The party of the year in the swimming world took place not in Beijing's Water Cube in August but in a New York City hotel ballroom the week before Thanksgiving. The occasion was the Golden Goggle Awards, the Oscars of the amphibious set, and most of the 43 members of the U.S. Olympic swim team turned out for the splashy event. With their short skirts, high heels and ripped biceps the women were visions of powerful femininity. The dudes wore their tuxedos ironically, with shaggy hair and bow ties askew. Before the awards show began, there was a rip-roaring cocktail hour. The view of midtown Manhattan from the ballroom revealed the grand old Ziegfeld Theatre, which on this night was hosting a red-carpet premiere for the latest overwrought Hollywood drama. Despite the constellation of paparazzi flashes the assembled actors couldn't match the star power at the Golden Goggles.
BEIJING -- It's a good thing Debbie Phelps has had a lot of practice catching bouquets thrown by her son, Michael, because the clutch of flowers he tossed to her after accepting the gold medal for the 200 IM -- his sixth of the 2008 Games and his record 12th overall -- almost fell short of her grasp. But then again, he was in bit of a hurry.