We weren't going to head down this path - the one about predictions for the coming year and all that - but then we open this month's issue of Swimming World Magazine. Right there on page 6, Publisher and CEO Brent Rutemiller mused about his predictions for our sport for the next decade. We were intrigued and since the scope is the decade we felt compelled to share some of his thoughts with you. Below is a partial list. We will get back to our usual stuff next week but for now, enjoy. Your comments are always welcomed!
1 - A Professional Swim League will be established in the US, Europe and Australia.
2 - Masters swimmers will be the first to embrace a professional circuit that allows for technical suits and no testing for performance-enhancing drugs.
3 - The banning of full body suits will be reversed and material will be redefined once again for Olympic competition.
4 - Advertising will be allowed on swimwear during competition, similar to NASCAR.
5 - Open water racing will see the largest growth in popularity.
6 - As a budget savings, the NCAA will combine all of its NCAA division championships into one week of collegiate championships at one venue.
7 - The courts will rule that Title IX discriminates against males.
8 - Swimming will become the No. 1 fitness activity in the US based on a national movement and national health care recommendations.
9 - Current dope testing procedures and periodicals will be abolished and a new blood passport system will be installed in Europe.
10 - Supplements taken by athletes to assist in nutrition and recovery will be regulated by governing bodies.
11 - Masters Swimming will actively become part of groundbreaking quality of life and longevity studies that test scientific breakthroughs in genetic engineering.