Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back to the pool

Another Olympic post. I really haven't heard anything about swimming pool technology during these Olympics. It used to be that there would be a quick piece at the beginning of coverage as to how modern science was finding ways to make faster and faster pools. I may have missed it, but I haven't seen that piece during the current coverage (nor do I recall it at Athens or Sydney).

Is it possible that someone feels the magnificence of the athletes would be diminished if it was pointed out that Olympic and world records were being broken as much due to engineering as to the heroic sacrifice and effort of the young men and women? We've heard about the new swimsuits because the issue bubbled into controversy, but I do wonder: Are pools as good as they can be, or are records falling because everyone is, in effect, swimming downhill in both directions? It would be nice to know.

2 comments:

Citizen Carrie said...

Someone just told me that Brian Williams reported 1) the pool is 1-meter deeper than other Olympic-sized pools in one spot 2) the lane markers are designed to help eliminate the wake 3) the little platforms they jump from have nice non-slippery surfaces.

And of course he reported on the new swimsuits and improved training techniques.

Androcass said...

Thanks for the info. I'm glad to hear they're finally getting around to talking about that, even if it undercuts the idea that Michael Phelps is Superman.

(That's not to put down his accomplishments, which are phenomenal, but I think we forget the past too easily in the headlong rush to extol new world records.)

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