Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Add Hypocrite to List of Michael Phelps Accolades

Alluding to the fact that the still-legal Arena X-Glide swimsuit (to be banned in 2010) was the main factor in his loss to German Paul Biedermann in the 200-Meter Freestyle at the world swimming championships, Michael Phelps whined, "It's going to be fun next year when swimming is back to swimming."

If true to his word in longing for purer, un-enhanced competition, Phelps, a paid endorser of Speedo and wearer of the company's LZR Racer, should simply return contract money and advocate for swimming naked.

US coach Bob Bowman observed, "The (polyurethane) suits make you go out with ... much less energy cost, so at the end you have a punch. Michael had to work so hard to stay with him for 150, then it's just not there at the end. That's what the suits do. The energy cost is reduced going out, so you finish a lot better."

Interestingly, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out last year, polyurethane was a noted component in the design of the LZR:

It featured a "compression zone" around the torso and other parts of the body that reduced muscle and skin vibration, allowing swimmers to conserve more energy. And Speedo engineers, aided by tests in NASA wind tunnels, applied thin polyurethane panels on the swimsuit to minimize drag.

Despite the fact that the LZR started this technological race, Bowman (a paid endorser for Speedo himself) bellows a cry reminiscent of the most ardent baseball purists, "We've lost all the history of the sport. Does a 10-year-old boy in Baltimore want to break Paul Biedermann's record? The sport is in shambles right now and they better do something or they're going to lose their guy who fills these suits."

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1 comment:

Caitlin said...

It is hypocritical, however, Phelps has only said positive things about the race and never blamed it on the suit. It's his coach that started the controversy. The good thing about all of this is now the issue is a hot topic for swim officials. A standard needs to be established.