March 27, 2010
At this morning's practice I related a story about Misty Hyman swimming the 200 Butterfly at the 2000 Olympics. Misty was one of those "trailblazers" who changed the sport of swimming for generations to come.
In 1988, another swimmer, David Berkoff got so good at underwater kicking on backstroke that he would kick the first 40 meters underwater come up take 3-4 strokes and then go another 20 meters underwater off of his turn. Primarily due to Berkoff the backstroke rule was changed to allow swimmers to stay submerged on backstroke for no more than 15 meters.
Misty Hyman was the best in the mid 90's to exploit the fact that the rule was only for backstroke. She developed her dolphin kicking for butterfly to a point where she would kick the first 30-35 meters of her long course 100 fly, and come up 2 body lengths ahead of the rest of the field (at national and international events). Largely because of Misty, the rules were again changed and now we have the 15 meter rule in fly and free as well.
....On to the 2000Olympics... Misty Hyman had swum multiple 209's in the 200 fly in 1998,1999, and at Olympic trials. (this is from memory, so my numbers may be slightly off), it seemed like she was a little stuck, and going into the olympics everyone knew that Misty would not be a favorite, she might go a 208 or even a 207 if things went great. In prelims she had a little bit of a breakthrough, had a great swim and went a 207.8 . This was about all the swimming community could have hoped for from Misty. The huge favorite was Susie O'neil.
Susie O'neil (an Aussie) was the world record holder and had won every 200 fly she swam FOR 6 YEARS IN A ROW! (did I mention the 2000 Olympics were in Australia) in the lead up segment to the race NBC, showed a 5 or 6 minute segment on Susie, on how great she was, on how she was unbeatable in the upcoming 200 fly. Susie had reached superstar status in Australia as big as (or bigger than) Michael Phelps is in the U.S. .....billboards, bus signs, TV ads, etc.
I could describe the race, but I would rather you go to YOUTUBE and watch it.
Womens 200 fly- 2000 Olympics:
After you watch here are 4 other short videos for
swimmers to look at: Enjoy...
Misty Hyman dolphin kick
Natalie Coughlin dolphin kick analysis
Natalie Coughlin on kicking
natalie - flip turns