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dalbuc

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: February 11, 2009, 10:42:29 PM

, well actually more like swimming IN the Atlantic

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/beijing/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/The-great-Atlantic-Ocean-swimming-hoax?urn=oly,140525

Over the weekend, in between depressing news about the economy and the continued sagas of Michael Phelps and Alex Rodriguez, an inspirational story appeared on the Associated Press news wire. It detailed American Jennifer Figge's accomplishment in becoming the first woman to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. Many media outlets (including Yahoo!) jumped on the story that seemed almost too good to be true. That's because it was.

The AP originally reported that Figge swam from the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa to Trinidad (2,100 miles) in 25 days while escorted by a boat. She was said to have rested every night and hopped back in the water in the morning.

    Figge woke most days around 7 a.m., eating pasta and baked potatoes while she and the crew assessed the weather. Her longest stint in the water was about eight hours, and her shortest was 21 minutes.

There were problems with the story from the start. A few of the less-important ones included the fact that Cape Verde is at least 2,400 miles, not 2,100, from Trinidad.  And the African islands are about 500 miles off the western coast of the continent, meaning Figge had a huge head start on her trip across the Atlantic. (It'd be like somebody saying they ran across America after starting in Cincinnati.)

Those are trivial though. The real issue stemmed from the fact that swimming 2,100 miles in 25 days is impossible. (Some newspapers picked up on this.) It's infinitely more impossible when somebody only spends 21 minutes swimming during one of those 25 days. Michael Phelps swimming his fastest would take about 20 days to cover that distance. And that's his fastest pace, sustained for three weeks, without ever stopping. Impossible.

Yet, somehow, the AP ran the story even though a few seconds of thought and a pocket calculator was enough to disprove it. They ran a correction yesterday that read, in part:

    Figge swam only a fraction of the 2,100-mile journey. The rest of the time, she rested on her crew's westward-sailing catamaran. Her spokesman [said] that her total swimming distance has not been calculated yet, but that due to ocean hazards including inclement weather, he estimates she swam about 250 miles.

Swimming 250 miles is nothing to scoff at; but it's not 2,100. To go back to the running-across-America analogy, this would be like driving cross country with a friend, and getting out of the car every ten miles to run one mile for the entire trip. That'd be an impressive feat, but nobody would ever confuse it with running across the United States.

In an interview yesterday with the AP, Figge avoids discussing the validity of her swim and instead says she "never intended to swim the Atlantic." That may be so, but she didn't do much to prevent most American news outlets from reporting that she did.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.
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michael89156

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#1 : February 11, 2009, 11:34:33 PM

Reminds me of that woman who won the NYC marathon a few years back............turned out she hopped a cab for a good portion of it.   LOL

Boid Fink

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#2 : February 11, 2009, 11:40:21 PM

What a damned fraud.

So many want the accolades, and don;t want to do it with their natural ability.


dalbuc

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#3 : February 12, 2009, 12:07:06 AM

What a damned fraud.

So many want the accolades, and don;t want to do it with their natural ability.

To me the fraud is one thing, the worse thing is that no one bothered to do the 2100 miles in 25 days math and figure out that this was a superhuman feat before they ran the story.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.
If you think Manziel is the best QB in this draft I can safely assume you are an idiot and will treat you as such.

John Galt?

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#4 : February 13, 2009, 02:11:03 PM

What a damned fraud.

So many want the accolades, and don;t want to do it with their natural ability.

To me the fraud is one thing, the worse thing is that no one bothered to do the 2100 miles in 25 days math and figure out that this was a superhuman feat before they ran the story.

Not so superhuman. You could easily float 2100 miles in 18 days in the Gulfstream which averages over 5 mph.

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