Swimming and Social Integration in Switzerland

Should Swiss Muslim girls be forced to swim with boys? Muslim integration has been an ongoing issue in Europe for the past several years. In 2009, a woman in France was banned from swimming in a public pool in a burkini, and in 2013, a German judge ruled that a 13-year old girl must attend mixed gender swimming lessons. The latest debate occurred in Switzerland.

 

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Switzerland was justified in “enforcing the full school curriculum” when two Swiss nationals, of Turkish origin, refused to send their daughters to mandatory swimming lessons in the Swiss town of Basel. The parents insisted that forcing the girls, ages seven and nine, to go to swimming lessons with boys was a violation of article nine of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

 

The European Court of Human Rights, however, said a full Swiss education is part of successful social integration, and that laws are intact to prevent students from any type of social exclusion. Exemptions from lessons are rare. The parents were fined 1,400 Swiss francs for not sending the girls to swimming lessons.

 

Muslim social integration is a controversial issue in Europe. Politicians continue to debate the effects of multiculturalism, secular tradition, female equality, cultural assimilation and social integration. Is forcing Swiss Muslim girls to swim with boys a violation of religious freedom or an attempt at social integration? It depends which end of the pool your on.

 

David Wilkie Swims Too Fast at Age 62

If you have ever exercised at a community pool, you have probably witnessed some breaches of etiquette. It is unlikely, though, that you have seen a senior citizen receive a warning for swimming to fast. That is exactly what happened in the United Kingdom recently, though.

According to the BBC, Olympic gold medalist David Wilkie, age 62, was warned by a swimming pool lifeguard that he was swimming too fast. The Bracknell lifeguard said that he believed it was poor etiquette for Wilkie to swim at an excessive speed. Wilkie responded that he was just trying to do his best, as any swimmer would.

It is amusing to picture a 62-year-old retired swimmer jetting through the water at the local YMCA. There must, however, be hundreds of former Olympic athletes swimming laps at community pools.

One of the great things about swimming is that it is a lifelong sport. Unlike some other athletes (e.g., football, baseball, and basketball players), champion swimmers can keep swimming for the rest of their lives. Although they might not stay in true Olympic form for long, they will probably tend to be exceptionally fast for their age throughout their lives.

Is swimming too fast a serious problem at public pools? It is true that swimmers must accommodate each other’s relative speeds when they are sharing a lane, and perhaps that was the very circumstance in the Wilkie story. If you see a 62-year-old speeding through the pool, though, consider just letting him go.

 

Swimmers Raise Money For Charity

While many people were out celebrating the New Year, 55 swimmers in California were raising money for charity. The Piranhas Swim Club swam several miles to raise money for the Angel View Charity.

 

The Piranhas Swim Club managed to raise $4,000 for the Angel View Charity. Not only did they raise money to benefit Angel View, but they also inspired people. Fifty-two-year old Chris Vargo was one of the people who participated in the event. He was born blind and had broken his collarbone last year. However, that did not stop him from reaching his goal.

 

Chris’s goal was to swim at least 14 strokes per lane. Abby Kartzinel, who is only 13-years-old, was the youngest participant. She was in the area visiting her grandparents and decided to participate in the event.

 

Jeff Conwell and Steve Erickson sponsored the event. Jeff stated that being able to serve the communities is an honor. He also stated that he was happy to see the smiles of the participants when they reached their personal goals.

 

Angel View is an organization that provides care to special needs adults. It has an outreach program and special education classes. The company also provides outreach services to families who have children with disabilities. It served over 600 children in 2016. Families are able to get these services for free. Angel View is committed to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.

 

USSA Recognizes Michael Phelps

Winner of 23 gold medals, Michael Phelps has been dubbed the top male athlete of the year by the United States Sports Academy. This comes after a year in which Phelps won six medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The Maryland native has won more medals than anyone else in Olympic history. This is the third time the swimmer has received the award, and he remains the only swimmer ever honored by the Academy.

 

The USSA determines the winner by taking into consideration the votes cast online by the public each month. Using these votes as a guideline, the Academy chooses an athlete to recognize an athlete of the month. At the end of the year, the athletes on this short list of 12 candidates become eligible for the yearly award. This year, Phelps, Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, and Slovenian ski jumper Peter Prevc were the favorites.

 

On the women’s side, the Academy gave the award to American gymnast Simone Biles. However, another swimmer, 400m individual medley world record holder Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, ranked just behind Biles.

 

The award is only one of many given to Phelps for his performance in the previous year. Among others, he received the USOC SportsMan of the Year Award, the Golden Goggle Male Performance of the Year Award, the Fédération internationale de natation swimmer of the year, and the Swimming World Swimmer of the Year Award (World and American categories). Phelps announced his retirement in 2016.

Poor Weather in Europe? How about Swimming in Barbados?c

Europe has been all foggy and gloomy for the past couple of weeks and all forms of outdoor activities have been cut short. But what do you do if you still crave that nice cool dip in a pool? No problem, pack your bags and head off to Barbados.

 

While many parts of the world are braving the throes of an icy winter, Barbados is busking in the warmest summer Sun and a burst with wanderlust activities. Not only did this scenic Caribbean Island give us the beautiful voice of Rihanna, it also happens to house some of the best beaches in the world. Since swimming is on your mind right now, you definitely have to show up at Carlisle Bay located in Bridgetown. The beach waters are sparkly clear if you fancy a dip, then later on you can snorkel or explore some shipwrecks with the area.

 

For more explorative adventure, you have to visit the many islands surrounding the greater Barbados. We cannot name all of them but some great suggestions should be the islands of Miami, Accra, Crane, Bathsheba, Bat Beach, Silver Sands and Dover. Swim around the islands and head ashore to explore the area till sundown.

 

Though car rental is available, the best way to explore more of Barbados is on a ship tour. The Catamaran sea tour should be on your wish list; be sure to choose the snorkeling package so you can swim in the blue waters flanked by sea turtles.

 

So you don’t have to wrap yourself in heavy blankets and couch surf all day over a bowl of chicken soup. Pack your swim suit and head over to Barbados for a mini vacation. You can go back home in April when the weather is well behaved.

 

 

Two Great Olympic Champions Close Curtains on Swimming Career

If you have been a keen follower of the Olympic Games held in Rio 2 months back, you definitely know these two giants: Michael Phelps and Brittany Maclean. They are Olympic swimming champions who have done both their countries and fans proud. But sadly, they recently made it public that it’s the end of the road for them.

 

For Michael Phelps, he has been an all-time Olympic record holder since the US Olympic Team trials of 2004. Since then, he has been a phenomenon in swimming championships, scooping 23 gold medals in global Olympic championships and 13 more gold medals in individual Olympic events. At 31, he recently made a statement that his win at the Olympic championships in Rio was the last call for him. Phelps did not give specific reasons why he is stepping down but one can attribute it to him becoming a family man. He wedded his long-time fiancée, Nicole Johnson with whom they have a child.

 

Over to Canada, a 22 year old Brittany Maclean is reassigning from Olympic swimming championships as well, but hers is more of a sad story. As the first Canadian female record holder, she was not pleased by her performance in the same Olympic games held in Rio last August. In the eyes of her Canadian and global fans, she actually did a good job setting a Canadian record in both the 200-meter and 400-meter freestyle games. Thanks to her, Canada walked away with an Olympic bronze medal, the first ever for the country, but Maclean felt she underperformed given the strong form she was in.

 

So as we are sure Phelps was well in his retiring years as a professional swimmer, one can only cross their fingers for the young Maclean. The female record holder said she is completing her degree in Sports management first before she thinks of competing again.

Miss CA Good Luck Charm: Michael Phelps Was Already Married During Rio Olympics

He’s considered one of the greatest and probably one of few who can really keep a secret. Swimmer Michael Phelps won his 23rd, and presumably final, Olympic gold medal of his career at the Rio Olympics in Brazil last July. Not only that, but we’ve all just learned that the most decorated Olympian in history was already competing as a married man at the summer games.

 

Phelps had quitely married former Miss California Nicole Johnson weeks earlier in Paradise Valley Arizona, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper. The publication had released the official marriage document on its website, and then TMZ the tabloid let the entire world know about the covert nuptials. TMZ showed a copy of the couple’s marriage license, and suddenly, that was the hottest story around. TMZ claims that the Paradise Valley, Arizona ceremony was officiated by Phelps’ agent, Peter Carlisle. The couple now reside in Paradise valley.

 

Nicole has not directly commented on social media about being a newlywed, but she did make a hint about the union on the wedding day of June 13th. Then, she posted a photo on Instagram of herself, Phelps and Boomer, with a caption reading: “Such a memorable night with my lil fambam.” The couple’s adorable son Boomer was born on May 5th.

 

Meantime, Michael Phelps is denying the nuptials on his Facebook page, assuring his many fans, “I’m not married yet.

 

“I am not telling you the date of the wedding,” Phelps said. “That’s a super secret. You guys will know soon, though.”

 

He and Nicole are both 31. As far as adding to their adorable brood, Phelps did say this to his fans:

 

“Baby number two could be coming soon, but who knows, though?”

 

Stay tuned, swimming fans.