Phew. Nail biting can officially cease.
Mark swam GREAT at the Paris Open. He swam the 200m breaststroke (got 9th and did not advance to the finals), the 50 breaststroke (which he won-Yay!) and the 100m breaststroke (which he also won-Buya!). The 100m breaststroke was by far his most successful race. His time moved him to 8th in the world. The best news is that he beat some big names in the field, one of which being an Olympic medalist, and was pretty unrested (he may not be happy that I am sharing this, but he has actually been getting his butt kicked by his coaches lately. He has even been too tired to walk the baby and the dog at night... wimp).
This type of swim is a huge confidence builder for our humble average, everyday, Olympian.
I was at a friend's house for brunch this morning and was not glued to my computer for results-so unlike me, especially considering I was checking prelims results this morning at 3am. My mother called to tell me that Swiminfo.com mentioned Mark-we still get excited when we see Mark's name in print. I could have sworn that she said that he went a "1:01.7." This would have been a just-ok-swim and I was sure Mark would be disappointed with it, so I wasn't that thrilled.
About 10 minutes later I get a call from David Arluck, Mark's agent. He was totally fired up. I kept thinking to myself, "He is this excited about a 1:01?" Well, he wasn't. He was that excited about a 1:00. I immediately went into panic (excited panic) mode and had to look at the results myself. After talking with Dave (wasn't that extremely thoughtful of him to call?!) and analyzing just how fast Mark will go this year I ran inside to figure out how to translate the Paris Open website into English.
Six years ago Mark made his first U.S. Olympic team with a 1:00.8.
I knew Mark was getting faster, but the whole suit drama really has had me confused all year. I didn't know what to expect, what times to hope for or what results Mark would be satisfied with.
If you haven't been consumed in the suit drama like I have been here is a brief video from last year. Long story short, "super suits" are now banned and swimmers are wearing suits that haven't been worn for more than 5 years.
I called Mark The Silver Bullet all summer after he wore the suit in this video.
Anyway, wow, great job, Marky. Needless to say that the decision to get Mark to France no matter the cost or stress was the right decision. If you haven't read about our travel calamity, click here for the recap.