"At first I thought maybe it was just a leaf or something, but then I went over to check and it definitely was a big log of poo," said Tommy Holt, who lifeguards at the Aquatics Centre for a summer job. "I immediately blew my whistle and told everyone to get out."
Per Aquatic Centre policy, the pool was then closed for 30 minutes while the feces was fished out and the pool was treated with a fresh batch of chemicals. However, several swimmers did not go back in after the Holt blew his whistle with the all-clear.
"I've been working my whole life for this," said Canadian swimmer Mark Riley. "But no way I'm going back in the pool 30 minutes after a turd was in there. That 30 minutes sounds like a completely arbitrary time to me, right? I mean, there's no way the pool is clean in that time. I want a medal, but I don't want it enough to get feces particles in my mouth."
You fail to medal once and suddenly you're terrible.
Subway destroyed his poo.
"I know most people don't necessarily dream of working at Home Depot, but it's a good job. And they offer benefits and everything to full-time employees," said Heckerdt. "I'm proud to work here."
That's why Heckerdt bristles at fellow employees who don't give their all when it comes to providing customers with the best possible experience while purchasing home improvement and construction goods. One particular employee, Michael Phelps who works 3 to 9 pm, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday under Heckerdt has recently drawn the ire of his boss.
"This guy is getting ready for some swimming competition and he seems to think that's more important than helping customers in aisles 9 through 17," said Heckerdt. "He needs to look at it like this: while swimming is important to him, it's not to the woman who is simply looking for the best deck protector. In fact, to that customer, water is the enemy."
When the gun sounded to start his heat, Phelps dove into the pool and then didn't resurface for several seconds. He then appeared at the top of the water, wildly flailing and gasping for air, before dropping below the top of the water again. Lifeguards and paramedics then dove into the pool and pulled Phelps out, where mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was conducted.
"All athletes go through slumps," said Gary Mourning, Phelps' coach. "Just look at Albert Pujols. The London Olympics are still two months away, so I am fully confident that Michael will be back in form by then."
Phelps spoke to reporters briefly from his hospital bed at University of Miami hospital.
"I just need to focus on the fundamentals," he said. "You know, not swallowing water, moving my arms and legs in a controlled manner so I don't fall to the bottom, that sort of thing. I'll get through it."
The winner is getting laid. And also all of the losers.
F- it. He'll take a DQ. He's got a cool trick.
Picture "O's, bro. O's."
As swimming fans were following the Michael Phelps-Milorad Cavic rivalry at the world championships in Rome, a far more tragic storyline concluded on the final day of the event when slumping British swimmer Tom Garrison drowned in the 100m butterfly semifinals.
"I was afraid this was going to happen," said Garrison's coach, Peter Thurgood. "Tom has been in a terrible slump lately his times have been dropping consistently, and the last few meets he's basically just been thrashing around in the water."
In Friday's 200m freestyle opening heat, Garrison finished last in 10:43:06 9 minutes behind heat-winner Phelps. He was only able to complete the race by pulling himself along over the final 50 meters on the lane divider ropes, his head repeatedly dropping below the surface of the water as he gasped for air.
"He let his technique break down," said Thurgood. "Once that happens it can be hard to get back right away and then anything can happen in the pool."
Thurgood was content to just be patient and wait out the slump "All swimmers go through them," he says and hope Garrison could eventually turn around a season in which he hoped to challenge Phelps and Cavic as the world's premier swimmer.
But that won't happen now.
When Garrison dove into the pool for the 100m butterfly "It was more of an awkward fall into the water," said one race official he immediately sunk to the bottom. Some 10 seconds later, his head briefly emerged above the surface and he thrashed around wildly, screaming for help.
Poolside, Thurgood screamed instructions to his desperate star: "Technique, Tom! Focus on technique!" But if Garrison ever heard him, we don't know because the swimmer dropped below the surface again, not to emerge again until he was a floating corpse.
"Tom never would have wanted me to jump in their and rescue him," said the coach. "It would have been humiliating. Plus, it would have disqualified him from the race. He wanted to get through this slump on his own. In fact, as he was drowning, I half-expected instinct to kick in, causing him to pop up and swim his best race of his life, catching and beating Phelps and Cavic. I hoped a near-drowning would be his slump buster. I thought it might help him reach his potential."
It didn't, of course. But the young British swimming star did impact the race, as his corpse gently floated into Cavic's lane on the last lap, briefly slowing the Serb and giving the win to Phelps.
"It's tragic what happened," said Phelps. "But i'll take a victory any way I can get it. I've never high-fived a dead body before, but it was kind of cool."