Ode to Olympic Swimming

O, Olympic swimming! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1. For the 8 luscious men lined up in a row, waiting for the starter’s mark to go.
2. For the relay race, when 64 perfect bodies gather at pool’s end. Then 56 speedo-ed, and some wet, men cheer and jump for the 8 racing in their lanes. What a glorious and beautiful spectacle, the men’s 4x100 relay!
3. For the underwater slow-mo replay. Of that I have no more to say.
4. For the arms and chests and legs moving with such power and grace.
5. For the pre-swim stretching of said arms and chests and legs.
6.For the starting dive, always given a replay.
7. For the freak of nature Phelps, who garnered enough fame that NBC aired even the qualifying heats, not just the final races.
8. For the form and elegance of movement through water.
9. For reminding me of the days when I too raced the fly and breaststroke, years and years ago.
10. For the memory of my adolescent self finding a new joy at the edge of a swimming pool. When the boys swam the heat before the girls in meets.
11. For making my arms ache for the pain again.
12. For making me remember the peaceful silence underwater, the daily baptism that drowned my teen sorrows for 2 hours.
13. Forr making my eyes and mouth water, aching for the beauty before me in the form of 8 swimming men and a cool clear chlorinated pool.

O, Olympic Swimming! Why did you have to end? Now I have to go back to swimming or wait four years to have you again.

Check out these swimming photos from Scott and Colleen Goldblatt's Olympic Journal Blog. They've got more there.

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