Thursday, January 28, 2010

TMI Thursday: Why Is Michael Phelps Swimming to the Winter Olympics?

Perhaps you have seen the recent Subway commercial featuring Michael Phelps swimming in a pool and beyond. He manages to break through the swimming pool wall, swims across a street, passes a Subway, where Jared just happens to be their encouraging Phelps, swims through a corn field effortlessly tossing a cow and chicken and heads toward Vancouver and the Winter Olympics. For the sake of this post, let’s find the fact that there is a 1,000-mile swimming pool not at all unusual. My bigger question is why is Michael Phelps heading to Vancouver? The last time I checked, swimming was reserved for the summer games.

This is a bit of a tangent, but during my junior year of high school, I joined the diving team. I was going to be the next Greg Louganis. (I'm scared to see what the comments are going to be after writing this sentence.) I skipped playing on the soccer team in the fall to work on improving my grades. At some point a few months into my junior year, I realized that my grades were fine but I missed being part of a competitive team. That's why I joined the diving and swimming team...or at least that's I told myself and others. In retrospect, I joined the diving team because of a girl.

So every day, I worked on my dives in practice. I established a solid front/regular dive, back dive and inward dive. (This is an inward dive, but not me doing it.)



However, I could never master a reverse dive.



OK, Greg Louganis' dive involved a lot twists and flips. There was no way I could ever figure that out. This is what your standard reverse dive looks like:



So anyway, my diving and swimming career didn't take off. I never dove in a meet and my participation on the swimming team was laughable as I failed to figure out the flip turn. Fortunately, I never hit my head on the diving board. I also didn't end up dating the girl on the diving team, although she was the subject of a past TMI Thursday involving my first kiss.

However, this is all a tangent of another tangent. My diving coach was known as Papa Polar Bear. On January 1st every year, he led the Polar Bear Club into Pittsburgh’s Monongahela River for the Polar Bear Plunge. The temperatures were regularly below freezing, and there was often snow, but people annually jumped and swam in the river wearing only bathing suites.

This brings me back to Michael Phelps. Perhaps, they should have swimming in the Winter Olympics; outside! Think about how popular the Winter Classic is for the NHL. Wouldn't you want to watch swimmers in Coal Harbour, English Bay or Stanley Park's Beaver Lake in Vancouver? How cool would it have been to watch swimming in the Great Salt Lake when the Winter Olympics were in Utah?

Maybe Jared and Subway are on to something!

For more TMI Thursdays, please visit LiLu and you can click here to see all of my TMI Thursday archive, including the story of my first kiss.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ya' know, I heard NBC running a radio spot that features Phelps breaking some record as the first "highlight" in the ad, and I was thinking the same thing. Why not some short course races in the winter?

carissajaded said...

I have been very confused by these commercials. And yes, I would very much like to see Phelps swimming outside in the freezing cold. I would even more like his mouth to get frozen shut, bc for some reason he really gets on my nerves when he speaks. Is that rude?

Hand of Godard said...

What guy is going to want to be in front of the cameras in Speedos after swimming in freezing cold water? That being said, I think this could increase viewership if the women had an event.

Krista said...

I am of the opinion that Mr. Phelps can swim anywhere he darn well pleases. If he wants to do a few laps in my bathtub he is more than welcome.

P said...

Think of the swimmers' poor frozen, shrivelled packages though, swimming in the cold water. It would NOT Look good through the lycra...

Sean said...

I honestly have no idea where to start in attempting to reply to all of your comments. Um, thanks for the comments everyone! (How was that?)

Messiah said...

Holy crap -- I had never seen the OLD Louganis video of him hitting his head in 1979 on a PLATFORM. And he really clonked it there. It is really amazing that he got the courage to go back and become a diving legend. Ugh. That was horrible.

brandon knight said...

I think people will associate Phelps with the Olympics regardless of whether its the Winter or Summer Games. Smart move to keep him relevant for 2 1/2 years from now.