Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hot day in the Quarter yields cool surprise

My Aunt Mary was a swimmer as was my mother. Aunt Mary was supposed to compete doing the back dive in the infamous 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics, but backed out, I suppose. (I'll have to check whether she declined or the U.S. government decided Nazi Germany was no place for a lady.) Women had only recently been allowed to participate in the games at all. It was male-only until 1900 when women were allowed to compete in yachting, croquet, tennis, golf and horseback riding. We're a long way past croquet now, baby.

Aunt Mary was definitely an underwater mermaid in Silver Springs, Fla., where she met Uncle Diz at the concession stand. In any case, we're all proud swimmers.

So, I was pleased to see the U.S. women's swim team celebrated in the French Quarter today with a bathing suited mannequin launching off a Victorian facade on Royal Street as the Olympic flag unfurled. (It sure beat the heck out of the mannequin who used to swing her legs out the window of a Bourbon Street strip joint.)

Yesterday was a happy day for those of us who defended Title IX when many said women didn't deserve to play sports. I, for one, am thrilled to see American women excel in the games as well as women everywhere. Hooray for all of us.

Did I hear Ye Shiwen swam the 400m faster than Ryan Lochte, the winner of the men's event? (I only listen with one ear.)

Talking about swimming, I plan to do that tomorrow. 

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