Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hydrodynamic Moustache

Reuters India
10 August 2008

BLOG - Secret moustache pact paying off in the pool

By Kevin Fylan

[...] One of the more famous moustaches in the pool belonged to David Wilkie, of course, and this story reminded me of a (no doubt tall) tale about the great Scot. I was told that Wilkie once said, jokingly, to a bunch of Soviet swimmers that his great times were down to his silky big moustache making him more streamlined in the water. At the next big event, the Soviets all turned up sporting similarly impressive moustaches... [...]

National Public Radio [U.S.]

All Things Considered
3 August 2008

Mark Spitz: How Phelps Can Win Big In Beijing

[...] As for his trademark mustache, Spitz said, it began as a celebration of leaving his college team at Indiana, where the coach required his swimmers to be clean-shaven.

The facial hair also gave him an opportunity to play some mind games with his rivals on Russia's swim team.

At the Olympics, Spitz had been planning to shave his mustache before his first race.

But just before that was to happen, he shared a pool with the Russian team.

One of the coaches, Spitz recalled, wanted to know about the mustache and why Spitz hadn't shaved it.

"No, it doesn't slow me down," Spitz answered. "As a matter of fact, it deflects the water away from my mouth. It allows me to get a lot more streamlined in the water. And that's why I broke three world records three weeks ago at the Olympic trials," he told the Russian coach.

"The next year, all of the Russian swimmers -- the men, that is -- had mustaches. And that's a true story," Spitz said. [...]