Watching the Swimming World Championships this evening (available through the miracle of cable telly), Daniel was wowed by the enormous size of the medals being handed out.
"I want one of those" he declared, before calculating how much faster he would have to swim to match Ryan Lochte's new 200m individual medley world record.
"You'll have to train really hard, and get into City of Birmingham," I told him, "then carry on training really hard, get on the national programme, train really hard, win the nationals, train really hard, win the europeans, then you'll be in with a shout. And you'll have to train really hard."
He didn't think I was joking. He said "OK."
The last time a 200m IM record was set in Rome it stood for nearly 9 years before finally falling to Micheal Phelps. Not sure Lochte's record will stand for anywhere near that. Next year, when the new swimsuit regulations come in and outlaw the polyuethane fastskins, I fully expect Phelps to take the record back. I'd say sooner, as it's not as if he's off his stroke or anything, setting a new 200m butterfly record yesterday. However, Phelps has said he will not swim again until then.
If you haven't been keeping up with the FINA swimsuit hoo-har (and if not, then I can't really blame you), the reason the fastskins make you quicker is not just because they have very low drag, but because they're water impermeable. Consequently, you have more buoyancy and you can go even faster. Once the skins are out, the records will settle briefly but I don't expect it to take long before they start to fall again. There's still more to be had from improved technique. And I fully expect we'll be spending a fair chunk of the next few years getting up at daft o'clock to take Daniel to the pool as he tries to master his.