erik lundegaard

What the Olympics Needs

A ninth lane, where someone like me swims.

Seriously. Here, for example, are the results from the Men's 50m Freestyle on Friday:

1 07 France MANAUDOU Florent 21.34 - +
2 05 United States of America JONES Cullen 21.54 +0.20 +
3 04 Brazil CIELO Cesar 21.59 +0.25 +
4 06 Brazil FRATUS Bruno 21.61 +0.27 +
5 03 United States of America ERVIN Anthony 21.78 +0.44 +
6 08 South Africa SCHOEMAN Roland 21.80 +0.46 +
7 02 Trinidad and Tobago BOVELL George Richard 21.82 +0.48 +
8 01 Australia SULLIVAN Eamon 21.98 +0.64 +

First place was 21.34. Eighth place was 21.98. Not even a second's difference. A sixth of a second. Boom.

There's no perspective to that. We may sense, a bit, how fast they're going, but we don't see it because they're all racing against the other seven fastest swimmers in the world.

People at home, slumping on their couches, look at Eamon Sulivan and think he's the worst when he's the 8th best in the world. And he'd be the best, the fastest in the world, but for .65 of a second.

With me in lane 9, probably doing the sidestroke, suggesting, as George Orwell once wrote of an outdated missile, “nothing so much as a man riding along on a bicycle and whistling,” you'd see how fast all of these athletes really are. You'd get results like this:

1 07 France MANAUDOU Florent 21.34 - +
2 05 United States of America JONES Cullen 21.54 +0.20 +
3 04 Brazil CIELO Cesar 21.59 +0.25 +
4 06 Brazil FRATUS Bruno 21.61 +0.27 +
5 03 United States of America ERVIN Anthony 21.78 +0.44 +
6 08 South Africa SCHOEMAN Roland 21.80 +0.46 +
7 02 Trinidad and Tobago BOVELL George Richard 21.82 +0.48 +
8 01 Australia SULLIVAN Eamon 21.98 +0.64 +
9 09 United States of America LUNDEGAARD Erik 1.01.99 +40.65 +

We'll all have a greater appreciation for Eamon Sullivan in lane 1.


Posted at 08:47 AM on Sun. Aug 05, 2012 in category Sports  
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COMMENTS

Reed wrote:

That's all fine and good. Until we get into weightlifting, judo, and pole vaults...

Comment posted on Sun. Aug 05, 2012 at 10:53 AM

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