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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


It was exciting to watch records shatter with the advent of the super suit. What do you think about USA swimming and FINA changing the swimsuit guidelines? Are the records now out of reach, or is this the way to level the playing field?

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Replies to This Discussion

I was never a fan of the suits and too me it became silly when records were falling in prelims, then again in the semis and yet again in the finals. Call me old fashion but I like seeing what hard work and excellent technique can do rather than an emphasis on a suit. That being said, I have to remind everyone that I'm an open water swimmer and to do the sorts of Channel swims that I like you only get one pair of goggles, one suit, one cap (latex or silicone your choice) and ear-plugs. The rest you have to deal with, the cold, tides, ships, jellyfish, sharks, keeping food down. can't be aided by anything that assists in buoyancy.One person against the elements, that's what I like.
I am both an open water and US Master's pool competitor. I, like Naji, just want the water on my body. As far as the new suits go.......let's keep it simple and keep the playing field level. Even though we are in the high tech age, swimming is a natural body sport and we don't need to become uber!
You lost me with the sharks and jellyfish. Terrifying!
I like that, Kathleen. A natural body sport. Very true. It bothered me to watch the Duel in the Pool, the last meet where the super suit was allowed, and see Nathan Adrian compete against Michael Phelps. Adrian won, and he was wearing the super suit, so it made me wonder if it was him or the suit. I guess we'll find out this year!
Hi Angela,
I am from the old school, and like steroids, anything that's utilized to "enhance" ones' own natural abilities, should be done away with. If the super suit will help in bringing down the times of our swimmers to be considered world competitors, or to bring home more Gold Medals, without accusations of doing anything wrong, so be it. I can remember when the shaved head was suppose to help in reducing times, and I wonder if it really had a significant impact on ones' performance. Is it the suit or the desire of the swimmer to win/?? Although there may be some truth that they in fact do enhance ones' ability, reduce the amount of drag, and any other factors that have been discovered, I believe that "whatever floats your boat", then go with it. Darrick
Darrick, while I understand your point it was admitted by the German swimmer who beat Phelps in that freestyle event at the 2009 Worlds (sorry I don't recall if it was the 100 or 200) that the suit helped him win the race. In fact, he was quoted as saying so. To me there is a big difference between shaving one's head to reduce drag and a suit that is made of material that contains polyurethane that aids in buoyancy. We all know that the higher the hips and legs are the faster someone goes correct?

Most triathletes use wetsuits mainly because most are poor swimmers and they can finish the swim portion faster because they're legs and hips ride high in the water. I can do the same with just good head position, solid rotation, and a strong lead elbow recovery above the water, without the suit. I'm glad that FINA has gone back to letting swimming be swimming, maybe we can have a record that hangs around for several years and swimmers have to work hard over a longer period of time of years rather than heats to break it. Just my two cents.
Hi Naji,
First of all my friend, long time no communicate with. Secondly, Happy Resurrection Day, and lastly, I wholeheartedly concur with all that you have stated in your rudimentary and sound fundamentals swimming techniues, you've outlined so beautifully in your last comments. You ought to be coaching competitors, and maybe you are with open water swimmers. I know you will produce some awesome swimmers, whether in pool or open water, with such skills you have. Thanks for the pull up(no pun intended, particularly with my hips and legs in the water), and continue to share with your vast knowledge. God Bless You Naji, and I am going to keep my promise to you. Whenever I visit your neck of the woods, I am going to get in that Channel with you and swim a few hundred yards, just to say I did it. I will probally need fins, just to keep up with you. Take Care My Brother.
Naji, you mention that triathletes are poor swimmers who depend on the suit to get them through that portion of the race. I'm curious. Have you ever done a triathlon? I'd think you'd have an advantage with your open water experience.


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