Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Talk about a wardrobe malfunction.
Charlotte's own Ricky Berens has been splashed all over the Internet the past few days because of a swimsuit problem. Berens, in Rome for the World Championships, had his suit split right down the butt just before he swam a qualifying leg of the 4x100 relay in Rome.
Berens -- a rising senior at the University of Texas -- is a laidback sort. He just kind of went with it, swimming the event halfway in the buff. "I kind of freaked out for just a second," Berens told reporters in Rome afterward. "I felt like (the hole) was almost down to my knees. I felt like I was putting on a pretty good show."
These sorts of things aren't as uncommon in swimming as you might suspect. Because of the skin-tight, high-tech nature of suits these days, it can take 15 minutes to pull one on (and help from a partner, too). Several suits ripped to varying degrees at the Charlotte UltraSwim in June (although not Berens').
Here's a story I wrote about Berens, who graduated from South Mecklenburg and won a 2008 gold medal at the Olympics, from June.
You might also recall that Jake Delhomme had part of his butt hanging out of his uniform during a game before changing pants. But while that was a PG show, this one was more like PG-13.
It may ultimately turn out to be good news for Berens. It wasn't his fault, after all, and it sure is giving him a ton of publicity. (Check out the woman-on-the-street story CNN did here.)
Plus, Berens went ahead and swam the event. His relay team qualified and ultimately won the gold medal over heavily-favored France in the final Berens didn't swim that one, but still gets a gold because of his preliminary performance.
At only 21, he is considered one of America's best hopes for the future in swimming and is a possible qualifier for multiple events at the 2012 Olympics in London.
With a swimsuit that doesn't rip, of course.
Posted by Scott Fowler at 9:18 AM