Live with the women’s 10K

Watching the live video feed of the women’s 10K swim at the Olympics. To achieve this, I had to dig out an old PC and brave the World of Windows, complete with the usual assortment of inscrutable error messages, because NBC/Microsoft have it set up so you can only watch video feed on the proprietary MS “Silverlight” plugin, which only works with PCs or Intel-based Macs, and I have a non-Intel Mac. Couldn’t NBC have put at least a little of the 10K on television (and I don’t mean at 2 AM on the USA network)? Is pool swimming “sexier” than OW?

OK, so I’m done my grousing.

The live video feed comes without the voice-over commentary. Instead, we have Steve Munatones of 10KSwimmer offering good written commentary.

Right now the Brits are leading in first and second place with Russia in 3rd.

I’ve just learned from Steve that Edith van Dijk is both the oldest swimmer in the race and the only one to have swum the English Channel.

These women are blistering fast. Steve tells us that Larisa Ilchenko of Russia swims 120,000 meters per week during her peak training periods. Yikes! That’s about 75 miles a week!

Impressive drafting technique–these women all are holding a remarkably steady line.

Ah, and Steve explains why. “…they not only naturally swim straight, but the can also easily swim parallel to the shore and the referee boats on the side.”

One of the lead swimmers is going at a stroke count of around 84-86 strokes per minute. I just counted.

Instead of a sharp turn around a buoy, this race has long curving turns.


The two British women led for virtually the entire race, with Larisa Ilchenko drafting on their heels the entire time. Then, in the last 150 meters or so, Ilchenko sprints past to beat them both. Apparently this is Ilchenko’s trademark strategy, so it’s surprising that there wasn’t any counter-strategy on the part of the other swimmers, but maybe the Brits weren’t planning on leading quite that much?


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