September 11th, 2013
02:49 AM ET

Diana Nyad responds to questions over swim

After dodging sharks and jellyfish during her swim from Cuba to Florida, Diana Nyad is now dealing with a different challenge: tough questions from her fellow marathon swimmers about the legitimacy of her achievement.

In the days since Nyad walked out of the water last week at Key West after swimming 110 miles, a stream of questions has come at her.

Could her speed have nearly doubled at one point? Did any of her team members touch her or support her? How could she have gone for hours without food or water?

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Filed under: Cuba • Florida • Swimming • U.S.
August 21st, 2012
07:59 AM ET

Nyad ends attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida

Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad's latest attempt to swim across the Straits of Florida ended Tuesday morning after severe jellyfish stings and a lightning storm put her off course, a spokesman said.

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Filed under: Cuba • Florida • Sports • Swimming
Lochte vs. Phelps: Swimmer showdown heats up the Web
Ryan Lochte shows off his gold medal in the men's 400-meter individual medley and his "grill," dental braces bearing the U.S. flag.
July 29th, 2012
03:24 PM ET

Lochte vs. Phelps: Swimmer showdown heats up the Web

The Olympic competition is heating up, but it’s the rivalry between two American swimmers that’s burning up the Internet.

People couldn't stop talking when Ryan Lochte took home the gold Saturday in the 400-meter individual medley, while Michael Phelps, a 14-time gold medalist, came in fourth.

The speculation about the swimmers' relationship and comparisons between the two are pouring in. Are Phelps and Lochte fierce rivals? Tight teammates? Are Phelps’ glory days over? Will Lochte ever compare to Phelps? Could Lochte be your future husband?

Take a look at what CNN commenters and Twitter users had to say:

Competition among teammates

mitzie-GA:  "Michael Phelps didn't train for this event until the last minute. Too bad for him and good for Ryan Lochte. Glad to have a real competition among American swimmers. Makes it more fun to watch.

Sunny:  "Lochte wins and everyone is showing pictures of Phelps. Phooey."

sharky:  "If after the next six races, he still does badly, then fine, the rivalry is gone. This is one freaking race. Good grief."

Shilah:  "Given what Michael Phelps accomplished in Beijing 2008, it would be difficult in my view to repeat such a performance. Every athlete reaches a peak in his or her career before they wane. Michael Phelps has already indicated that this will be his last Olympics. Take nothing away from Ryan's performance. He deserves the spotlight. He has worked so hard and consistently over the years. However, for those who are quick to anoint Ryan Lochte as the next sensation, let us start the comparisons after he wins several gold medals in a single Olympics like Michael did in Beijing."

ChrisE: "The thing to remember here is that Lochte came into this event the reigning world champion. It's not totally unexpected that Phelps couldn't throw him out of his own house. I'm more interested in the events that are Phelps' best. The next meeting might not be a blowout."

Tight teammates?

Phelps' glory days over?

GB :  "Phelps acted like a little spoiled brat after all the glory. Now he's getting a rude awakening that he's not invincible like he had thought. Hopefully, Lochte will be more sensible in leading his life as a new champion."

Andrew: "Phelps has nothing left to prove and that is why he isn't on top anymore. But who can blame him?"

Josally:  "M. Phelps is an arrogant punk (who) doesn't even want to celebrate with the rest of the Olympians from the U.S. Now how special does that make him? I love to see anybody make history, but in his case I think we've had enough of him. So I guess it's time for him to go back home an look at his medals."

boomer1959: "Phelps thought he could cruise to more gold without paying the price to be in prime condition. ..."

Or are they?

No one stays on top forever

Leonore H. Dvorkin: "No one, no matter how good, stays on top forever. Phelps should be happy with what he has accomplished thus far and then try to be happy for those who will surely beat all his records some day. And remember: They're just sports, folks! No one should take any of them too seriously."

RetiredCop: "There is always a faster gun, and no one can remain No. 1 forever. I imagine that Phelps, who set the standard, is just dead tired inside, and even though trying again at this Olympics, he may just not have it inside to prevail. But perhaps he has a little something up his sleeve, as he initially decided to pass the 400-meter (individual medley) to begin with. Even if he does not perform to gold standards, he will remain the greatest swimmer of all time, for some time. Perhaps this is Lochte's time, but it cannot compare to Phelps accomplishments."

Phelps deserves a break

The real story ... gold and grills

And perhaps the biggest question of all will Lochte marry you?

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Filed under: Swimming
Godfather of U.S. competitive swimming bets on Phelps
Nine-time Olympic gold medal winner Mark Spitz pauses during a swim in the Bosporus.
July 14th, 2012
08:53 PM ET

Godfather of U.S. competitive swimming bets on Phelps

Nine-time Olympic gold medal winner Mark Spitz tells CNN he would bet on Michael Phelps if the U.S. swimmer ended up in a race against rival American Olympic hopeful Ryan Lochte in the upcoming London Olympics.

“I’m putting my money on Michael,” Spitz said when asked by CNN who he expects to see victorious at the London games. Spitz spoke to CNN in Istanbul moments after he plunged into the turbulent waters of the Bosporus, the fast-moving natural channel that divides the city in two.

Spitz was in Turkey’s largest city to promote this year’s Bosporus Cross Continental Race.

Arguably the greatest American competitive swimmer, Spitz donned an orange swim cap and swam alongside Istanbul’s Kurucesme Park, as passenger ferries and garbage collection boats churned through the congested water not far away.  He was accompanied by Turkish National Swimming Team trainer Erkan Mutlu in his foray.

When asked why he believed that Michael Phelps would outshine his rival Ryan Lochte, Spitz told CNN that Phelps had “more experience.”  The two U.S. Olympic swimmers are expected to go head-to-head in London in the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys.

Spitz: I put my money on Phelps

“Any time they’re swimming together it’s going to be a great rivalry, it’s going to be a great competition,” Spitz added.

English weather: Olympics' greatest threat?

The 24th annual Bosporus Cross Continental race, introduced in 1989 by the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, is said to be the world’s only swimming competition to span two continents - Europe and Asia. This year 1,200 athletes from around the world will compete in the race.

CNN Photos: Great moments from past Olympics

The race will begin Sunday on the Asian side of the Bosporus in the Istanbul neighborhood of Kanlica, and end in the European neighborhood of Kurucesme. In addition to the swimming competition, this year’s event also includes rowing and canoeing races.

Mark Spitz soared to sports stardom when he won seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, a record broken at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing by Michael Phelps. Before he retired early, at the age of 22, Spitz had won a total of  nine Olympic golds, one silver, one bronze and set 33 world records.

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Filed under: Olympics • Sports • Swimming
July 3rd, 2012
05:31 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Rednecks at play

Self-proclaimed "rednecks" gather across the country to enjoy some fun in the mud and we've captured them on video. Watch as some swim in a mud pit, hurl hubcaps and compete in beer-related contests. One woman states "what makes it so fun is that it's a bunch of rednecks getting along."

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'Redneck Resort' offers fun in the mud

The "Redneck Resort Mud Park" in Tennessee promises a good time for those who don't mind getting dirty. WVLT reports.

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Beer + cigarettes + mud = Redneck Games

Annual Redneck Games are held in East Dublin, Georgia. Mud pit bellyflops and hubcap hurls are among the games played.

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Maine town hosts 'Redneck Olympics'

Hundreds came out for toilet seat horseshoes and pigs feet bobbing in one town's alternative Olympics. WCSH reports.

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Filed under: Georgia • Gotta Watch • Maine • Sports • Swimming • Tennessee • U.S.
Michael Phelps says he will retire after London Olympics
Michael Phelps swims in the 100-meter butterfly event during the 2012 Indianapolis Grand Prix in March.
May 7th, 2012
10:04 AM ET

Michael Phelps says he will retire after London Olympics

U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps says he'll make one more push in the pool at the Olympics in London this summer, but after that he's hanging up his Speedo.

Phelps told Anderson Cooper in an interview on "60 Minutes" on Sunday that while it took him quite some time to get back into training for London, he's ready to go for the gold again. If he can get three medals during the Summer Olympics he will be able to retire as the athlete with the most Olympic career medals.

Debbie Phelps, Michael's mother, still likes the idea of him going to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics, in part because she wants to travel there. His consolation for her: "We'll go watch."

"Once I retire, I'm retiring," he said on "60 Minutes." "I'm done."

His coach, Bob Bowman, said he wasn't sure Phelps would even get to the Olympics. After a series of paparazzi photos showed the Olympic golden boy partying and Phelps slacked on practicing, everything was up in the air.

"I thought it was a 50-50," Bowman said. "I really didn't have a feel for whether he would come back or not come back."

In the fall of 2009, Bowman said, Phelps probably missed six weeks of practice. Phelps said he took a trip to Vegas, lounged around the house, played video games and did anything to distract himself from the pool.

"It was hard, because I didn't know if the passion or the fire was still inside of me," Phelps told Cooper. "And it took awhile for me to actually realize it myself. Bob couldn't tell me, my mom couldn't tell me. They couldn't help me find it."

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Gotta Watch : Submerged Stunts
Bob the diving dog paddles to great depths to retrieve a prized toy.
November 18th, 2011
11:31 AM ET

Gotta Watch : Submerged Stunts

What do hockey, pumpkin carving, and bone-fetching have in common?

Surprisingly, they can all be done underwater. Add a little liquid to these every day activities and see how different they become. Take a minute and dive into today's Gotta Watch videos.

Deep Diving Dog– Many dogs love water but this pooch is taking that love to a new depth. Check out this rescue pet's impressive spiral as he retrieves a toy from the bottom of the deep end.

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Filed under: Animals • Dogs • Gotta Watch • Halloween • Holidays • Swimming • Uncategorized
U.S. para-swimmer breaks another world record
August 15th, 2011
05:29 PM ET

U.S. para-swimmer breaks another world record

A para-swimmer featured in a CNN.com story last week has broken another world record, making her the world record holder or current world champion in all individual swimming events to be held in her class at next year’s Paralympics.

One of her U.S. teammates also made a historic splash at the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, setting four world records of her own in a separate physical ability class.

Mallory Weggemann (pictured), 22, of Eagan, Minnesota, and Jessica Long, 19, of Baltimore, Maryland, each collected eight gold medals at the event one of the last major meets before the 2012 Paralympics from Wednesday to Sunday.

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Filed under: Sports • Swimming