2012 Summer Olympics: How Swimming Could Add an All-Around Title to the Games

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIJuly 5, 2012

BEIJING - AUGUST 17:  (L-R) Michael Phelps, Brendan Hansen, Jason Lezak and Aaron Piersol of the United States stand on the podium after receiving their gold medals in the Men's 4x100 Medley Relay at the National Aquatics Centre during Day 9 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 17, 2008 in Beijing, China.  The United States team set a new world record with a time of 3:29:34.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Olympics Games need a new aspect for competitors: An all-around individual competition for swimmers. Similar to gymnastics in the Games, there should be a component of the Olympics such that several swimming events should culminate into an all-around competition.

In order to determine which swimmer is truly the best in the world, it is prudent to hold an all-around individual competition.

While there is no doubt in some years, like when Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in 2008, there is question in others, like we may see between Phelps and rival Ryan Lochte this year.

The best swimmer in the world should be distinguished and given yet another gold medal, just as it is in gymnastics.

While this may pose problems with rest in the current system, it would not be difficult to remedy this situation.

As of now there are different lengths for the same strokes (e.g. the 100- and 200-meter fly). However, if there were to be one specific length for all four major strokes and an individual medley, an all-around competition could be created, and competitors would be given more than enough rest.

If 200 meters was deemed the perfect length, then there would be a 200m fly, 200m freestyle, 200m backstroke and 200m breaststroke. These four, along with the 200m IM would combine to form the all-around individual title.

By adding the times of all five events, the competitor with the fastest combined time would be given another gold medal.

This competition that entails all five events would definitively prove which swimmer is the fastest in the world, and that swimmer would win another medal for his country.

While implementing this may seem unfair to specialists because it would cut down on individual races, that is not the case. This system would not take away any event, and swimmers would be allowed to participate in as many events as they would like.

However, they would have to take place in the five 200m events in order to qualify for the all-around competition.

This system would allow us to definitively declare one swimmer the best in the world, and there would be much less controversy.

By having five races make up a bigger competition, it would also spark more interest in those five events. There would be another medal to aim for, and these events would become much more important and entertaining.

This would be a success among both competitors and fans, and should be implemented as soon as possible.