Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012 Summer Olympics Preview - Swimming

Greetings everyone. If you have been around the blog for a while you know that I teamed up with Ian from The Steelers N'at a while ago to do a preview for the 2010 Winter Olympics so with the Summer Olympics right around the corner I figured I might as well do it for you guys again. In the summer games we have 31 different events and over the week we are going to be preview every single one of them. I am going to drop some knowledge today about swimming at the Olympics with a preview of men's and women's swimming events. While I give you a really vague idea of who is going to compete my boy Adam drops in to give you a better idea of what is going on. Even if it isn't better, it is better. Trust me. Ian dropped some information on "athletics" earlier in the day so make sure you go and check that out and make sure you check back every day to get your info on everything Olympics.


Swimming


There are a few staples to the Summer Olympics that everyone things of when you bring up the games. Those three things are undoubtedly basketball, track & field and swimming. Swimming has been a huge sell back to 2008 when Michael Phelps won eight gold medals but we will get more into that later. Swimming might look easy but if you have ever been in a pool and did some laps you know how hard it can be. It takes great cardiovascular training to be able to hang like these guys do and the weight room is a must to be able to hold up and have the stamina to compete at the highest level.

How it works: Here is a breakdown of all of the competitions that will be taking place on the men's and women's side:

Freestyle

50m (one length of the pool)

100m (two lengths)
200m (four lengths)
400m (eight lengths)

800m (16 lengths; women only)

1500m (30 lengths; men only)
10k (open water swim)



Backstroke
100m (two lengths)

200m (four lengths)



Breaststroke
100m (two lengths)
200m (four lengths)



Butterfly

100m (two lengths)

200m (four lengths)



Individual medley
200m (four lengths)
400m (eight lengths)



Relays
4x100m Freestyle (each swimmer swims two lengths)

4x200m Freestyle (each swimmer swims four lengths)
4x100m Medley Relay (each swimmer swims a different stroke two lengths; the order is backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle)

Each event at the Olympics are set in preliminary rounds for 200m races and shorter and the top 16 will move on to semifinals before going to the finals. In anything longer than 200m there will just be one preliminary round and then the top eight move directly on to the finals.

Pretty much other than that it isn't really much to explain. In a lot of the other events I have wrote about and explained during this preview series there are little nuances to winning and scoring but it is totally different here. The fastest time wins and really nothing else matters.

The USA Chances: It would be foolish to talk about the USA swim team without talking about Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte on the men's side. Phelps has been the staple of the United States in the pool as he has 16 medals all time with with 14 of those being gold. Phelps will be the favorite in all events that he is swimming in which will total six events. Lochte is making some huge waves in the pool as the main competition to Phelps and those two will be pushing each each and I wouldn't be surprised to see them finish 1-2 in a few events. Brendan Hansen and Anthony Ervin will be two other Americans to watch for. Missy Franklin will be the odds on favorite in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke as well as the 200-freestyle. Rebecca Soni will challenge in the 100- and 200-breaststroke with Dana Vollmer and Elisabeth Beisel also favorites in various events for a stacked United States team.

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