There's been a lot of drama leading up to these World Championships and it's reaching almost 7th grade schoolgirl levels. Let's review 3 of them:
We've got Cesar Cielo cleared to race. The Swiss Court of Whatever We're Neutral held up the "warning" and other sprinters were clearly displeased. Steffen Deibler, Roland Schoeman and others hit twitter with disbelief at the ruling. An informal poll on Swimmerscircle seemed to reflect the swimmer's sentiments. If he wins the win is tainted because it's going to look to some like he wasn't clean and he somehow doped and escaped the system....like the swimming Keith Richards. It's a no-win, really. At least maybe now that there's a ruling we'll get a start list.
Can Michael Phelps still swim? Is he going to doggy paddle his way across the pool gasping for air like he has a severe case of COPD? I doubt it. Like most fans, I grew tired of the "this is a wake up call-I haven't really been putting the time in" line we heard time and time again. Watching Phelps lose a 200 fly is like watching Britney Spears sing live, it just DOESN'T HAPPEN. But it did indeed happen and it happened more than once. Still, no one's counting Phelps out. He's Michael Phreakin Phelps. If anyone can pull a world record out of the crotch of his/her jammer it's this guy.
The thought of the athletes not having access to twitter or facebook was horrifying. I admit, I was despondent. My husband thought something was wrong, maybe something was wrong with one of the kids. What? The kids? Who? We have insurance...whatever...they'll be fine. Turns out the Chinese allow freedom of expression for everyone but the Chinese and everyone seems to have had no problems accessing social media once they got to Shanghai. Really though, we can argue human rights violations some other time because I need to see everyone's twit pics of the competition pool. I have my priorities straight.
I'll be so relieved when this shin-dig finally gets underway, I'm exhausted. I'm looking forward to the biggest drama occurring between the lane lines. We'll finally have the answers to our questions and we'll see the trajectory to London much more clearly. Stay tuned to Swim Brief for not all but some of your World Championship insights.