Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, two of the world's best male swimmers, will compete today for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Swimming trials for the Olympic team began Monday morning in Omaha, Nebraska. The preliminaries began at 11 am and will play at 6:30 pm tonight on NBC before the final rounds begin.
Both Phelps and Lochte were seeded for the 400 Individual Medley, an event that requires the swimmers to swim each of the four strokes. Phelps completed the event first today, taking first place in his heat with the time of 4:14.72. While the time is low enough for the gold medalist to earn a spot on the Olympic team (he is currently in first), it is nowhere near where Phelps was when he broke the record for the 400 I.M. in the 2008 Beijing Olympics with the time of 4:03.84. more >>
Although the international community has maintained cautious optimism that 2012 would be the first year every participating country in the Olympic Games would be sending female athletes to compete, the oil-rich Middle Eastern monarchy of Saudi Arabia has yet to confirm if it would be sending any female participants to London this summer.
According to a recent article by Human Rights Watch, the International Olympic Committee has been pressing Saudi Arabia to include women in the global sporting competition, and back in March signs of progress seemed to be made. However, the country has still yet to confirm if women will be participating in the games and recent comments by the country's Olympic Committee president indicate that the likelihood of females participating in the games is slim.
Saudi's Crown Prince Nayef bin Abd al-Aziz reportedly said in March that he approved of women competing so long as they "meet the standards of women's decency and don't contradict Islamic laws," according to the U.K.-based pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat. more >>