Swimming An End to Domination

Americans feel the ripples of change as a new wave of swimmers make their marks in the pool

Catch those Stars and Stripes fluttering through the crowd. Listen for the splash. Blink into the sun and -- whoops! In 22 seconds the race is over. But when the bubbles clear, it is not The Star Spangled Banner playing over the Bernat Picornell Pool but the strains of another anthem. And the man who lays claim to being the new Johnny Weissmuller, the new Mark Spitz, the new Matt Biondi, is a fellow from Volgograd named Popov, winner of the 50-m free and the fastest swimmer of the XXVth Olympiad.

In the dizzying array of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle --...

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