Adam Peaty: The secrets to swimming success

Few athletes break world records. Fewer manage to do it twice — on the same day.

But Adam Peaty is no normal athlete. Aged just 22, the British swimmer picked up two gold medals in the 50 and 100m breaststroke events at the recent World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and a silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

It was his 50m performances that really caught the eye, as Peaty broke his own world record first in the semifinals, and then again in the final, becoming the first man ever to go sub 26 seconds in the process.

“It’s unreal,” Peaty, who also won gold in the 100m breaststroke at last year’s Olympics, told CNN World Sport.

“I got there in the morning and was quite tired from the 100m. I just dived in and when I touched the other side, I was like ‘Oh my God, I’ve just gone under 26 seconds. I’ve just smashed my world record from two years ago.’

“I was just so tired from semifinal, but I got this urge from what I wanted and just took myself back to what I wanted from the sport and thought: ‘I’ve come this far, why not push on again?'”
And push on he did.

Despite narrowly missing out on a world record in the 100m, Peaty’s dominance of the event is such that he has now recorded each of the 10 fastest-ever times over the distance.

Secrets to success

So what’s his secret? Hard work, mainly. Which means “smashing it” in training.

“35 hours a week, six hours a day,” says Peaty. “Absolutely killing training each day. I can’t explain how much I do. You’d have to see it in person.

“If you’re down at 5% energy, you’ve got to find that 95% and get up there. That’s going to make the difference between coming fourth and breaking world records.”

But he’s got another secret, too, and that concerns his technique.

During the world championships, fellow swimmer Cameron can der Burgh said his rival was “swimming a new kind of stroke — a metamorphosis between butterfly and breast.”

Peaty, the envy of his fellow competitors, is revolutionizing the sport of swimming.

“A lot of breaststrokers are very tense, go in the gym and try and build as much muscle as possible,” says Peaty.
“But you want the complete opposite of that. Obviously you want the muscle, but you’ve got to be relaxed.”

Looking ahead

After already winning his first gold medal aged 21, Peaty is now eying success at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“Obviously I’ve got to celebrate what I did in Budapest. For now it’s all about chocolate cake and relaxing.

“But when I’m back to it, I’m back to it. I’ll smash training, absolutely. But for me, it’s not a problem peaking for Tokyo, it’s what I do.

“I’ve got a good support team behind me to make sure I get there.”

Wayne Rooney retires from international football

Rejuvenated after his return to boyhood club Everton, Wayne Rooney has called time on his international career with England.

The 31-year-old Rooney, who scored his 200th Premier League goal on Monday in the 1-1 draw against Manchester City, has netted in both of Everton’s league games in a promising start to the season for the Merseyside club.

“Leaving Manchester United was a tough call but I know I made the right decision in coming home to Everton,” said Rooney, who scored 53 times in 119 games for England, in a statement on his website.

“Now I want to focus all my energies on helping them be successful.”
Rooney began his career with Everton, before joining United in 2004. He made his return to Everton in the summer transfer window having becoming sidelined at Old Trafford.


Former England international Gary Lineker has described Rooney as “one of Britain’s top 10 ever” players.

However, England has historically struggled at international level — the country last won the world Cup in 1966 — and Rooney was unable to change that dynamic.

I will always remain a passionate England fan,” added Rooney. “One of my very few regrets is not to have been part of a successful England tournament side.

“Hopefully the exciting players Gareth is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team.”

Rooney came to international prominence when he made his major tournament debut as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004, though he broke a bone in his foot in the quarterfinals against Portugal.

The United States Of Emotion

The intense emotions surrounding the 2016 campaign were apparent to me during the last month of the race.
I spent those final weeks criss-crossing the country with the CNN #myvote campaign camper, talking to voters about who they would pick and why. Most people my colleagues and I talked to were deeply set in their convictions about their candidate and easily overlooked any shortcomings. I rarely met an undecided voter.

At the time, I expected that — like most previous elections — passions would eventually ease after the race was called and the country had time to process the results. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, eight months after the election, it often seems like the most vitriolic campaign in recent memory is still unfolding — and taking a personal toll on Democrats and Republicans alike.

We recently set up a voicemail and asked you to call in and leave a message responding to this idea:

Whatever your political leanings, we want to hear about how this political climate is impacting your life and your relationships.

We heard from hundreds of you and the messages often spoke to the personal divisions that have emerged since the election with friendships broken and family members no longer speaking to each other. We selected four messages — two from Democrats and two from Republicans — and shared them with experts in negotiation and psychology to learn what’s driving the lingering fervor and what could be done to heal the relationships.

This is not a scientific exercise and doesn’t represent the feelings of the entire country. The messages relayed anger, loss, sadness and more. But mostly, they demonstrated that people of all political persuasions just want to be heard and understood.

Nevada City, California

“This election has been like no other, ” Kathy Gibbens said as she began her voicemail. “I didn’t want to go back home from where I live in California to Louisiana for Christmas this past year because I didn’t want to hear about my relatives having voted for this administration.”

Kathy was born in a conservative part of Louisiana, but 25 years ago moved to a more liberal part of California where she says she was more comfortable being herself.

“When it comes to politics and division in our country, and how it plays out on a personal level, we tend to go back to our own habitual patterns of dealing with conflict,” said Daniel Shapiro, a negotiations expert and the founder of the Harvard International Negotiation Program. “Some of us like to avoid it, others like to engage in it. Kathy’s wanting to avoid uncomfortable conversations with her family.”

Gibbens also talks about feeling bullied. She supported Bernie Sanders until the end and wrote in his name on Election Day.

“I finally had to take the Bernie bumper sticker off my car,” Gibbens continued in her voicemail. “I almost got rear-ended at an exit coming off the freeway. I mean just harassment because I had a Bernie sticker on my car. It’s really ugly. It leaves us scared because there’s so many people who seem more emboldened to be bullies.”

Paula Niedenthal, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin who specializes in emotions, said “this bumper sticker thing fascinated me because it’s sort of similar to sports teams.”

“There’s this anxiety about being exposed,” she said. “You have a bumper sticker, it’s almost like having a Green Bay Packers sticker and being in Texas.”

We asked our experts to offer advice on how the four callers we feature here might be able to communicate with the other side. For Gibbens, it’s about how to feel safe and communicate with her mom.

“Instead of it being her mom who is the problem, the problem is that there are political differences that are impacting the relationship between the two of them,” Shapiro said. “At least it’s worth thinking through what would happen if she did go (to Louisiana), and she articulated to the family, ‘I’ll go on the condition that we don’t talk politics.’”

There’s always Thanksgiving or Christmas to try again.

Sacramento, California

Heather Tomlin-Wagoner supports President Donald Trump and appreciates his bravado. Five months before the election, she and her cousin, who backed Hillary Clinton, stopped talking because their arguing got too tense.

“I don’t blame Trump,” Tomlin-Wagoner said about her and her cousin’s arguing. “I don’t blame anybody but themselves. The individual is to blame.”

She has reached out to her cousin hoping to repair their relationship, but says she hasn’t heard back.

“I think it’s very easy, when we start talking politics with someone who has a different opinion than us, to get into an experience I call vertigo,” Shapiro said. “Vertigo is when we get so consumed in a conflict situation that we can think of nothing else other than that conflict situation and the ‘evil person’ who is perpetrating it upon us.”

Tomlin-Wagoner sounds angry at times during her voicemail. But according to Niedenthal, she feels misunderstood.
“She’s focusing on the fact that people can’t listen to each other without tremendous blame or accusation,” Niedenthal said. “She’s trying to figure out why this state of anger exists in her and everybody else, and so you hear her attempts to explain that.”

Portland, Oregon

“Since the election in November, I have stopped talking to my mom, who I was pretty close with before the election,” Keith Main said in his voicemail.

He isn’t alone — I heard countless voicemails from people who ended relationships because of the election.

But why haven’t people been able to move past this eight months later? It’s because, Niedenthal said, we’re not able to sit with our feelings or digest them. There is always something happening that resurrects any emotions we’ve tried to resolve.

“Keith is being reminded all the time, we are all being reminded all the time in the media, of things that allow us to charge somebody or charge an entire group of having made a mistake in some way,” Niedenthal said.
The deeper feeling in Main’s voicemail is betrayal.

“I feel like my mom has always sort of held so close and tight to her values and her religion,” he said in the voicemail.

“So when I knew that she was supporting Donald Trump, I thought this doesn’t go with the values that she’s espoused her entire life. And then as soon as he got elected, I just thought, you know what, her values mean nothing.”

Main is feeling the loss of the relationship, but also the loss of who he thought the woman was who raised him. It becomes an identity crisis, Shapiro said.

“This election is raising questions of identity for Keith,” said Shapiro. “‘What values define me? Who’s my mother?’ That’s a fundamental core personal conversation that is extremely difficult.”

Shapiro offers a tactic he uses when he helps with high level negotiations in the Middle East. It’s called BAG: Best Alternative to a Grudge. It applies here too, he said.

“In other words, if you don’t have this grudge towards your mom, can you envision having some sort of other kind of relationship with her? And would you prefer to hold onto this grudge and lose three and a half, or seven and a half if Trump’s reelected, years of your life with your mother?”

It’s always easier said than done. For Main and many of the callers, the grudge has deeper roots than an acronym.
“I feel like I literally cannot speak to her while she’s supporting that man who is the President, ” Main said.

The Arizona Republic front page played Trump rally with a different approach

Many newspaper front pages on Wednesday featured a photo of President Trump with headlines that mentioned him by name. They touched on themes from his blustery speech at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Arizona Republic took a different approach.
In large black letters that eclipsed the font size of the masthead read the words “Violence Erupts.” Below the headline, a photo of a protester kneeling in front of a row of police in riot gear.
The Arizona Republic’s news director felt it necessary to tell the story on the ground.

The difference a night makes in a Trump speech

Trump held seven rallies in Arizona during last year’s campaign. Tuesday’s event was the first one he headlined since becoming President. It came on the heels of a dramatic two weeks that included the announcement of a new approach on Afghanistan, and more notably, the backlash over Trump’s failure to denounce hate groups that incited violence at a demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“This rally was different, obviously,” said Josh Susong, the paper’s news director who was leading coverage on Tuesday. “Because of that, we thought that the activity on the streets was also significant and different than what we have heard in the past.”

The lead photo doesn’t just convey the news of the day.

For the dozen or so Arizona Republic journalists deployed to the Phoenix Convention Center, where the rally took place, this photo reflects what they experienced on the ground, which happens to be a block away from the newspaper’s headquarters.

At one point, Susong received a call from a reporter on the ground who he said was too choked up by tear gas to speak.

Here’s how reporters are responding to Trump’s new amped-up attacks

An early edition of the printed paper had shipped with a lead photo that captured the scene at the rally. After the phone call with his tear-gassed reporter, Susong realized that the story was no longer about President Trump.

“From that point on and through the course of about an hour and a half, that was the way we were perceiving events outside,” Susong said.

What started out as a day of peaceful demonstrations turned violent in the evening. Police used tear gas to control protesters, who authorities say were throwing rocks and breaking out into fights.

On the television and around the internet, people debated the merits of Trump’s blistering remarks about the “dishonest media.”

Members of the media who work for The Arizona Republic have endured threats before.
The newspaper famously bucked tradition last year and endorsed a Democrat for the first time in its 126-year history.

What ensued were death threats against staffers, which means safety is “always paramount to us,” Susong said. Reporters were given safety gear and instructed to travel in teams on Tuesday.

“We’re really proud of our staff, who covered it well and looked out for one another and for our community in the process,” Susong said.