Today, July 13th, the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team will say goodbye to their gracious hosts in Tennessee and fly to Paris. They will then train in Vichy, France until taking the short trek across the English Channel to London on July 23rd. This 10-day training camp will be a continuation of the team’s last minute preparations and will give the swimmers an opportunity to adjust their body clocks for London-time.
A good rule-of-thumb for travel experts is allowing one day of adjustment for each time zone shifted. There is a 5 time zone difference between Knoxville and London, so this early move should give the American athletes ample time to adjust.
Meanwhile, a large group of Australians, who have a 9-hour difference from the East Coast of their country (Sydney time) have headed over even earlier to assure that they have even more time to adjust. Whereas at last year’s World Championships in Shanghai and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing they had a shorter journey, they’re now faced with one of the longer treks among major medal-contending nations.
Swimmers confirmed to be in Spain already include Eamon Sullivan, Matthew Targett, Jessicah Schipper, Libby Trickett, Tessa Wallace, David McKeon, and Jarrod Poort. They are training at the Centre of Calella Crol, alongside large portions of the Japanese, Swedish, and Russian Olympic contingents. The Swedes and Russians are likely escaping their colder temps, while the Japanese (including the swimmers who were at the recent Sette Colli Trophy in Italy) are in a similar situation as the Australians.
Another Australian squad, the one from St. Peter’s Western that is lead by Michael Bohl, has already been in Montpellier, France for a week. That includes Stephanie Rice, Leisel Jones, Bronte Barratt, and Tae Hwan Park.
(Thanks to aswimfan for contributing to this report).