The orginial title of this article was: FRENCHIE MAKES ARROGANT REMARK ABOUT THE USA SWIM TEAM!
I decided on a more appreciative title. Every so often, the USA needs some encouragement to get going. This week, that encouragement came from Alain Bernard of the French Swim Team.
Talking about the upcoming 4x100 freestyle relay, Bernard made this comment when asked about Team USA: "The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for."
Bernard, my French compadre who I've never heard of before, I praise you.
One of the main events at this year's Olympics will the swimming competitions; and one of the most watched swim teams will be Team USA, who also has one of the most watched swimmers of the Olympics, Michael Phelps.
The US Swim Team has had few problems coming up to the 2008 Olympics. In fact, there are rumors that this could be the best US Men's Swim Team ever. What team can top USA swimmers Aaron Peirsol, Ryan Lotche, and Michael Phelps?
However, USA coach Mark Schubert has been worried that his team would focus on individual victories rather than act as a team: "If they want to win that title, they are going to have to earn it." Mr. Schubert, I don't think you have to worry about team spirit anymore.
Bernard's comment has more effect than a different comment made by Gary Hall Jr. about the Australian Swim Team in Sydney 2000. That comment went something like "...smash the Australians like guitars..." Looks like swimmers are very competitive. There's a lot of competition this year at the Olympics, and apparently, the two countries who want it most are USA and France...although, Australia isn't far behind.
The 4x100 freestyle relay has been something of a taboo to the USA team. They haven't done that well in that race and it looks like the French are the masters. France recently broke the European record for the fastest time with a time of 3:12.54.
In Athens, neither the USA or France got gold in this competition. The best finish was by the USA who won Bronze behind South Africa and Holland. Even before the Olympics, Team USA has been talking about France. Lotche said, "They (the French) got everyone's attention, not just us, but everyone in the world. Nobody can take them lightly."
The French Swim Team is made up of the four who set the new European record: Bernard, Amaury Leveaux, Fabien Gilot, and Fredrick Bousquet. However, the USA Swim Team for the 4x100 freestyle is made up of three of the four swimmers who set the world record back in 2006: Michael Phelps, Jason Lezak, and Garrett Weber-Gale, who holds the 100-meter USA record. The last position on the team could be filled by Nathan Adrian, Cullen Jones, or Lotche.
Even with all the star swimmers on Team USA, a victory is gonna be hard to get. However, with this new motivation, courtesy of my French compadre, who I've never heard of, Team USA is out to prove that they can't be smashed. Rather, they will be the team that does the smashing.