Friday, August 08, 2008
Why I Hate Swimming
Swimming is an example of combinatorics gone wild. You have breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, then, 50, 100, 200, and 400 meters of each. Then, there's the medley relay. Thus, about a gazillion ways to win a gold in swimming.
In running or skiing, they just see who gets to the finish line fastest. If you want to run backwards, more power to ya. The fastest guy in breaststroke? Does anyone care who is the fastest sideways runner? I don't see why we should care about the stroke style, other than to pump up a medal count.
Then there's the neat story about how Nike paid Cullen Jones $1M+ because he's an inspiration. He's not one of the US's best swimmers, but he's black. I hope his medley wins, just to see the over-the-top news reports on how a black guy broke the color barrier, as if a black athlete is something that our nation needs to rid the stereotype that blacks can't compete in athletics.