Tuesday 05 February 2013

Swimming great Rebecca Adlington retired from swimming today. Although I think it is a bit much to describe her as a great and she said she didn’t like the word retirement. So, competitive floater Rebecca Adlington will no longer try and get to a distance quicker than other people in a competitive sense.

Why is she stopping?

She wanted to go out at the top. Finishing third twice at the Olympics is the top now is it. To be fair it is the top and I would let that go but she used the phrase ‘at the very top’ one time in her speech. Now even if I were being pedantic I would let it go for most people to describe two bronze medals at the Olympics as the very top. But someone who has won two gold medals at a previous Olympics is undoubtedly at a point below where they were previously: this is not the top. I’m not sure it’s a spiral but its definitely downward. At that trajectory she wouldn’t even be qualifying for the finals of each race in 2024.

Did she also say something about being tired?

She did. I prefer not to quote verbatim as I can’t quite remember what was said but it definitely involved being tired at having been in training. Giving 110% was what she said. Of course she wasn’t. It’s not possible. She did define this as “20 hours a week for 50 weeks a year.”

This really isn’t meant to belittle her efforts. I am pretty sure she did train very, very hard (especially before Bejing 2008) but she was doing it for less than 12% of the week. With two weeks off a year. So just over 10% of the year was spent training. Of course I am just getting that figure using data supplied by Adderz and performing simple calculations with it. I am sure there is some explanation form my figure being 100% lower than suggested by the two-time second runner up.

Surely it was a difficult choice?

Deciding whether or not to give up competitive swimming was a very difficult decision. It was not as straight-forward as choosing what to have for breakfast, she said.

Possible answers for “do you want to give up swimming?” : Yes, no and don’t know. And I am being generous allowing ‘I don’t know’ as ultimately it becomes a yes or a no. And let’s face it, it’s generally a no.

Possible answers for “what would you like for breakfast?” : a croissant, some toast, Cornflakes, fruit, porridge, bacon bagel, full English breakfast, sausage muffin, Coco Pops, spaghetti bolognese….I could go on. And I’ve not even really started trying – I am certainly not giving 100%. The are loads of different decisions to make about breakfast. Certainly more than the two – three if being generous – decisions possible from the swimming continuation dilemma.

Are you jealous of RebAdz?

No. Move on.

Do you respect her?

Yes. As a non-swimmer I respect all those in-water-self-propellers. With specific regards to Adlington: I cannot compete in the women’s 400m or 800m so I cannot really be described as worse or better than her at swimming. I respect what she has done. TWO GOLD MEDALS. All the rest (losing) is a footnote.

Are you calling for her to be tried as a murderer?

No, I just think she should apologise for a poor press conference. That’s all.

Maybe I am suggesting she should be tried for aggravated assault and be forced to hallucinate. Only a suggestion. I am not the government.

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