World Records

Just the phrase, "World Record" sounds so epic and amazing. If anything or anyone can add the tag "World Record Holder" to their resume, it automatically boosts that resume.

In the past few weeks, several world records have fallen in Olympic sports. The World Championships of Swimming were held last week, and eleven world records were broken. Actually, two of the world records were for the same event; in the men's 200m breaststroke, Australia's Matthew Wilson broke the record, but in the final it was broken again by Russia's Anton Chupkov!

On the track, Dalilah Muhammad broke the 400m hurdles world record during the US National Championships. I got to watch it, and she was basically the only one in the viewing audience that knew she was going to give it a shot! (And looking at Ashley Spencer's reaction behind her makes it even better.) But it wasn't even the first track world record to be broken this month. The Netherlands' Sifan Hassan broke the women's mile on July 12!

So when world records fall at a staggering rate, does the title "World Record Holder" hold as much panache? Even 17-year-old Regan Smith breaking Missy Franklin's 200m backstroke record wasn't as jaw-dropping as it should have been, just because the original record was a mere seven years old. Out of the 51 major men's athletics events, just seventeen remain from the twentieth century, and the oldest world record is merely 33 years old!

I am older than all of the men's athletics world records, y'all.

So what sets the standard? What makes a great athlete nowadays if the idea of breaking a world record isn't as unique as it used to be? I guess it would be the amount of championships a single athlete wins. Yes, Michael Phelps broke many world records (some of which still stand - and one which was broken last week by a 19-year-old Hungarian), but people will remember him as the man that got eight gold medals in one Olympics and twenty-three Olympic golds overall. It is likely you've seen the pictures of Phelps with all his Olympic medals draped around his neck - or at least the one with his eight from Beijing.

It is more likely that you'll see coverage of a multi-gold-medal athlete than of an athlete that broke one world record that one time. Why?

Consistency.

Someone who has broken just one world record can keep that status forever, but the world will only recognize the record until someone else comes along and breaks it.

However, if someone wins three gold medals in a row in an Olympic event, that person has staying power. That's twelve years of consistency! Good grief!

So in my opinion, breaking world records is awesome. But give me an athlete with consistent dominance and I will respect them forever.

Tokyo 2020 Prep

In the Facebook and Twitter groups that I follow, there has been a lot of talk this past week about Tokyo hotels and AirBnB hosts canceling existing reservations and then putting the room back on the market for way more than the original price.

With this in mind, I am holding off on booking something - hotel or AirBnB - until I hear things have calmed down. I almost booked a capsule hotel, but then it said in the fine print that I'd have to vacate my room every day. So I didn't.

Another things my Tokyo peeps keep saying (those who have done Olympics before) is that when the Olympics get closer, rooms that were being held for sponsors will open up, and prices will drop. How much do I believe that will happen for Tokyo, especially since ticket demand is at an all-time high?

Video of the Week

The Olympic Channel premiered some Tokyo 2020 countdown videos with their 1 Year To Go celebration, and I enjoy this longform video that is more like the Today Show than a YouTube video:


Mini Blurbs

  • Hey! I've been at my new job for four weeks now! And it is amazing! So many exclamation points!!
  • This weekend was all about volleyball for me - both indoor and beach. The Team USA women are working to qualify for the Olympics with a pool tournament that's taking place in Louisiana. There are six pool tournaments happening all over the place, and whoever wins their pool automatically qualifies for Tokyo. Team USA has beaten Khazakstan and Bulgaria - which was awesome to watch - and they play Argentina this afternoon. They win, and they're in!
  • The Beach Volleyball World Tour is in Austria, and I've been able to watch some men's and women's matches. If you're reading this article early enough, the Olympic Channel will be airing the men's semifinals this morning, and Team USA's Phil Dalhausser and Nicholas Lucena are playing!
  • Why am I not covering the Pan Am Championships? This is a dumb reason: it's on ESPN. Even though I have no problems streaming all the NBC apps from my phone, ESPN won't let me stream from my phone! I have an account and everything, but it always says it's not in my subscription package. (It is...even if it's not mine...)
  • I still have a lot of confusion why the U.S. swimming body decided it would be a good idea for the national championships - which mean diddly squat this year since last year's competition decided the World Championship team - to occur the week after the World Championships, and the week before the swimming portion of the Pan American Games! They could have easily done what the USATF federation did and move the date around to fit the time of Worlds. 
  • I signed up for a 5K for October! Thanks to my brother - who is running one this weekend - I am back into running after a few months off. He also has the Nike Run Club app, and we share our runs with each other. I always prefer to train alone, but having someone encouraging me is actually pretty neat! Plus we're both staying in shape. 

Weekly Cauldron Check

Is the cauldron lit????

...No. But it will be in less than a year!

'm Claire Nat and you're reading Light The CauldronFollow me on Twitter and Facebook @CauldronLight and read my past Olympic articles! Look back on previous posts to hear about my trips to the US Curling National Championships, the US Figure Skating Championships, and my very successful quest to acquire tickets for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!

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