#Swimming
en
2,772 Members
Commons
Cards
Talks
Q&A
Members
Popular
Updated
Should Mermaid Tails Be Banned From Swimming Pools?
Every little girl dreams of how it'd be to live a day as a mermaid. Their wavy ocean hair and sparkling fins are equal parts luxurious and ethereal. They can breathe underwater, they make friends with fish, and - let's be honest - they're way cooler than just being some storybook princess. With this in mind, it makes sense why FinFun is so popular. FinFun is a UK-based company that specializes in creating swimmable mermaid tails suitable for the 'landlubber' with dreams of grandeur. For about $40 - 60 USD, you can buy a child- or adult-sized a shimmery 'monofin' made out of a lightweight polyester-spandex blend. Since 2010, the company has been selling a steady stock of these tails. However, it wasn't long before some parents and local governments were pushing back. Above, you can see a PSA created by an outraged parents' group with an alarming video of a time one girl almost drowned in her family pool by wearing the monofin design. In addition, several major cities in Canada banned the tails from their local pools, citing that the tails are most popular with small children, commonly "weak swimmers" who cannot swim well with their legs bound together in such a fashion. The City of Edmonton's Rob Campbell, supervisor of aquatic strategies, added that swimming with a monofin "promotes breath-holding which can result in blackouts.” The official FinFun website responded by creating a 'safety' section of their website, complete with a swimming 'test' you should do with your child prior to purchasing a FinFun mermaid tail for them. The company adds that monofins ARE safe for use, claiming: "Our tails and monofins meet the Child Protection Safety Commission requirements (CPSC) for the United States and Australia and over a period of four years and over 500,000 FinFun mermaid tails sold we have had zero reported incidents involving our tails." Is banning mermaid tails from city pools a move that's too cautious? Or is using one as dangerous as it seems? Would you buy one for your child? Let me know in the comments below, and for more WTF News, follow my WTF Street Journal collection.
[Ladies' Week] Dara Torres - "Age is Just a Number"
So, @shannonl5 planned this awesome event, "Ladies' Week" (check out ~Announcing: Ladies' Week Event!~ just in case you haven't heard about it!). And in celebration of this awesome event, I wanted to start out with a female athlete that has inspired me: Dara Torres! Just in case you guys have never heard about Dara Torres, she is a former competitive swimmer who is also a twelve-time Olympic medalist and a former world record-holder in three events (50-meter freestyle, 4x100-meter freestyle relay, and 4x100-meter medley relay). But her medals and world records don't capture her whole story. There's more. Torres has competed in five different olympics: 1984 Los Angeles, 1988 Seoul, 1992 Barcelona, 2000 Sydney, and 2008 Beijing. That's right. Five different Olympics over the span of twenty-four years. She was 17 when she competed in her first ever Olympics and she took home a gold medal. She was 41 when she competed in her last one and took a silver medal home. Her life was definitely something you would not call perfect. She was already the oldest member on the U.S. swim team at the age of 33 during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She could not get pregnant at the age of 35. She was divorced twice by the age of 37. She had her first daughter at the age of 39. Her father also passed away that same year. But as Torres put it perfectly, "But when I was 41 and I woke up in a dorm in the Olympic Village in Beijing, I didn’t feel old. I felt merely—and, yes, happily—middle-aged. ‘The water doesn’t know how old you are.’" For her, age was just merely a number and her dedication and passion for swimming gave her the courage to try out for the 2008 Summer Olympics despite the personal barriers she faced. Torres wasn't quite finished though. After the 2008 Olympics, she underwent a knee surgery, but jumped back in the pool as soon as she was ready to swim once again. And she competed in the U.S. swimming trials to earn a spot on the 2012 London Olympics team for the 50-meter freestyle. She however was denied a spot. Jessica Hardy won first place with 24.50 seconds and Kara Lynn Joyce took the remaining spot. Dara was nine-hundredths of a second behind her sixth Olympics. She was 45 at the time. Even though she did not make it for the 2012 Olympics, she had no regrets, because she gave everything she had. She simply hugged her daughter, Tessa, and congratulated her fellow swimmers. [Video: 2008 Beijing Olympics Women's 4x100 Freestyle Relay Final/Torres's Last Olympic Medal] She has been such an inspiration for me and people all around the world. We sometimes put a limit on ourselves without even giving our best shot. Torres however never, ever made any excuses and simply focused on achieving her goals. I would like to end this card with my favorite Torres quote: "You don't have to put an age limit on your dreams."
Michael Phelps - "Staying Off Booze Helps!"
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, is making his fifth Olympic appearance this year in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Even though he may be the greatest swimmer of all-time, it's not easy swimming competitively when you're thirty years old. But once again, it's Michael Phelps we are talking about. The man knows no limits. Despite his illustrious career in swimming, Phelps got in trouble several times due to drugs and alcohol. And after he received his second DUI and went through a 45-day rehab period in 2015, he vowed that he would not take a sip of alcohol until the 2016 Olympics were over. And he has kept his promise and is looking better than ever as he gets ready for Rio. During an interview last weekend, Phelps said, "Not having a drink for over a year-and-a-half, it's incredible. It's not only my body -- on a lot of different levels. It's been amazing. I can really tell the difference with my body, sort of not carrying that weight on my back." And this is why I have huge expectations for one of my favorite athletes of all time. Michael might not be the same Michael he was eight years ago when he won those nine gold medals. But just by standing up to his mistakes and taking a shot at the thing he does best...the thing he loves the most, I respect the hell out of him. This must have been a tough decision for Michael to give up alcohol. I believe however that this was probably the best choice he could have ever made in his lifetime and it will not only inspire and change his life, but also the lives of others all around the world. It certainly has changed and inspired my own life. Thank you Michael.
The Most Fun One-Piece Swimsuits (under $60)
If you aren't tryna wear a bikini all summer long, then you're in luck, because one-piece swimsuits are seriously in style. Anywhere that stocks swimsuits is turning their attention to one-pieces right now, so there are so many fun and fresh styles you should definitely be rocking this summer. July might be over halfway over, but the temperatures are going up, up, up, and your swimsuit days are far from over this season. All styles are under $60, to save you some extra dollars better spent on soft-serve. Cutouts Strategically-placed cutouts lends some sex appeal to an otherwise covered up silhouette, and can range from a sultry slip of skin to a serious cut that reveals your sides and back. This super-70's suit from ASOS. This rainbow suit from Forever 21. This sexy monokini from Tobi. Crazy Prints Look anything but maternal in a classic cut with a crazy and bright print! This Motel Goddess suit with a retro palette from Nastygal. This Batoko suit from the Nylon shop. This UNIF zip-up swimsuit from Nastygal. Mesh If you're looking to go sexier, mesh is a detail that can take a classic cut up a notch, or an already sexy cut to bombshell territory. This plunging swimsuit with mesh inserts from Topshop. This New Look mesh swimsuit from ASOS. This Mossimo swimsuit with mesh inserts from Target. Retro Strapless Strapless swimsuits are sultry but not too scandalous, and can have a retro feel with bandeau cups or an old-school cut. This cupped bandeau swimsuit from ASOS. This bandeau suit with cutouts from Topshop. This Wolf and Whistle bardot swimsuit from ASOS.
Trendy And Affordable Swimsuits For The Curvaceous Ladies
Swimsuit season is right around the corner. Whether you are summer ready or not, the beach is calling your name and you must answer. Finding the perfect swimsuit when you're a curvy woman can be hard for several reasons. Either your bust is too big, your rump is too big or the swimsuits aren't trendy enough. Thankfully more and more retailers are catering to the curvaceous women who want to rock a swimsuit on the beach just like the next woman. Who ares if you have stretch marks or a little muffin top poking, you better claim it and all of it. My motto is, if you got it flaunt it and if they want to stare, let them. The summertime is all about embracing your body and showing it off in a respectable manner. Don't let your size dictate what you wear. Forever 21 has definitely stepped their game up over the years ever since they first launched their plus size collection and since recently putting out their swimwear for the upcoming season, the selection is actually pretty amazing. If you're a curvy lady and you want to look fabulous, keep scrolling and check out a few hot picks from F21 below. Plus Size Cutout Bikini Metallic is definitely in and the zipper and cut out accents make this bikini super sexy without going overboard. [get yours here] Plus Size Superb One-Piece Gold and black go hand in hand and the big bold letters speak for themselves. [get yours here] Plus Size Caged One-Piece From the color to the extremely sexy caged in detailing on the bodice of this swimsuit, all eyes will definitely be on you once you hit the beach. [get yours here] Plus Size Mesh-Panel Swimsuit There's something about mesh paneling that screams hot and not in a temperature context either. Plus, who doesn't love all black everything? [get yours here] Whether curvy or not, which swimsuit catches your eye? Are you a one piece or bikini kind of woman? @alywoah @nicolejb @humairaa @waanderer @MyAffairWith @TessStevens @danidee @cindystran @hikaymm @EasternShell @TurtleyTurtles @jazziejazz @primodiva93
Photojournalism - The 2015 Nautica Malibu Triathlon
ABOVE - The Pre-Event is an event in its own right; thousands of athletes filing in from all over the region to get signed up and ready for the triathlon. I arrived at 4:30am to a unbelievable amount of activity. Thousands of athletes being processed - signing in and receiving their numbers for the race then moving with their bicycles into the main staging area. Several professional bicycle mechanics - you know the guys you see fixing bicycles in events like "Le Tour de France" were set up in booths with a steady stream of participants waiting in line for last minute bicycle checkups. In the images above you see Mike Cicchi - a world-class cycling mechanic and all around awesome guy working on celebrity participant Victor Ortez's bike before the race as Victor and a female companion watch. Mike is one of the partners in the Newbury Park Bike Shop where I buy all of my bicycles and equipment and he's simply gifted in all things cycling. The race didn't start until 7am - with there being a mandatory pre-race orientation at 6:30am. From 4:30am until 6:30am I mainly stayed out of the way... "organized chaos" is the best way to describe the steady flow of athletes and bicycles into the staging area; where rack after rack of bicycles sat in neatly spaced rows as far as you could see. SPECIAL NOTE - One thing you may notice as you look through these photos is how many of the participants are making eye contact with my camera. I was shooting with either a 500mm f/4 lens or a 300mm f/2.8 lens - BOTH share the same size main lens element at nearly 8" in diameter... these are BIG hard to miss lenses. Many of the participants of this event were celebrities or professional athletes, all of which are familiar with having large camera lenses stuck in their faces. What surprised me is how many of them with only seconds to spot and identify my camera and lens did just that and then made sure to make eye contact - some even adjusted their stances or made "hard-core exercise" faces. That aspect of this sort of event never ceases to amaze me. ABOVE - SWIMMING - THE FIRST HURDLE OF THE DAY Triathlons are three separate tests of strength and endurance all designed to test an athlete to their core. The day starts with an ocean swim which is nothing like swimming in a pool. There are waves and currents, real obstacles that each participant must overcome. The normally "brisk" Pacific Ocean was a temperate 70 degrees Fahrenheit the day of the race and many of the participants opted to swim in short sleeve wet suits - where most of the year full-length wet suits are required to keep your body temperature warm during a lengthy swim. Most participants started shedding their wet suits before they were out of the water - taking the last 100ft of the walk to the shore to do so - saving precious time when they arrive at the main staging area. SPECIAL NOTE - The Nautica Malibu Triathlon is an odd mixture of distances - it doesn't really conform to the traditional triathlon formats - The Nautica Malibu Triathlon features a half-mile ocean swim, an 18 mile out-and-back bike course, and a 4-mile (approximately 5K) out-and-back run course. The "TRADITIONAL" Triathlon formats are - Sprint Distance - 750-meter (0.47-mile) swim, 20-kilometer (12-mile) bike, 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) run Intermediate (or Standard) distance; commonly referred to as the "Olympic distance" - 1.5-kilometer (0.93-mile) swim, 40-kilometer (25-mile) bike, 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) run Long Course - 1.9-kilometer (1.2-mile) swim, 90-kilometer (56-mile) bike, and a 21.1-kilometer (13.1-mile) run (half marathon) ITU Long Distance - 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) swim, 120-kilometer (75-mile) bike, and a 30-kilometer (19-mile) run Ultra Distance; commonly referred to as 140.6 or the 'Ironman' - 3.8-kilometer (2.4-mile) swim, 180.2-kilometer (112.0-mile) bike, and a 42.2-kilometer (26.2-mile) run (full marathon) The Nautica Malibu Triathlon is in reality a class somewhere between the Sprint and the Standard formats for both the cycling and running courses are slightly longer than the Sprint format but not as long as the Standard. As the sun rises in the East turning the sky into a warm bath of yellow, orange, and red, the first "WAVE" of swimmers, the "Elite Class" consisting of professional triathletes, runs out into the waves and starts their half mile swim North along the shore. Participants are ranked into "Classes" and each class is released onto the course in a "wave" - this way there isn't the danger and chaos that can occur when thousands of participants hit the water at the same time. Released in smaller, manageable groups, this allows the safety crews (consisting of members of the US Coast Guard) to keep better track of each participant as they swim the often treacherous waters of the mighty Pacific ocean. The Elite Class are the first in and they are the first out, making the swim faster than any other group, many of the Elite Class will have completed the entire course before the final wave of swimmers hits the beach. ABOVE - THE STAGING AREA IS THE HUB OF THE EVENT Participants will enter the water South of the main event venue and swim North past it - to the far North edge of the staging area. They leave the water and run along a narrow corridor into the main staging area where they must find their bicycles and transition from their swimming gear into their cycling gear. They must then make their way to the start of the cycling stage. Other than the beginning of the swimming stage, each stage starts and stops in the main staging area. The cycling and running courses are loops which bring each participant back to the staging area so they can transition from the previous event into the next. ABOVE - THE CYCLING STAGE IS THE LONGEST STAGE For me, personally, the cycling stage is most exciting. I've been an avid cyclist since my teens and I am extremely active in cycling (I cycle daily). The technology and gear involved is always fun for me to observe - but I'm also impressed by anyone who can get on a bicycle and ride 18 miles full-out and still have enough gas in their tank to run a 4 mile race. Professional "Elite" athletes like Kaitlin Lanin (above) make the entire exercise look easy. Years of training and conditioning have honed the bodies of the Elite Class of participants into Triathlon wrecking machines. Most of the photos I shot were of the Elite and Celebrity Classes. What you'll see in the photos above are a wide range of athletes, all Elite, as they performed in the cycling stage. ABOVE - THE RUNNING STAGE OF THE NAUTICA MALIBU TRIATHON IS A 4 MILE RUN A slightly longer distance than a 5K run at 3.1 miles - the Nautica Malibu Triathlon presses its participants a little harder making them complete a 4 mile course. There are several classifications for individuals in this event - age groups and even the type of bicycles ridden (there was a class for mountain bike riders - which really - I have no idea who'd want to do 18 miles on hilly streets on a full-suspension mountain bike - it's abusive to think about - but there were several). The top "Elite Class" finishers were - Jason Pedersen finished the entire course in 1:13:12.59 - one hour thirteen minutes and twelve seconds. The cyclist above in the cycling photos wearing the uniform with "Pedersen USA" on his jersey was the overall winner, the fastest swimmer, cyclist and runner. Kaitlin Lavin finished the entire course in 1:46:35.71 - one hour forty six minutes and thirty five seconds and was the top female performer of the day. Her time bested the majority of the males who participated. ABOVE - THE CULMINATION OF THE EVENT IS THE AWARDS PRESENTATION ON THE WINNER'S PODIUM The main purpose of this event is to raise money for and awareness of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles and all of the programs and work this organization does to help critically and terminally ill children. Many of the celebrity participants mingle in the crowds during the awards presentation. Above - I caught an over-the-shoulder extreme close-up (I was shooting with a 300mm lens - which is like a telescope) of actor Danny Pudi (Community, Capt. America The Winter Soldier) as he stood in the crowd watching the awards presentation. This year a total of $1,317,802.00 US was presented to the hospital administration before the medals were presented to the event winners and top performers. © Copyright 2015, Jon Patrick Hyde, All Rights Reserved.