Have A Look At This: The World Cup on Universal Sports

By David

Swimwatch received an interesting email this week from Universal Sports, the online and television broadcaster of world class competitions for Olympic and lifestyle sports, including swimming. Their email was to let Swimwatch know that Universal will be broadcasting the FINA Swimming World Cup, starting on October 10th through November 16th. They wondered whether Swimwatch would help promote the “free and live coverage of the FINA Swimming World Cup event”.

Nothing would please us more. The World Cup this year will be swum in Brazil (October 10-12), South Africa (October 17-18), Australia (October 25-26), Singapore (November 1-2), Russia (November 8-9), Sweden (November 11-12) and Germany (November 15-16). Follow the live coverage here. Much like NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Olympic Swimming trials this July, these online broadcasts allow us to view events that most countries’ TV stations don’t play on air.

As I have said before the World Cup is my favorite swimming competition. It’s fun, the swimming is always fast and the internationalism of the tour shows swimming at its best. I doubt there is a person reading Swimwatch who does not think the swimming in Beijing was worth watching. Every World Cup I’ve been to has produced the same sporting excitement. It was great to be there when Michael Klim broke the world butterfly record in Sydney and when Hickman did the same thing in Paris and when Popov ruled the sprinting world. I watched in awe as Amanda Beard won World Cup races at a time when she was going through a low patch in her career. That was the stuff of a real champion. In Germany I smiled at Mark Foster easing through his heat of the 50 freestyle only to discover that in a six lane pool he was seventh. I watched Franziska van Almsick win 200 meter races with her trademark, wonderful, peerless arrogance. I’ve seen US swimmers drive Swedish crowds wild by flexing their impressive abs on the starting blocks. The list is endless. Without a doubt watching it on Universal Sports internet broadcast will be worth your time.

You can guarantee the broadcast will be well done. Before I got involved in coaching swimming I coached some track athletes. Some of them were pretty good and competed in the annual European series of track meets in towns like Zurich, Berlin, Gateshead and Brussels. Today I still watch the Universal Sports’ broadcast of these events. Besides bringing back a lot of happy memories the commentators are very good. They know their sport sufficiently well that they educate as well as entertain. I learn a heap of stuff relevant to swimming coaching by listening to the information they impart about athletics. I’ve no doubt their broadcast of swimming will be just as informative and just as much fun.

And finally of course Skuba and I will be at the Moscow, Stockholm and Berlin stops on this year’s tour. Skuba will be swimming the 50 and 100 and 200 freestyle events. You should see him in the water but I’ll have to find out where the cameras are and hold up one of those signs that embarrass everyone back in the USA. I doubt that any sign I could think of could improve on a comment I heard at the pool today. One of our mothers has just completed her “strokes and turns” seminar and has passed the on-line test. She now has to shadow a “strokes and turns” official through six swim meet sessions. I heard he say to another mother that she thought it would be much more fun to stroke a “shadows and turns” judge for six sessions. Some mothers; I don’t know.

Besides the link shown above Swimwatch will be getting a banner for you to click in order to see the swimming in Brazil and the other six World Cup stops. In Europe, don’t forget to look for my “Stroke a shadow-and-turns judge” sign.