SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our first poll of the 2016 calendar year asked readers to cast their vote for the most anticipated competition of the coming year.
Which are you looking forward to more in 2016?
- Olympic Games – 56.7%
- U.S. Olympic Trials – 34.1%
- Men’s NCAA Championships – 7.5%
- Women’s NCAA Championships – 1.7%
Unsurprisingly, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro far outpaced the competition as the year’s most anticipated meet. In a way, it feels as though Rio has been the most anticipated meet since at least 2013, especially with 2014 splitting the top athletes between Pan Pacs, Commonwealth Games and European Championships, and then 2015 seeing a huge number of big names withdraw from Worlds for injuries (Kosuke Hagino, James Magnussen, Yannick Agnel, Therese Alshammar) or other issues (Michael Phelps, Park Tae-hwan).
The Olympic Games drew just over 500 of the 908 votes cast in this poll.
Hyperbole often says that the U.S. Olympic Trials are more competitive than the Olympics themselves, at least from a depth perspective, and that idea was reflected in the 34% of voters who pegged the U.S. Trials as their most anticipated meet. That’s a pretty impressive number for Trials to draw in an Olympic year, especially considering that U.S. Trials shouldn’t draw as much attention from SwimSwam’s large international audience.
The numbers for the NCAA Championships aren’t high, but like U.S. Trials, are probably higher than expected. That speaks to just how popular college athletics are in the United States.
It’s probably fair to say that the absence of Team USA’s top two female swimmers is a big factor in why the women’s NCAAs rated so much lower than men’s. With Missy Franklin turning pro and Katie Ledecky deferring her enrollment, the star power at women’s NCAAs is significantly lower. Compounding matters is Simone Manuel‘s decision to redshirt the college season. Women’s NCAAs garnered just 15 votes in this poll, as compared to 6 for the men’s meet.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which compares two of the top junior swims in American history:
Which swim is more impressive:
- Katie Ledecky‘s 8:06 in the 800 free at age 18 (2016)
- Mary T. Meagher’s 2:05 in the 200 fly at age 16 (1981)
A3 Performance was founded in 2004 and is based in Wisconsin. A3 Performance was founded on the ideals that great products could be made and offered at great prices. Innovation and purpose is the focus of all product development. The swimmer is the focus of everything we do.
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.