  • 09-08-2008 2:35pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 5,111 ✭✭✭


    Now I think swimming as a sport is fine and is just as good as any other but the whole different strokes thing is a load of BS !, it should be just a straight race over the distance, backstroke butterfly freestyle blah de blah de blah, how about 100 meters sprint running backwards, running sideways, hopping, walking , on your hands yeah that would work.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,097 ✭✭✭Lirange


    I'm not sure there's a direct comparison to made. You're in water.

    It gives you more chances to work different muscle groups for propulsion.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,074 ✭✭✭BendiBus


    MooseJam wrote: »
    how about 100 meters sprint running backwards, running sideways, hopping, walking , on your hands yeah that would work.

    Or jumping over hurdles, or steeplechases, or handing a stick to another runner. For that matter running around a track so you just end up where you started. Pfft to all this sport & exercise nonsense :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 39,303 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    What a stupid post.

    So to use your logic, Javelin, Shotput, Discus and hammer should be merged into a "throw what ever you want event".

    The long, high, triple jumps and pole vault should be a "best jump" event.

    The gymnastics events should be merged into a "use and equipment and impress me" event.

    Motorsports events should be merge into an "use anything race"

    Sure, we should also remove weight devisions from boxing and have a good old scrap.


    Feck, why are men and womens events separate, unisex events are the wat forward.



    Just so you know OP, the is a straight race over the distance, its called freestyle!


  • Registered Users Posts: 725 ✭✭✭muggyog


    Why swim, a speedboat would be better ( any engine size of course)!


  • Registered Users Posts: 681 ✭✭✭Killgore Trout


    MooseJam wrote: »
    Now I think swimming as a sport is fine and is just as good as any other but the whole different strokes thing is a load of BS !, it should be just a straight race over the distance, backstroke butterfly freestyle blah de blah de blah, how about 100 meters sprint running backwards, running sideways, hopping, walking , on your hands yeah that would work.

    OP - Can you swim? Learning those strokes should rid you of such ignorant notions.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭sock puppet


    Funny that you mention walking as it is an olympic event.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 MillerHiLife


    I agree that the different swim strokes are ridiculous. The difference is that the different swimming storkes offer no advantages and have no use outside the Olympics. Have you ever seen anyone swimming the Butterfly for fun? The backstroke to get somewhere? The original analogy to running backwards (backstoke), running with feet tied together (butterfly) and skipping (breaststroke) are most appropriate. A rebuttal for the other analogies:

    Hurdles and steeplechase - Obstacles occur in real-life (exagerated for the event) and need to be overcome. I'd have no problem with a swim event that had obstacles to be swam around or under.

    Javelin, Discus, hammmer and shot-put - Hold-overs from the original greek games who valued each for a specific military purpose. Out-dated? Possibly, but each had an independent use and advantage.

    Long jump, high jump and pole vault - jumping high and jumping far are different and each has a real use. The pole valut was also useful when first invented. I won't defend the triple jump, I dont get it.

    Gymnastics is a "use the equipment and impress" event. There are known moves but you don't have to use them. New moves are invented every so often. Events on a single piece of equipment allow for comparison judging.

    Motorsports - I have no problem with only a single type of vehicle per event. The sport is supposed to be driving skill, so "standardized" equipment is important. (truck racing is stupid)

    Boxing - Weight classes allow more people to compete, not just 250 pounders.

    Its a joke that walking is an Olympic event. No one says there aren't stupid Olympic events, just that stupid swim events don't ever get called out like curling and ping pong.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭sock puppet


    I agree that the different swim strokes are ridiculous. The difference is that the different swimming storkes offer no advantages and have no use outside the Olympics. Have you ever seen anyone swimming the Butterfly for fun? The backstroke to get somewhere? The original analogy to running backwards (backstoke), running with feet tied together (butterfly) and skipping (breaststroke) are most appropriate. A rebuttal for the other analogies:

    Eh? You do know that swimming is a sport right? No one trains for 30 hours a week just in case they happen to fall of a boat at sea and are required to swim to safety. The fact that strokes other than freestyle wouldn't be used in a practical situation is meaningless. You say hurdles imitate real life obstacles. Well I would have presumed that in a practical situation there wouldn't be neatly arranged objects of the same height evenly spaced out in front of you. Why not change it so that athletes just run and then try and overcome whatever objects are randomly thrown in their way. It would be more useful in real life so why not?

    And what about basketball, football, tennis, badminton, diving, synchronised swimming, water polo and equestrian to name a few. Should they all be gotten rid of since they have no use outside of the olympics too?

    Also curling isn't part of the olympics in question (the summer ones) and I don't consider ping pong a stupid sport. In fact I don't think any event is stupid or should be gotten rid of. To me it sounds like your mainly interested in the track and field events so why not just not watch the olympics if you dislike the rest of the events so much. Other than the swimming and maybe some of the sprint races in athletics I don't plan on watching unless there's an Irish competitor involved. What does it matter to you if you think there are too many events in swimming? If people stopped watching then they'd cut the number of events or give swimming less coverage. They won't though because swimming is one of the most popular events.


  • Registered Users Posts: 681 ✭✭✭Killgore Trout


    I agree that the different swim strokes are ridiculous. The difference is that the different swimming storkes offer no advantages and have no use outside the Olympics. Have you ever seen anyone swimming the Butterfly for fun? The backstroke to get somewhere? The original analogy to running backwards (backstoke), running with feet tied together (butterfly) and skipping (breaststroke) are most appropriate. A rebuttal for the other analogies:

    Hurdles and steeplechase - Obstacles occur in real-life (exagerated for the event) and need to be overcome. I'd have no problem with a swim event that had obstacles to be swam around or under.

    Javelin, Discus, hammmer and shot-put - Hold-overs from the original greek games who valued each for a specific military purpose. Out-dated? Possibly, but each had an independent use and advantage.

    Long jump, high jump and pole vault - jumping high and jumping far are different and each has a real use. The pole valut was also useful when first invented. I won't defend the triple jump, I dont get it.

    Gymnastics is a "use the equipment and impress" event. There are known moves but you don't have to use them. New moves are invented every so often. Events on a single piece of equipment allow for comparison judging.

    Motorsports - I have no problem with only a single type of vehicle per event. The sport is supposed to be driving skill, so "standardized" equipment is important. (truck racing is stupid)

    Boxing - Weight classes allow more people to compete, not just 250 pounders.

    Its a joke that walking is an Olympic event. No one says there aren't stupid Olympic events, just that stupid swim events don't ever get called out like curling and ping pong.

    Different strokes have plenty of use outside the Olympics - in all the other competitions that go on all over the world pretty much all the time. Maybe the Olympics are the only place that you see it. They provide great fulfilment to numerous swimmers of varying abilities young and old - this I have seen first hand.

    Yes I have seen people swimming the butterfly for fun - usually at the end of a session for something different. It's the most difficult stroke to master and executed properly is a very impressive, and very rewarding for the person doing it.

    I find back stroke very good for mixing thing up and getting the distance in - again very satisfying to watch and do when done well. I'm not great at it - but i give it a whirl every now and again.

    Go down the a local pool when all the pensioners are down there and you'll find breast stroke a firm favourite. It's relaxed - it's easier to breathe than front crawl. keeps the head out of the water (in recreational use anyway). The breaststroke kick is very useful from a water safety perspective as it's applied, albeit inverted, for some of the rescue towing techniques. And when we get to water safety we'd also look at breaststroke as a resting stroke - kind of handy if you're overboard to take a break from strenuous front crawl to conserve some energy.

    I believe a rounded understanding of all the strokes provide a better understanding of how human propulsion in water works - they're complimentary to making you a better swimmer at any stroke. As such they're all valid and should be encouraged.

    Fill the rest of us here in the swimming forum in on your swimming credentials - are you a front crawl master who rejected the evil tyranny of the other strokes when they were being taught - or are you simply making pronouncements from your armchair? If you're the latter get your áss of your armchair, get your togs, and enlighten yourself and stop knocking what you don't understand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,365 ✭✭✭hunnymonster


    Yes I have seen people swimming the butterfly for fun - usually at the end of a session for something different. It's the most difficult stroke to master and executed properly is a very impressive, and very rewarding for the person doing it.

    The only stroke I can do properly is the front crawl but I have to say that watching someone butterfly correctly is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen people do with their bodies. The sense of pure human power you get is something akin to the thunder you hear in a 100m track race.

    I try back stoke (very badly) sometimes because I think, with the amount of fc I do, the bs gives some balance. Similarly if I'm doing a particularly hard set, I might try some breast stroke on the recovery lengths because at my pace it is very much a relaxing way to recover.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,153 ✭✭✭Rented Mule


    I agree that the different swim strokes are ridiculous. The difference is that the different swimming storkes offer no advantages and have no use outside the Olympics. Have you ever seen anyone swimming the Butterfly for fun?

    Well as a butterflier and backstroker, I guess I would put myself into the category that would 'do it for fun'.

    Just for the record the title should be 'Different strokes are ridiculous'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 282 ✭✭Clseeper


    I love the way the only person to support Moosejams' opinion is a mysterious account which was only created yesterday! I smell a rat :)

    What sort of response did you really expect? Coming to a swimming forum and expect everyone to turn around and say 'actually yeah, swimming is stupid. What have I been doing with my life? [cue mental breakdown & sobbing]'

    Swimming is a sport and a skill which can take years to master and develop. Same as most sports. As an aside, if I wasn’t a swimmer, I think the other sport I’d love to do is gymnastics. The floor work is phenomenal – and that’s from a bloke watching the ‘girly’ event!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,365 ✭✭✭hunnymonster


    Clseeper, there is a strong rat smell around here but nothing I can trace but I'm keeping an eye out. I suppose I'm inclined to let people have their opinions and even voice them in inappropriate places even if those opinions are rather unconventional and lack depth of understanding.

    btw, have you seen the gymnastics course in the fitness forum?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,174 ✭✭✭Sergio


    Ive seen so ridiculous threads&posts since joing the forum but this one takes the biscuit!


  • Registered Users Posts: 282 ✭✭Clseeper


    Agreed Hunnymonster and I think my last post may have been a bit harsh. Everyone has the right to their opinion and the right to change it. Hopefully we've outlined the merits and other side of the argument.

    I’ll take a trip over to the fitness forum and check that out, thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,544 ✭✭✭redspider


    I agree partially with the OP, although I would have put it another way. Indeed I did as I wrote about it in the not so busy Sports forum, but with little activity there its appropriate to raise it here in Swimming:

    I'd like to open up the conversation with some things that are wrong with the Olympics (not just Beijing). The points below should be taken as thought-out criticisms rather than a rant.

    For one, some sports have semi-contrived events. For example, Swimming has freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, medley, etc. Imagine if in Athletics there were backward running events, hopping (one legs and two legs), and medley's thereof. It would look farcical. Yet, because we are accustomed to this with swimming it seems normal. Thats one reason why 8 gold medals of Phelps, whilst I of course recognise that he is a brilliant swimmer, needs to be diluted down.
    ... (edited)


    Ironically, I've just seen Michael Johnson (the former athlete) also make this point, as Phelps is now the record holder of the most gold medals. Clearly for some athletes, it is much easier to achieve many golds than other sports people, professional or amateur, when at an equivalent level. Thats whay whenever someone says they were a great sports-man or woman because they got X medals, you have top ask what event they were in.

    Al Oerter (sp?) with 5 gold medals (was it?) in the discuss, was clearly a top athlete over such a long time frame, as was Steve Redgrave with his 5. (Mind you, Steve was in a team event and that dilutes it somewhat). The same with Phelps team gold medals.

    If Phelps got gold medals in 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 1500m free (and there is a new 10k free?) and he got all of them gold, that would be the same as a runner doing it in 100m, 200m, 400m, etc, up to the marathon! And that would be commendable. Maybe there should be a decathlon or pentathlon type event in swimming. But medley, give me a break.

    I just want to say that Swimming is also not the only sport with problems in the olympics. For example, I think that Walking is a majorly contrived sport and people are 'cheating' in it constantly by running. As for Dressage .... etc, etc.

    And yes, I can swim the crawl, the backstroke, the butterfly (for about 5 strokes), the doggy-paddle, etc. How come the Man-from-Atlantis stroke isnt in swim competitions either? Its as efficient as the butterfly. Patrick Duffy deserved at least one gold - for bad acting. ;-) (the latter is a joke so take it as such!).

    Swim safely ....

    Redspider


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭sock puppet


    redspider wrote: »
    I agree partially with the OP, although I would have put it another way. Indeed I did as I wrote about it in the not so busy Sports forum, but with little activity there its appropriate to raise it here in Swimming:

    I'd like to open up the conversation with some things that are wrong with the Olympics (not just Beijing). The points below should be taken as thought-out criticisms rather than a rant.

    For one, some sports have semi-contrived events. For example, Swimming has freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, medley, etc. Imagine if in Athletics there were backward running events, hopping (one legs and two legs), and medley's thereof. It would look farcical. Yet, because we are accustomed to this with swimming it seems normal. Thats one reason why 8 gold medals of Phelps, whilst I of course recognise that he is a brilliant swimmer, needs to be diluted down.
    ... (edited)


    Ironically, I've just seen Michael Johnson (the former athlete) also make this point, as Phelps is now the record holder of the most gold medals. Clearly for some athletes, it is much easier to achieve many golds than other sports people, professional or amateur, when at an equivalent level. Thats whay whenever someone says they were a great sports-man or woman because they got X medals, you have top ask what event they were in.

    Al Oerter (sp?) with 5 gold medals (was it?) in the discuss, was clearly a top athlete over such a long time frame, as was Steve Redgrave with his 5. (Mind you, Steve was in a team event and that dilutes it somewhat). The same with Phelps team gold medals.

    If Phelps got gold medals in 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 1500m free (and there is a new 10k free?) and he got all of them gold, that would be the same as a runner doing it in 100m, 200m, 400m, etc, up to the marathon! And that would be commendable. Maybe there should be a decathlon or pentathlon type event in swimming. But medley, give me a break.

    I just want to say that Swimming is also not the only sport with problems in the olympics. For example, I think that Walking is a majorly contrived sport and people are 'cheating' in it constantly by running. As for Dressage .... etc, etc.

    And yes, I can swim the crawl, the backstroke, the butterfly (for about 5 strokes), the doggy-paddle, etc. How come the Man-from-Atlantis stroke isnt in swim competitions either? Its as efficient as the butterfly. Patrick Duffy deserved at least one gold - for bad acting. ;-) (the latter is a joke so take it as such!).

    Swim safely ....

    Redspider

    I've seen many people make that point regarding other olympic athletes and the fact that Phelps has seemingly overshadowed them all. Well in my opinion the medal comparisons are a load of bull. Unless your comparing a swimmer to a swimmer or runner to a runner they're meaningless. Michael Johnson will always be one of the greatest athletes of all time and while Phelps' wins may overshadow other swimmers' achievements it doesn't take away from any of the other olympic greats.

    And about swimming being contrived that's actually not true. The breaststroke was developed by the Europeans while the frontcrawl was developed by the native americans. The butterfly has an interesting history. An American coach developed a way to speed up the breaststroke by moving the arms over the water. Another guy also invented a way to improve the kick. It resembled the movement of a fish and was called the dolphin kick. These were combined to form a new faster way of swimming breaststroke. But the kick was illegal so for years people swam with butterfly arms and breaststroke kick until the butterfly was made into a different stroke altogether. None of these strokes were invented just for the craic or to make competitions longer. And swimming the medley requires someone to be proficient in every stroke which is very difficult(to do well anyway). I love swimming the 200 im.

    And on a more general point I'd like to ask why so many people detract from the olympics. I mean, it's a sporting competition and it includes almost every sport that's widely participated in. How could it be made any better?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,544 ✭✭✭redspider


    sock puppet> Well in my opinion the medal comparisons are a load of bull. Unless your comparing a swimmer to a swimmer or runner to a runner they're meaningless.

    I agree that comparing medals is not equivalent. The problem is people do, and Phelps is being paraded as the 'greatest olympian' ever with his 11 gold medal haul, and I dont hear anything from the swimming fraternity saying that its not so great because of all the stroke types. Not a whisper. Also, even within swimming, long distance swimmers dont have a long distance medley, or a relay. There is no 4x1k medey for example, or 4x1k backstroke relay. The events therefore favour certain swimmer types over others. Medals therefore cannot be equivalent even within a sport. My speciality was egg and spoon (100m hurdles only!) but its not even an olympic sport! ;-) So much for fairness!

    > And about swimming being contrived that's actually not true. The breaststroke was developed by the Europeans while the frontcrawl was developed by the native americans.

    Contrived may be too strong a word for it, but the stroke types are certainly not necessary for swimming competitively. Freestyle, is ALL that's necessary. Imagine doing 4 different types of high jump (fosbury, straddle, two-legged, etc) or long jump. Its the same thing with swimming, but people are just so used to looking at it that it is ingrained as acceptable. Its clearly not equivalent to other sports with its types nor is it needed. And the olympics is just a clear showcase of that inequivalence as the sports are presented side-by-side.

    As for the front-crawl being developed by Native Americans, I think you will find in any in-depth study of swimming that people all over the world have been swimming the freestyle (also known as the swimming-as-fast-as-you-can-away-from-that-nasty-animal-style) for millenia, in Europe too. Breaststoke was a contrived one, from treading water I presume.

    > I love swimming the 200 im.
    I love egg and spoon, and tiddly-winks - why oh why are my sporting 'rights' being denied and also that of millions of others, if not billions? ;-) okay, millions then.

    > And on a more general point I'd like to ask why so many people detract from the olympics. I mean, it's a sporting competition and it includes almost every sport that's widely participated in. How could it be made any better?

    There are many problems with the Olympics. Do you have an hour? It could certainly be made better. No horses for a start. One type of sailboat, one type of swimming stroke, one type of gun, one type of sword (if any!), softball and baseball, probably both could be dropped as they are not global sports, gymnastics for U-18's held in a separate competition (its akin to child labour), etc, etc ......

    There is nothing wrong with beach volleyball! ;-) Although, they could have more types perhaps, 3-a-side (3somes?), 4-a-side ... bikini only .... yellow ball, white ball, beach ball, with sun-oil, without sun-oil, with sunglasses, without sunglasses, those women who are 36D and over, etc ..... you get the picture(s). I wont say anything about breast stroke! ;-)

    Redspider


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,105 ✭✭✭larryone


    I swim a fair bit these days. Getting back into after a lapse of about a decade.

    Front crawl is not an efficient way to swim if your breathing isnt right. I'm getting used to the breathing again.
    Breast stroke is easier to swim if you want to have your head out of the water, but to swim effectively, you need to get your head under when your hands are moving forward.
    I find the back stroke is my most efficient, and until I get my breathing for other strokes right, I'll probably be faster with this one than with any other.

    Is the fact that I do the back stroke rediculous? No. I can breathe easier.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭sock puppet


    redspider wrote: »
    I agree that comparing medals is not equivalent. The problem is people do, and Phelps is being paraded as the 'greatest olympian' ever with his 11 gold medal haul, and I dont hear anything from the swimming fraternity saying that its not so great because of all the stroke types. Not a whisper. Also, even within swimming, long distance swimmers dont have a long distance medley, or a relay. There is no 4x1k medey for example, or 4x1k backstroke relay. The events therefore favour certain swimmer types over others. Medals therefore cannot be equivalent even within a sport. My speciality was egg and spoon (100m hurdles only!) but its not even an olympic sport! ;-) So much for fairness!



    Contrived may be too strong a word for it, but the stroke types are certainly not necessary for swimming competitively. Freestyle, is ALL that's necessary. Imagine doing 4 different types of high jump (fosbury, straddle, two-legged, etc) or long jump. Its the same thing with swimming, but people are just so used to looking at it that it is ingrained as acceptable. Its clearly not equivalent to other sports with its types nor is it needed. And the olympics is just a clear showcase of that inequivalence as the sports are presented side-by-side.


    I love egg and spoon, and tiddly-winks - why oh why are my sporting 'rights' being denied and also that of millions of others, if not billions? ;-) okay, millions then.

    But show me when in the World Athletics championships have there been different types of high jump. Also when was the last time the egg and spoon race featured in the world championships? Who governs it? If you were to introduce backwards running etc you'd just be inventing sports to get them into the olympics. Whereas the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and medley are already competed in by millions of people across every continent. FINA has rules for all of these strokes and they all feature in the world championships. The olympics is not the be all and end all of swimming. If someone wants to know why there are different disciplines for swimming and not for athletics watch the world or European championships in both sports. You'll soon learn that there's a whole 4 years of sporting events outside of the olympics.

    Also there is a 4x100 medley relay. Maybe you meant a 4x200 IM relay? (100 wouldn't be possible as it would be 4 different strokes over 2 lengths) And if you're a good enough backstroker you'll make the team for it. There isn't a backstroke relay because there aren't as many people who compete in the backcrawl. Well there might be in the olympics but if you look at all levels you'll find that most people's best stroke is freestyle. So I think only having relays for freestyle is justified. Ditto for the amount of long distance swimmers. And having a long distance relay or medley? Come on there's having a varied line up of events and then there's congestion. Though again Grant Hackett was on the Australian 4x200 relay team so if you're good enough you'll have plenty of chances to get medals. And remember Phelps, who is going for a record amount of medals, best stroke is butterfly.
    redspider wrote:
    As for the front-crawl being developed by Native Americans, I think you will find in any in-depth study of swimming that people all over the world have been swimming the freestyle (also known as the swimming-as-fast-as-you-can-away-from-that-nasty-animal-style) for millenia, in Europe too. Breaststoke was a contrived one, from treading water I presume.

    Sorry I meant competitively. Swimming it right is very different to moving your arms fast and that was what I meant when I said developed. Although that's just something I read on wikipedia. I've also heard Australians claim that it was them who invented the frontcrawl. Anyway the point was just that they weren't all invented just to have in the olympics.
    redspider wrote:
    There are many problems with the Olympics. Do you have an hour? It could certainly be made better. No horses for a start. One type of sailboat, one type of swimming stroke, one type of gun, one type of sword (if any!), softball and baseball, probably both could be dropped as they are not global sports, gymnastics for U-18's held in a separate competition (its akin to child labour), etc, etc ......

    There is nothing wrong with beach volleyball! ;-) Although, they could have more types perhaps, 3-a-side (3somes?), 4-a-side ... bikini only .... yellow ball, white ball, beach ball, with sun-oil, without sun-oil, with sunglasses, without sunglasses, those women who are 36D and over, etc ..... you get the picture(s). I wont say anything about breast stroke! ;-)

    Redspider

    Softball and baseball are being dropped. There will be an under 18's gymnastics in the youth olympics. I'll say it again if you don't like a sport just don't watch it. If America and China want to get caught up in some childish medal race then good for them but I couldn't care less if certain sports skew the count in some countries favour. It's not like America and Australia force others not to enter the swimming. Everyone has the same opportunity to win a medal. I've also lost interest in beach volleyball ever since it was introduced to women like these who seem to win more than their better looking counterparts. But maybe you're talking about the men's volleyball?;)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 603 ✭✭✭Money Shot


    MooseJam wrote: »
    Now I think swimming as a sport is fine and is just as good as any other but the whole different strokes thing is a load of BS !, it should be just a straight race over the distance, backstroke butterfly freestyle blah de blah de blah, how about 100 meters sprint running backwards, running sideways, hopping, walking , on your hands yeah that would work.

    They do this in swimming and it's called Freestyle - you can use whatever stroke you want to get to the end, so in effect it is a straight race using whatever stroke you want. Front Crawl is the fastest, so in effect, the default freestyle. The others are more technical strokes and hence worthy of inclusion. The only style that could be considered impractical is the 'butterfly', but as someone has stated, it is a great stroke to watch for sheer power and technique.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 25 PTG


    I'll just make one comment on this, my feelings for the most part are covered in the posts preceeding.

    To say swimming is contrived in having so many strokes and thus medal possibilities is BULL****.

    And heres why, you say that Phelps can't be considered the greatest Olympian ever because he has so many more opportunities to win Golds. Well i ask you this, are the EXACT same opportunities not available to every person in the world??? ANYONE has the option to partake in ANY sport at the Olympics and so has the exact same opportunity to win those exact same medals, they just don't possess the talent or work ethic to do so.

    So they can moan all they want, Michael Phelps went and he did it! He is The Greatest Olympian ever and you can bet your ass he'll be in London too to win more


  • Registered Users Posts: 102 ✭✭Euchrid


    After reading this thread, went looking for the history of why and when the different strokes were introduced to the olympics.

    Personally, I'd gladly sacrifice a few of the current events to see the underwater swim and the 200m with obstacles from the 1900 event re-introduced!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swimming_at_the_Summer_Olympics

    Interesting too that the longest distance for women was always 800 because when first introduced they 'Were too delicate for 1500m', yet while the 10km open water swim has been introduced for both sexes, the 800 remains in the pool for women.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,544 ✭✭✭redspider


    sock puppet> But show me when in the World Athletics championships have there been different types of high jump .... Whereas the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and medley are already competed in by millions of people across every continent. FINA has rules for all of these strokes and they all feature in the world championships.

    Yeah, I do realise that these strokes are swam competitively outside of the olympics and that the global body officiates and recognises them. And that the 4 different type of high jumps aren't carried out by the IAAF. But they could, and at one stage there was a standing jump. Sports evolve over time. Most sports areas removed a lot of the silly stuff because they were futile or became unfashionable. The 56lb weight toss for example. Tug-of-war. Swimming hasnt dropped strokes though. And as you admit, there is no 4x100 back or 4x200m back, or 4x400 back. Where is the stoke equivalence. If they were equal, shouldnt they be ran the same. And unlike tennis, there is no mixed relay either, but there could be. Maybe FINA will get around to that in time. Sports have evolved separately and have their own nuances so the olympic events give us all a very public and opportune time to discuss them and compare them.

    > Swimming it right is very different to moving your arms fast and that was what I meant when I said developed.

    okay.

    > Softball and baseball are being dropped.

    ah, some common sense.

    > but I couldn't care less if certain sports skew the count in some countries favour.

    I dont care about the country medal count either, this discussion is not about that.

    > Everyone has the same opportunity to win a medal.

    Well thats just it - everyone doesnt! Someone has a much greater chance of a medal in some sports than in others, and swimming with its different stokes creates many more opportunities than people competing in other fields. If the Olympics were 'normalised', then most of the swimming events would have to be cut out. For example, how many gold medals can a hockey player win. One. Uno. Une. Ein, in a given olympics. They would be lucky to get 3 in a lifetime and over 8 years, and thats if their age just happens to be right on the sweetspot and they also have good players in the same team. You could be the best hockey player in the world and never get a medal. Phelps can get 5 in a few days! So saying he is the greatest olympian, as all the papers were headlining across the world this morning, is misinformation and is not comparing like for like. Its swimming gold medals. They headlines should have had a health warning (ie: please divide total medal haul by 3 or 8 to equate it with some of the other sports)! Joe Soap public couldnt give two hoots what the medal is in. Synchronised trampolining (of thats gone), synchronised diving (still there).

    PTG > are the EXACT same opportunities not available to every person in the world ???

    Erm, no, they aren't. Not every sporting person has to do swimming first and then opt for a second sport if they cant make it at swimming. People do different sports for different reasons, and because they have different opportunities or likes. If someone is specialising in a sport, which happens to be in the olympics, and which there is only one gold on offer every 4 years, it seems ludicrous to compare it to another sports-person who has the possibility of winning 8 or more medals.

    Overall, I dont begrudge swimmers swimming loads of different strokes. I've been to the world fin swimming competition (not a sport/stroke in the olympics by the way, why not, another gold medal opportunity or is it deemed as futile?) and people can certainly dolphin kick (a better man-from-atlantis) underwater which would seem like a good sport.

    By the way, I'd like to see Phelps compete in a triathlon and see how he'd get on. I do realise that he is a remarkable athlete for his chosen field and fair play to him for winning all that medal haul with more likely to come. Just to make it clear, I am not against swimming, far from it. I just want swimmers to take up the debate themselves and to realise that perhaps Phelps is not the greatest olympian of all time.

    Redspider


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭sock puppet


    redspider wrote: »

    Yeah, I do realise that these strokes are swam competitively outside of the olympics and that the global body officiates and recognises them. And that the 4 different type of high jumps aren't carried out by the IAAF. But they could, and at one stage there was a standing jump. Sports evolve over time. Most sports areas removed a lot of the silly stuff because they were futile or became unfashionable. The 56lb weight toss for example. Tug-of-war. Swimming hasnt dropped strokes though. And as you admit, there is no 4x100 back or 4x200m back, or 4x400 back. Where is the stoke equivalence. If they were equal, shouldnt they be ran the same. And unlike tennis, there is no mixed relay either, but there could be. Maybe FINA will get around to that in time.

    All of those events you mentioned were ridiculously unpopular and merited dropping as they couldn't find anyone who wanted to compete in them. Swimming hasn't dropped strokes because that's the nature of the sport and the different strokes are and always will be popular. I said in my last post that the strokes are not equal. Less people compete in butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke. They also don't get quite the same recognition. For example Kosuke Kitajima won the 100 and 200 breaststroke in Athens and defended them both in Beijing. Quite an achievement but he's still not as well known as say Alain Bernard or Eamon Sullivan despite having being around longer and achieved more. Even among swimmers the different strokes aren't considered equal. And I would be completely against a mixed relay. Relays are the only events that reward depth. A country needs 4 top class swimmers to win. America is the only country able to consistently produce good relay teams. If you look at other countries it's their lack of depth that kills them. Okay that wasn't the case this year in the mens 4x100 as France had the depth they just lost to better swimmers. The point I'm making is that in a mixed relay a country would only need to only produce 2 good swimmers of each sex. Although that's just my view maybe others would see it differently.
    redspider wrote: »
    Sports have evolved separately and have their own nuances so the olympic events give us all a very public and opportune time to discuss them and compare them.

    Well as you've seen in most of the replies in this thread every swimmer is happy with the state of the sport. Doesn't look like anyone is going to change their minds either. Although I'd like to see the introduction of a 4x50 relay at the worlds maybe. And ultimately it's us who decide (through participation) which strokes are in the world championships. Since swimming is a popular sport (once every 4 years:rolleyes:) the majority of these events are then included in the olympics.
    redspider wrote: »

    Well thats just it - everyone doesnt! Someone has a much greater chance of a medal in some sports than in others, and swimming with its different stokes creates many more opportunities than people competing in other fields. If the Olympics were 'normalised', then most of the swimming events would have to be cut out. For example, how many gold medals can a hockey player win. One. Uno. Une. Ein, in a given olympics. They would be lucky to get 3 in a lifetime and over 8 years, and thats if their age just happens to be right on the sweetspot and they also have good players in the same team. You could be the best hockey player in the world and never get a medal. Phelps can get 5 in a few days! So saying he is the greatest olympian, as all the papers were headlining across the world this morning, is misinformation and is not comparing like for like. Its swimming gold medals. They headlines should have had a health warning (ie: please divide total medal haul by 3 or 8 to equate it with some of the other sports)! Joe Soap public couldnt give two hoots what the medal is in. Synchronised trampolining (of thats gone), synchronised diving (still there).

    You coul easily turn that argument around. An average hockey player could win an olympic gold as part of a good team. Or a team that isn't the best could be lucky. Or else look at gymnastics. Some Americans are raging over what they say is bias towards Chinese competitors. I haven't watched much so I can't comment but I've watched a bit of boxing and tennis and the officiating seems poor. Not biased just poor. One of the things about swimming is that a judge cannot influence the result. There's no element of luck involved either. You won't have a good performance on the day or a once off. If you're the best you'll come 1st, if you're the 2nd best you'll come 2nd etc barring illness or disqualification or something like that. If you come 1st in swimming you know that you're the best.
    redspider wrote: »
    By the way, I'd like to see Phelps compete in a triathlon and see how he'd get on. I do realise that he is a remarkable athlete for his chosen field and fair play to him for winning all that medal haul with more likely to come. Just to make it clear, I am not against swimming, far from it. I just want swimmers to take up the debate themselves and to realise that perhaps Phelps is not the greatest olympian of all time.

    Redspider

    I dunno. He'd probably do better than Usain Bolt..... Everyone can run and cycle but not everyone can swim. Though since their both sprinters (Phelps not so much) I'd like to see the pace at which they both crawl to the finish. I've never claimed he was the greatest olympian of all time I haven't seen many swimmers claim it either only the media. Though the season recommences next month so I could give you a better response to that then. In fact I've seen more track and field athletes foaming at the mouth claiming how easy it is for him compared to them than I've seen claim he's the greatest. Seems to be turning into a "my sport is better than yours" fight.

    Swimming in terms of strokes has stopped evolving I'd say. There'll be developments in strokes sure but your average viewer won't notice these rule changes. Look at the changes to the underwater kick rule in breaststroke for example. Makes a difference to swimmers though. There'll also be developments in technology too. This will stop eventually though. You can only eliminate waves and drag by so much. So there's plenty being debated already.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,544 ✭✭✭redspider


    sock puppet > All of those events merited dropping as they couldn't find anyone who wanted to compete in them.

    I'm sure they could find people. Maybe it was the IAAF that dropped them. But look at Baseball. It wasnt in the olympics, but now it is, and yet its going to be dropped. Nothing to do with the amount of people that can do it.

    > Swimming hasn't dropped strokes because that's the nature of the sport and the different strokes are and always will be popular. I said in my last post that the strokes are not equal. Less people compete in butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke.

    I'm sure if the IOC said they were going to drop backstroke, I'm sure FINA and the NOC's would comply, whether they were still heavily used or not.

    > And I would be completely against a mixed relay.

    Why, it works in Badminton and Tennis, so it would work in all other sports - Women are not aliens, at least according to what I've read! ;-)

    > Relays are the only events that reward depth.

    Agreed. Although there can be chances of a country winning with width rather than a superstar and 3 others coming out on top.

    > Well as you've seen in most of the replies in this thread every swimmer is happy with the state of the sport.

    Well, they shouldnt be so happy with the state of its viewing in the Olympics and the discussion over Phelps.

    > An average hockey player could win an olympic gold as part of a good team. Or a team that isn't the best could be lucky. Or else look at gymnastics.

    But there is only one hockey competition at each olympics. They cant enter 8 events in hockey. There is no equivalence.

    > Some Americans are raging over what they say is bias towards Chinese competitors. I haven't watched much so I can't comment but I've watched a bit of boxing and tennis and the officiating seems poor. Not biased just poor.

    The Chinese female gymnasts look under age. They are supposed to be 16. A couple have seemingly said in casual conversation when caught off-guard that they were 14. Boxing is very subjective, as its not electonic. They need to go the way of fencing, and watch out for dodgy Russians that tamper with the sensors. ;-) (happened in 1980 I think).

    > One of the things about swimming is that a judge cannot influence the result. There's no element of luck involved either.

    I agree there is no element of luck per se, but there are rules. For example, breast-stokers must come up from under the water before the 15m mark after a turn. One race a Chinese competitor broke this by a metre but wasnt called up on it. Another aspect is the under-water kicks. Also, the turn on your face by the so-called backstroke before the turn. Some people turn too early and do one and a half strokes.

    > If you're the best you'll come 1st, if you're the 2nd best you'll come 2nd etc barring illness or disqualification or something like that. If you come 1st in swimming you know that you're the best.

    Well, Phelps won by 0.01 of second today/yesterday and it may have even been closer than that against the Serb chap. The Serb lad was ahead on the final stroke but coasted in making a small millisecond mistake, which was enough to put Phelps first. But was not the Serb the better swimmer on the day? Probably. Sometimes there is a fine line between 1st and 2nd.

    > In fact I've seen more track and field athletes foaming at the mouth claiming how easy it is for him compared to them than I've seen claim he's the greatest. Seems to be turning into a "my sport is better than yours" fight.

    Well, I think they've turned their foaming at the mouth into not caring about Phelps at all and demeaning him and the sport of swimming as a mickey mouse sport. They are using the backward running as an example. So this is why Swimmers should care. The 7 (or 8) gold medals of Phelps is getting teated as good as a zero! I'm sure there'll be a couple of articles about it in the sunday papers, as well as Bolt of course and his 9.69.

    Ironically it was Phelps which has irked them, because in his press conference when he won his 11th gold medal, he was asked what it feels like to be the greatest olympian of all time. His answer: "It feels .... Cool!". So there is at least one swimmer that thinks that he is - himself!

    Redspider


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 763 ✭✭✭goo


    BendiBus wrote: »
    Or jumping over hurdles, or steeplechases, or handing a stick to another runner. For that matter running around a track so you just end up where you started. Pfft to all this sport & exercise nonsense :p
    That's a solid response haha.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,625 ✭✭✭AngryHippie


    redspider wrote: »
    By the way, I'd like to see Phelps compete in a triathlon and see how he'd get on. I do realise that he is a remarkable athlete for his chosen field and fair play to him for winning all that medal haul with more likely to come. Just to make it clear, I am not against swimming, far from it. I just want swimmers to take up the debate themselves and to realise that perhaps Phelps is not the greatest olympian of all time.

    With his lactate levels, I'm pretty sure He'd pi$$ all over 90% of the competitors, even with his butty little legs and long arms. What makes Phelps the Greatest Olympian of all time ? I'm not even sure he is, but his complete dominance in all events, over all distances surely deserves everyones respect, if not admiration.
    To elaborate on this I'll have to elaborate on swimming training a little, Most swimmers have a "favorite" event, that they are gearing their training towards, Most swimmers have a specific training plan to prepare for that race, especially olympic atheletes. Here we have a man who is capable of training to record breaking speeds in all 4 strokes, including starts turns and technical execution of the stroke. This would be semi-comparable to one dude winning all sprints, hurdles and races up to and including a 5K. Whether you are happy about the number of swimming events or not is completely eclipsed by this one man whether you like it or not. He's trained like a demon, He's swum like a demon and he deserves every bit of credit.(unless he turns out to be on the juice, but its unlikely).
    Grow up:p


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 25 PTG


    redspider wrote: »
    > For example, breast-stokers must come up from under the water before the 15m mark after a turn. One race a Chinese competitor broke this by a metre but wasnt called up on it.

    Wrong, 15m rule only applies to back, fly and free


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭sock puppet


    redspider wrote: »
    I'm sure they could find people. Maybe it was the IAAF that dropped them. But look at Baseball. It wasnt in the olympics, but now it is, and yet its going to be dropped. Nothing to do with the amount of people that can do it.

    I had a look at those events for the olympics. One year like 3 people from 1 country entered so they obviously weren't popular. The reason baseball is being dropped is because it isn't played in the vast majority of countries. This means that hosts have to spend millions on a world class stadium that they will never use. If strokes were dropped in swimming they'd still have to build an expensive stadium it would just be used less. By that logic it wouldn't be a good decision to drop strokes as the extra strokes bring in extra viewers at no additional cost.
    redspider wrote: »
    I'm sure if the IOC said they were going to drop backstroke, I'm sure FINA and the NOC's would comply, whether they were still heavily used or not.

    Again the olympics isn't everything. Backstroke would still be swam just not at the olympics. It would just mean that for swimmers the world championships would become more important while the olympics becomes less important. Again it's not exactly an inspired business decision.
    redspider wrote: »
    Why, it works in Badminton and Tennis, so it would work in all other sports - Women are not aliens, at least according to what I've read! ;-)

    Agreed. Although there can be chances of a country winning with width rather than a superstar and 3 others coming out on top.

    Sorry I don't quite understand what you mean there in that last sentence. Do you mean that one swimmer can carry the rest of the team? That's definitely not true. Bernard couldn't win it for france and similarly Van Hoogenband couldn't win it for the Netherlands.
    redspider wrote: »
    Well, they shouldnt be so happy with the state of its viewing in the Olympics and the discussion over Phelps.

    Why not? What is the state of its viewing? Look at the emergence of countries like Britain, France and China. Also when was the last time you saw an African gold medalist outside of South Africa or Zimbabwe? Hell even we're getting better. In 2000 8 different countries won gold medals, in 2004 11 did and this year 13 did. So the sport seems to be growing.
    redspider wrote: »
    But there is only one hockey competition at each olympics. They cant enter 8 events in hockey. There is no equivalence.

    First if all to win in 8 events requires you to be pretty much the best at every stroke. Also a hockey player probably plays more hockey in one game than Phelps has swam in the entire competition.
    redspider wrote: »
    I agree there is no element of luck per se, but there are rules. For example, breast-stokers must come up from under the water before the 15m mark after a turn. One race a Chinese competitor broke this by a metre but wasnt called up on it. Another aspect is the under-water kicks. Also, the turn on your face by the so-called backstroke before the turn. Some people turn too early and do one and a half strokes.

    Breaststrokers have no specified limit. They are allowed 1 underwater pull which isn't likely to make it past 15m. I don't see the problem with underwater kicks:confused:. Unless your talking about breaststroke in which case they aren't done anyway. I don't think this happens often in backstroke. Okay some swimmers may thread a fine line on their turns but I've seen very little that's blatantly illegal.
    redspider wrote: »
    Well, Phelps won by 0.01 of second today/yesterday and it may have even been closer than that against the Serb chap. The Serb lad was ahead on the final stroke but coasted in making a small millisecond mistake, which was enough to put Phelps first. But was not the Serb the better swimmer on the day? Probably. Sometimes there is a fine line between 1st and 2nd.

    Phelps was the better swimmer. The finish is an important part of a race which Cavic would have practiced endless times in training. Phelps' was just better making him the better swimmer.
    redspider wrote: »
    Well, I think they've turned their foaming at the mouth into not caring about Phelps at all and demeaning him and the sport of swimming as a mickey mouse sport. They are using the backward running as an example. So this is why Swimmers should care. The 7 (or 8) gold medals of Phelps is getting teated as good as a zero! I'm sure there'll be a couple of articles about it in the sunday papers, as well as Bolt of course and his 9.69.

    Ironically it was Phelps which has irked them, because in his press conference when he won his 11th gold medal, he was asked what it feels like to be the greatest olympian of all time. His answer: "It feels .... Cool!". So there is at least one swimmer that thinks that he is - himself!

    They've always done this it's nothing new really. Swimmers have never commanded the same amount of respect as runners. The success of Phelps has brought the sport more into the limelight I'd say. I mean like before him when was the last time that the diet plan of a swimmer was ever reported by the media all over the world? It's nothing to do with the amount of strokes there are swimming is just a less popular sport. Who cares what they think anyway. Most people recognise Phelps' ability and achievements for what they are. He's the greatest swimmer of all time. He's never said he was the greatest olympian. When asked if he was he said he was just the most decorated.


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