Enough Winter Olympics, Pivot Towards 2020 Summer Olympics

by SwimSwam 26

February 21st, 2018 Lifestyle

SwimSwam welcomes reader submissions about all topics aquatic, and if it’s well-written and well-thought, we might just post it under our “Shouts from the Stands” series. We don’t necessarily endorse the content of the Shouts from the Stands posts, and the opinions remain those of their authors. If you have thoughts to share, please send [email protected]

This “Shouts from the Stands” submission comes from Charles Hartley:

Enough ice dancing. Enough speed skating. Enough skeleton-ing. Enough about Norway.

Enough triple toe loops.

Enough Winter Olympics.

It’s now time to focus on the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Japan. We have two years to get ready, and this is the starting point. Here and now we make the pivot.

Look into that Japanese Olympic swimming pool and visualize the guy who won’t be there – or so he says – Michael Phelps. Even if he’s not, we will feel his presence. Michael Phelps permeates all aspects of swimming present, past, and future.

If he’s not there, who will be there to haul in all the Gold Medalsfor the U.S. team?

Katie Ledecky, probably. That will be cool. Maybe she can make progress towards breaking the Phelps Olympic Gold Medal record of 23. That would make for good theatre. We would all get captivated by that.

What about Ryan Murphy? Will he break his own Olympic record in the 100-meter backstroke? Is Lilly King on her way to back-to-back Olympic Golds in the 100-meter breaststroke? What medal ceremonies will be as emotional as the one with Ryan Held at the 2016 Games. Out of nowhere, he made it onto the Olympic freestyle relay team that won Gold.

He cried. It was exquisite. The tears remain fresh.

We have to ask ourselves this serious question, however. If Phelps doesn’t participate in the 2020 Olympics, should the entire event be canceled? Without him, the Olympics are just a few track and field races and some hammer throws plus a steeplechase. Without Phelps, swimming is just another sport. Without Phelps – the greatest swimmer of all time – we are left grasping for somebody in the swimming world to pull us into the drama. It could be Ledecky. It could be Phelps, but he says he’s not participating and that he’s retired. But he’s said that before and come out of retirement.

You might be thinking that the Summer Olympics of 2020 are too far away for us to care. So why write a blog about it over 600 days ahead of time? Because life is about looking forward. We have our futures and they should be embraced with intense contemplation.

Look beyond yourselves. See what the 2020 Summer Olympics could be. Find a way to care about something that you have no reason to be thinking about right now and are not particularly interested in anyway. Just dig in. Focus your thinking.

Read some books about Phelps. His is quite the story. Check out some of the Gold Medal races on YouTube. Find any reason you can to start caring about the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Cogitate about swimming. Start making big splashes as you shower.

Watch some YouTube videos of Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines broadcasting the Jason Lezak comeback for Gold to beat the trash talking team from France several years ago.

Remember how much you love watching the 400-meter individual medley, the ultimate test of swimming skill and grit.

Picture yourself already there in the stands, watching the U.S. team
race for Golds at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

About Charles Hartley

Charles Hartley is a freelance writer based in Bernardsville, New Jersey. He has a masters degree in journalism and a masters degree in business administration.

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Are we already almost halfway through the cycle?? Wow. Where has the time gone?


We’ve got another 6 months to the halfway point, but it’s getting there!


Not in Britain; Two years from now and we’ll be hurtling towards tapering for Olympics trials… It all starts then!

Joel Lin

Does it make me a bad person to suggest that one more reason to only love the Summer Games is there aren’t any events like synchronized motorcycle jumping off a ten meter tower into a swimming pool with style points added for big air or pretty splashes?

Just me asking.

(G)olden Bear

Two words. Rhythmic gymnastics.

Sum Ting Wong

Because Americans never win anything .


I got as far as Libby King and Ryan Heald and stopped

Steve Nolan

I made it to “Charles Hartley.”

Steve – I would’ve expected you, of all people, to appreciate Charles’ unique brand of satire ?

Steve Nolan

The only satire I want from this site is Dave and Gary. BRING BACK DAVE AND GARY.

oh god was that like 20 years ago now, we are all so old.

Tammy Touchpad Error

Ohh wow I forgot about that. So entertaining!


I saw LIbby at B1G 10 Champs last week, and was immediately confused when IU had her swimming the breast leg in the 2 Medley Relay instead of leading off. I thought to myself who is this Libby throwing down a 25 split on breast

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