Tuesday, March 27


Three world records are set today in Australia: Natalie Coughlin (100m back stroke), Aaron Piersol (100m back stroke) and Michael Phelps (pictured). Phelps becomes the first swimmer under 1:44 in the 200 meter freestyle, touching in at 1:43.86 and robbing Ian Thorpe of his 2001 standard. I still follow this unusual sport from my youth - a memory water-logged from the hours spent in a pool at Berkeley, Walnut Creek and finally Brown. Swimming allowed me an exchange with Genevé Natation when I was 16 during the Olympic year 1984. I trained with Dano Halsell, who owned the World Record for the 50m freestyle, broken by Robin Leamy 24 hours later. My friend Etienne Dagon earned Switzerland's first swimming medal - a bronze - in the 200m breast stroke. Theo David was ranked seventh in the world in the 200m butterfly though did not make the Olympic finals. For a small non-swimming nation those were good times.
Photo by Rick Rickman.