Apr 15 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM MEDIA SUMMIT: Quotes from Swimming Press Conference Tuesday, April 15

April 15, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
Press Conference Quotes Tuesday, April 15 8:30 - 9:30 am Swimming Participants: Ian Crocker (IC) Natalie Coughlin (NC) Brendan Hansen (BH) Katie Hoff (KH) Ryan Lochte (RL) Introduction: The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Swimming are June 29-July 6 in Omaha, Neb. At the Olympic Games, swimming will be in the first nine days, with prelims in the evening and finals in the morning. Quotes: Q: For Natalie, since Athens you've maintained your high level and improved. How have you evolved' NC: I feel like I've gained a lot of momentum over the past few years and I think you can attribute that to working in the pool for the last seven or eight. A lot of times when you make technical changes in your swimming, the benefits don't really come right away, and they're finally starting to show themselves in the form of faster times and personal bests. Q: Ryan and anyone else, what do you attribute this flurry of world records to' Is it the suit' Something else' RL: I would have to say it deals with a bunch of things; it's not just the suit. It's the person also. Swimming's gotten a lot faster since 2004 and every year swimmers are getting faster. You're just training harder, you're doing a lot more things differently. Yeah, the suit helps, but I want to say it's a lot of different things. When I put it on, people joke around about this, but I feel like I'm some kind of action hero, like ready to take on the world. That's just when I put it on. It makes me feel like when I dive in that water, like I'm swimming downhill. Q: Are any of you not on a Speedo contract' How do you plan to deal with it' BH: All of the apparel companies are finding ways to step it up. It's a very competitive field. When you get the chance to represent your country in the Olympics, I've focused so much on preparing; the last thing I worry about is what I'm going to wear out there. Being a breaststroker, the suit is the least invasive, or not as important as in the freestyle or butterfly events. Nike and TYR are all competitive companies and are going to fight. Speedo is breaking all of these World Records, the Nike and TYR suits haven't been worn by as many athletes. The window of opportunity for the other suits to perform to that level [is less]. I think it's kind of a fad. I think the other apparel companies, which are very competitive in other sports, will find a way to catch up. Q: Even before this suit, why are World Records being lowered more now' IC: I think that in swimming it is unique versus track in field, because there is more resistance in the water and so you are trying to overcome more in swimming and there is more room for improvement and so the World Records keep improving. There are a lot of great rivalries in swimming that are emerging in the past four or five years that are really pushing the sport further. And the technology of training and the learning how to train more effectively has been really important in moving forward, as well as helping break records. As far as the question about the suit, I just kind of want to chime in. I agree that the suit does not necessarily do the work for you; as an athlete you have to prepare as well as you can and have to be ready to race and all that. The influx of World Records right now is a typical trend pre-Olympics. If you look before 2004 and 2000, if you compare those, you will see nothing different. Right now you see a lot of people breaking records in Speedo suits, because a lot of people wear Speedo suits. Speedo does deserve a lot of credit because they have put a lot of R and D, and money and time, into developing the suit. And I feel like they have definitely hit the mark better than they have before, and I feel the other apparel companies are working hard to try and match that. Q: Is there a workout routine for regular guys for getting a swimmer's body type' BH: If you want a swimmer's body type, the first thing you want to do is get rid of your social life and just train all the time. There are a few exercises that swimmers use that are great. Swimming is based on the core, but I think a lot of us up here are always looking for the new thing; we are always trying to improve. We are never just satisfied with one exercise. It is really important nowadays to find ways to get faster...never be satisfied with what is in front of you and always looking to the future and keep trying to get better. Recently in my program, I have worked with the ply ball, the phys ball. Those make any exercise twice as hard; so if you do a simple crunch or a push up or things that have been around for years and you apply this ball to it, it forces you to stabilize yourself and makes it twice as hard. It is something I have been using in my training I have been using in the past few months. You know, we are always looking for something new, always trying to find the competitive edge. I think these new products like that really help us out. Q: Natalie, you ran the Torch Relay in San Francisco. Was the route changed' What was security like' NC: I was really proud to be a part of the Torch Relay. It was an extremely long, intense day, but it was a day I will never forget. We had a meeting at 10:00 in the morning and got all got together on two buses. It was supposed to start at noon but because of security it got pushed back to 1:00. Mayor (Gavin Newsom) told us at the last second that they were changing the route. For security reasons, we were not allowed to have our cell phones on us and we were not allowed to make calls. So a lot of people in the city had no idea where we were going. However, the coolest thing about that was, although the people who camped out at 6:00 a.m. on the original route didn't get to see us, there were a lot of impromptu gatherings around the city. The people who had no idea we were coming that didn't plan on seeing us got to see a part of the Olympic Torch run. A think that was a really good way for them to get a spotlight on their issue, but I think that our safety was our No. 1 issue for the Mayor. I thought we did a good job accommodating each group. Q: In regards to the 2016 Olympics, what do you look for in a host city' NC: I have only been to one Olympics. As an athlete you want really good accommodations. You don't want to have to walk too far from the Village. You want good transportation. You don't want to have to go too far for whatever venue, that way you can maximize your rest between finals, semis. I think Chicago would be a great host. Although my swimming career will most likely be over by that time, I think it would be an amazing opportunity for U.S. athletes to have it in their home country. I think Chicago would be a great place. Roundtable Quotes: KH-Talking about the experience she gained in Athens"I was just going through it all. I wasn't really there. I mean, my body was there but my head was in a dream. This time I can be in the now and experience it and have fun with it and even go to the Closing Ceremonies, which I didn't get to do last time."IC-Talking about air quality concerns in Beijing"There's not a whole lot you can do about it. The important thing to remember is that everyone is on the same playing field. They talked about air quality being a problem in Athens too but I don't think it will be a problem."BH-Talking about his teammates as role models for youth"United States swimming is going to get stronger and stronger and stronger because they have such great athletes to look up to."NC-On the new Speedo suit and why people are breaking so many World Records I love the suit, it's great. I am a Speedo athlete_ It's an Olympic year and people are swimming fast. You can't take someone off the street, put them in a suit, and turn them into an Olympic athlete. The only thing it does is reduce drag and add compression to the legs. RL-Talking about his state of mind before competitions"I'm the kind of person that doesn't get nervous and I don't feel pressure. If I'm not relaxed I'm probably going to have the worst race of my life."
Comments