Re: Beijing Olympics thread
The other thing that's really striking me about the swimming this go-round is just how big the swimmers are. Not big as in muscular, but big as in tall. Phelps is what - 6'4"? Grevers is 6'8". That seems to be the norm moreso than I ever remember. Just a decade ago, there would have been little chance that those guys strayed from football, basketball, or pitching in baseball. Swimming was for the 6'-ish guys, not the 6'6"-ish guys.
But now with the face that Phelps is putting on swimming, and the associated money that he's inevitably attracting to the sport, I think you'll see more tall kids gravitate to the pool, or stick with the pool when they hit that growth spurt.
Sure it's going to an extreme, but maybe the next Yao Ming won't be Yao Ming on the hardwood, but will opt for the pool instead. A 7'6" world class swimmer?
If the Chinese want to win the medal count at future games, they should stick their next young Yao in a pool and teach him to freestyle and backstroke. That's what it's going to take for someone down the road to approach the medal count that Phelps is going to have by the time these games are over.