16-Year-Old Girl Beats Ryan Lochte's 50-Meter Pace & That’s Just Crazy (VIDEO)

Olympic poolCan I get this out of the way in light of what's happened with 16-year-old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen? I'm well aware that women are just as capable as men in many, many aspects. There are tons of badass female Olympians who are so much fun to cheer for. That said, there are some sports where I expect the men to outperform us ladies. It's, like, nature, right? Like in track & field. Weightlifting. Cycling. And I used to think swimming ... until recently.

In the women's 400-meter IM, Shiwen won the gold medal and beat the world record by one second. But it was the last quarter of the contest -- during the freestyle -- that thrust her into the spotlight. Shiwen pretty much went stroke-for-stroke with Lochte (he won the same event earlier) ... and then she beat Lochte's pace in the final 50 meters! She swam it in 28.93 to Lochte's 29.10.

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Whoa! Yikes! What! That was my initial reaction, mostly because my vocabulary hasn't developed much since I've been 13 years old, but this is cray. A young 16-year-old girl beating a 27-year-old, 6'2", extremely attractive buff, eight-time Olympic medalist and champion in the last 50 meters of one of the most difficult races in sports ... that's either incredibly amazing and awesome, or something's definitely up.

A top U.S. swim coach has come out and said her record swim was "disturbing." He said it "brings back a lot of awful memories" of Irish swimmer Michelle Smith's performance in Atlanta. She was banned for four years in 1998 after testing positive for androstenedione.

The cynical side of me is saying of course this girl is up to something suspicious. She shaved seven seconds off her time from the World Championship equivalent last July. And she broke her previous personal best time by five seconds as well. It just doesn't seem humanly possible.

But she's certainly innocent until proven guilty. You can't argue that the Chinese tend to hold their athletes to a higher standard, and maybe her adrenaline kicked in and she had an amazing race. The kind of performance that happens once in a lifetime that can never be replicated. As of now, let's celebrate the fact that a young girl beat an extremely large male Olympian champion in the pool in the final 50 meters of the same grueling race -- because that's all we've got to go on. It's mind-blowing. It's a little weird. It's unprecedented. And I'm looking forward to hearing more about her story as it continues to develop.

Do you think something's fishy about Shiwen beating Lotche's time in the final 50 meters?

 

Image via Ben124/Flickr

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