Olympic Swimmer 30-40 years old - possible?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Hs, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. Hs

    Hs Guest

    A few of us have swam competively in our teens and 20s. Is it physically possible for 30-40 year
    old swimmers to be competitive and make the Olympic team? Please state your reasons why or why
    not? Thanks.
     
    Tags:


  2. Donal Fagan

    Donal Fagan Guest

    On Wed, 3 Dec 2003 10:08:29 -0700, "HS" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >A few of us have swam competively in our teens and
    >20s. Is it physically possible for 30-40 year old swimmers to be competitive and make the Olympic
    > team? Please state your reasons why or why not?

    The great Mark Spitz tried a comeback, but didn't quite make it. Of course you could try for the
    team from Equatorial Guineau or some other small nation.

    Donal Fagan AIA [email protected]'Fagan.com (Anglicise the name to reply by e-mail)
     
  3. Dakitty

    Dakitty Guest

    My best friend, now 34 is swimming her fastest times. Matching her best college times, and close to
    her best times ever. I think she is around 1:01 in a 100 free LCM sprint. Holding 1:12-1:15 on 1000
    broken intervals. Under 20 min in 1500M free, LCM. And keeps improving. She now trains 4000-7000
    yards daily, 6 days a week. (usually 4000, and a 7000 about 3 times a week)

    She's been swimming since she was 6

    "HS" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > A few of us have swam competively in our teens and 20s. Is it physically possible for 30-40 year
    > old swimmers to be competitive and make the
    Olympic
    > team? Please state your reasons why or why not? Thanks.
     
  4. Colin Priest

    Colin Priest Guest

    There were swimmers in that age range at the last Olympics. I think that Popov is now in his 30s.

    "Donal Fagan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Wed, 3 Dec 2003 10:08:29 -0700, "HS" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >A few of us have swam competively in our teens and
    > >20s. Is it physically possible for 30-40 year old swimmers to be competitive and make the
    > > Olympic team? Please state your reasons why or why not?
    >
    > The great Mark Spitz tried a comeback, but didn't quite make it. Of course you could try for the
    > team from Equatorial Guineau or some other small nation.
    >
    >
    > Donal Fagan AIA [email protected]'Fagan.com (Anglicise the name to reply by e-mail)
     
  5. Donal Fagan

    Donal Fagan Guest

    On Wed, 03 Dec 2003 23:08:19 GMT, "Colin Priest" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >There were swimmers in that age range at the last Olympics. I think that Popov is now in his 30s.

    Granted, but I gather this fellow is not already an elite swimmer.

    Donal Fagan AIA [email protected]'Fagan.com (Anglicise the name to reply by e-mail)
     
  6. King Frog

    King Frog Guest

    There was an Aussie about ten years ago who had not swum competitively until he was about 23 and
    went on to represent Australia at Commonwealth and Olympic Games into his late twenties. He was a
    former elite high jumper. It would appear that someone with an elite athletic prowess could take up
    swimming later in life and compete at the top level.

    "Donal Fagan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Wed, 03 Dec 2003 23:08:19 GMT, "Colin Priest" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >There were swimmers in that age range at the last Olympics. I think that Popov is now in his 30s.
    >
    > Granted, but I gather this fellow is not already an elite swimmer.
    >
    >
    > Donal Fagan AIA [email protected]'Fagan.com (Anglicise the name to reply by e-mail)
     
  7. Diablo

    Diablo Guest

    "Totalswimm" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > The dominant athletes in triathlon - which is more physically demanding
    than
    > swimming - and marathon running are commonly in their 30s.

    I would argue that this is because of triathlon's status as a sport. its more something you fall
    into after going through the traditional route of high school/college athletics, or pick up later in
    life as a health kick, which turns into an admirable obsession. However, i acknowledge this is
    changing in recent years.
     
  8. Totalswimm <[email protected]> wrote:
    >The dominant athletes in triathlon - which is more physically demanding than swimming - and
    >marathon running are commonly in their 30s. I think the main reason for swimmers not being able to
    >commonly sustain excellent into their 30s are mainly social and cultural. Many coaches adopt an
    >authoritarian, rather than collaborative, style, under which most adult athletes would chafe. And
    >the intensive early training of age group swimmers is radically different from what marathon runner
    >and triathletes would have been doing in their preteens and early/mid teens.

    VO2Max holds pretty constant in the 20s up to the very early 30s, and then begins an inevitable
    decline. At the puny distances done in olympic swimming, I don't think superior technique can make
    up for this. The longest event is the 1500, right? That's not even 15 minutes long. If open water
    swimming came in - I imagine it would be a 1500 and a 5000, maybe a 10k - then you'd see 'older'
    olympians.

    Marathons are right at the threshhold that one can do on blood sugar alone, and IMs are about the
    balance of pushing your LT but not so far that you can't take in food. Both require knowing your
    body very well, and I think that requires experience of years of competing. Here, technique can be
    worth a lot, and does compensate for any lost max potential.

    Chris McCormack is becoming an interesting figure to watch on this. He's an absolute killer at the
    olympic distance (non drafting) event, but has blown up in two runs at Hawaii and not gotten the
    same result as he did in winning the Australian IM. The performance envelope that they race at for
    8.5 hours is a very precarious one.
    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
  9. Mike Edey

    Mike Edey Guest

    On Thu, 04 Dec 2003 01:11:06 +0000, Totalswimm wrote:

    > Athletes routinely peak in performance potential (a marriage of physical ability and the benefit
    > of wisdom/perspective) in their early 30s. Dara Torres demonstrated in 2000 it could be done.
    > Popov won world championships last summer at, what, 31.
    >
    > The dominant athletes in triathlon - which is more physically demanding than swimming - and
    > marathon running are commonly in their 30s. I think the main reason for swimmers not being able to
    > commonly sustain excellent into their 30s are mainly social and cultural. Many coaches adopt an
    > authoritarian, rather than collaborative, style, under which most adult athletes would chafe. And
    > the intensive early training of age group swimmers is radically different from what marathon
    > runner and triathletes would have been doing in their preteens and early/mid teens. Terry

    Here, in Canada, the only way one (without wealthy parents) can afford to swim at any post national
    level is to do so for a school team. Even an A card (the highest level of sports Canada funding)
    puts one below the poverty line. Unlike other countries there simply isn't the advertising revenue
    or promotional opportunities either. Hence there's a huge push to produce career results in high
    school and university - well before the growth and development curve says they should occur.

    --Mike
     
  10. Tony Bryant

    Tony Bryant Guest

    "King Frog" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > There was an Aussie about ten years ago who had not swum competitively until he was about 23 and
    > went on to represent Australia at Commonwealth and Olympic Games into his late twenties. He was a
    > former elite high jumper. It would appear that someone with an elite athletic prowess could take
    > up swimming later in life and compete at the top level.
    >
    >
    The swimmer concerned was Angus Waddell, a sprint freestyler.
     
  11. Jill

    Jill Guest

    "diablo" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Totalswimm" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > The dominant athletes in triathlon - which is more physically demanding
    > than
    > > swimming - and marathon running are commonly in their 30s.
    >
    > I would argue that this is because of triathlon's status as a sport. its more something you fall
    > into after going through the traditional route of high school/college athletics, or pick up later
    > in life as a health kick, which turns into an admirable obsession. However, i acknowledge this is
    > changing in recent years.

    Agreeing with you here. The difference in entry numbers between the 30-34AG and the 20-24AG and the
    25-29AG is pretty amazing. Sometimes more than twice as many 30-34 year olds racing as "the kids"
    combined. Typical route seems to be to pick it up as a second sport when you're already doing one of
    the three disciplines on a regular basis, are looking for something different and challenging, but
    still want the comfort of knowing that you're competent in one of the three disciplines.
     
Loading...
Loading...