This week I have been watching some of the qualifying trials for the Olympic Swim team.
Because the event is held in Omaha, of course I have a lot of memories of living there many years ago. However, that was also long before the event was held there.
My Olympic Swimming memory is from 2008. A couple weeks before the Beijing Olympics I was flying to Singapore to teach a course. Sitting all around me were members of the US Olympic Swim team. I was sitting next to Chloe Sutton who was the open water swimmer, and it was interesting to talk to her and others about their experiences in swimming.
Only half the team was on my flight, the other half were on another flight. They were all on their way to Singapore to attend a training and acclimation camp. This allowed them to be acclimated to the time change and also not have to travel as long of a distance just before the start of the events.
I was able to watch the Opening Ceremony from my Hotel room in Singapore. It was neat to actually see it live while my friends and family were all asleep back home :-). I also saw more of the ceremony than what was shown back home. I talked to several friend about the opening ceremony when I got home and they definitely cut parts of it out in the broadcast in the US. It was one of the best opening ceremonies I have seen for the Olympics.
On the way back home after my training course I had a layover in Hong Kong, so I can say that I was in China during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Although just for a short time.
I am not much of a swimmer myself, but I like to watch swimming. One of the reasons is that there are almost always some type of record being broken. There have been so many advances in equipment, technique and training that it stays exciting.
There is also the possibility of one person winning more medals than are available in other sports. Could you imagine how many medals Bolt would have won if there were more track events in his range? How about the 50m, 100m, 100m sideways, 100m uphill, 100m downhill, 200m, 200m straightaway, 200m curve, 200m shuffle (50m down and back twice), Medley relays (100,100,200,400) like we see at other levels, 4x100m, 4x200m, etc..