mercredi 9 janvier 2013

Why did Janet Evans move her head so much ?

(The French version of this post is here)

All swimming lovers probably remember the so distinctive nod of Janet Evans's head.  

Rather than keeping her head well into the wave (as we all learn during swimming classes), Janet used to move her head up and down and pulled her head outside of the water continuously at each inhalation. 

One might think that it was a flaw, even though it did not prevent her from dominating the 800m freestyle for so many years.

If we look at her head movement and especially if we consider the precise timing of her head motion during the stroke cycle, we must say that it was not a flaw but rather an excellent technique that made her a even faster swimmer. It is interesting to notice that her successor at the London Olympics, the 15-year old US swimmer Katie Ledecky, has a very similar head motion.