Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ With each edition, we collect personal stories, little known facts and general items of interest from around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 Danish Swimming Union Introduces New Director
Longtime Danish Swimming Union director Pia Holmen resigned from her position about 3 weeks ago, as we reported. The decision was announced by Board of Directors chairman Lars Jørgensen as he issued an apology for the practice of public weighing carried out by national team coaches Mark Regan and Paulus Wildeboer from 2003-2012.
The board just announced this week that Morten Hinnerup, current Head of the Member and Development Department, has been appointed as replacement Director.
“Morten has a thorough knowledge of the organization of the Danish Swimming Union. To this end, he also has a solid insight into the networks and partnerships in which the Union is part, and of which it is important that we continue to be actively involved. I feel confident that the Union with Morten at the helm is in good hands.
“At the same time, I know that Morten will be helped well on a daily basis through support and advice from the Union’s chief group and other staff,” said Jorgensen.
“It has not been an easy time for our talented and loyal staff who, like everyone else, have been deeply touched by the stories that have emerged about young athletes’ experiences under former coaches. Some have also done some extra work in connection with both our own and external studies of the situation at that time. We owe them a big thank you, and we also owe them that they now have a quieter working day, where they can individually and jointly focus on their core tasks,” concludes Jorgensen.
9-time Olympic champion swimmer Mark Spitz appeared in GQ Magazine recently, speaking to the publication on all things swimming, aging and overall health. Spitz sheds light on his recent diagnoses of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), which he made public last September.
According to the American Heart Association is “is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications.”
At 70 years of age, Spitz reminisces with GQ on his magical year of 1972 when he won 7 gold medals and set 7 world records at the Munich Olympic Games.
#3 Mattel Launches First-Ever Olympic Games Toy Collection
Toy company Mattel has collaborated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as well as the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games to launch an entirely new line of Games-inspired toys.
Featuring items across the Barbie, Hot Wheels and Uno brands, the toys are aimed at highlighting inclusivity and innovation. Sports featured in the toy designs include baseball/softball, sport climbing, karate, skateboarding, and surfing.
“In line with our Global Licensing Strategy, this new international licensing collaboration with Mattel is a great way to engage with an important audience, our younger fans, and their families, and through these high-quality products to connect them with the Olympic brand and values,” commented Timo Lumme, Managing Director of IOC Television and Marketing Services.
“Tokyo 2020 is a monumental event that brings the world together through sport and inspires fans of all ages,” said Janet Hsu, Chief Franchise Officer of Mattel. “The Mattel Tokyo 2020 Collection honors these sports and inspires a new generation through the Olympic spirit and outstanding athletic tradition.”
#4 Japan’s Official Olympic Sportswear Designs Revealed
In a previous edition of Beyond the Lane Lines, we reported that World Champion and Olympic medalist from Rio, Daiya Seto, helped model Japan’s attire for the 2020 Olympic Games opening ceremonies. Just weeks later, the official sportswear to be worn by the Japanese national teams at the Olympic and Paralympic Games has now also been revealed.
Designed and created by ASICS, the theme of ‘Japonism’ is infused in each item, ‘expressing the strength of the team by combining Japanese traditional beauty with advanced technology.”
Development themes of conditioning, diversity, and sustainability took almost 4 years to develop, according to Yahoo Japan.
There is a total of 17 apparel items in the collection, including podium jackets, podium pants, t-shirts, polo shirts, shorts, caps, towels, socks, shoes, sandals, and backpacks. The main items such as podium jackets and pants are made of recycled yarn (recycled polyester material) made by “ASICS REBORN WEAR PROJECT”, a project that collects used sportswear and recycles it into official sportswear for the Japan National Team.
Items will be worn at the awards ceremony and the Olympic Village. In addition, ASICS has produced replica gear available nationwide now.
#5 Indian Teen Completes 26k Swim to Khanderi Island
The Hindustan Times reports that 13-year-old Vedant Vishwanath Sawant successfully swam from Revas Jetty to Khanderi Island, completing the approximate 26k trek in over 6 hours.
Vishwanath Sawant, his father said, “The sea route between Revas, Kasarkhada, and Khanderi is not very smooth. Many rocks come in the way. The entire route is very risky. But he accomplished it, and he is now the first international swimmer to attempt this channel and complete it successfully.” Last year Sawant swam across the 36km open watercourse, the longest solo swim along the Arabian Sea from Dharamatar Jetty in Alibaug to Gateway of India in nine hours. “Vedant, after he turns 16, wants to attempt the English Channel,” said his father.