Monday, August 11, 2008

Non-baseball post: Olympic swimming

Here's the question I have every four years during the Olympics: Why are there so many swimming medals? Michael Phelps is going for 8 gold medals, which is great for him, but why does he get that opportunity when a sprinter or cyclist or boxer or beach volleyball player only gets one or two shots?

I understand the distances. 50M, 100M, 200M, 400M, 1500M that all makes sense. I understand the relays. But why all the different strokes? Why the medleys?

In track, you have sprints and hurdles. But you don't have the gunny sack race. You don't have the crab walk. You don't have a relay when one person hops on his left leg, and the next guy hops on his right leg, and the last guy hops on two legs.

Yet in swimming you have freestyle (which makes perfect sense... it's the fastest stroke), and you have breaststroke, and butterfly, and backstroke. And then just for fun, you have the medley, when one person does each stroke. That makes no sense to me.

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