The Buzz: 2012 Swimmer-Themed Costume Ideas


By Mike Gustafson//Correspondent

October is a month most swimmers dread: The commencement of chilly, blustery autumn (for those in colder-weather states), a return to doubles after the post-summer break, never-ending school, work, mid-term tests, weekend-long invitationals, and no Grand Prixs or National Championships to get us through. October is a month few swimmers enjoy.

But Halloween provides swimmers a chance to have some fun. Every year, I provide a list of the best swimming-themed Halloween costumes, and every year, I get emailed or messaged some of the better swimming-themed ideas. This year is no different. Swimmers, I’d love to see YOUR swimmer-themed costumes this Halloween. Here are some of my ideas. And if you have some of your own, message me on Twitter at @MikeLGustafson.

Presenting this year’s 2012 Swimmer-Themed Halloween Costume Ideas….


Rowdy Gaines.
Nothing can beat the “Rowdy Costume.” I suppose during off-Olympic years, this costume would be a little difficult to guess for mainstream “non-swimmers.” But this year, no Olympic commentator outside of Bob Costas is more popular than our own Rowdy Gaines. I love Rowdy. He’s the best. And we need to honor him. Every single year I urge swimmers to dress as Rowdy, and every single year, I haven’t yet seen a swimmer do so. C’mon swimmers. Let’s make 2012 the Year of the Rowdy Costume.
What You’ll Need: Microphone, blue NBC polo and khakis (a lot of thrift stores have this stuff), skin-color swim cap, and wild enthusiasm.

On Twitter, no subject is more popular to lament than chlorine. The chemical causes all sorts of “swimmer problems.” Smelly skin. Bad, crumbly hair. Red eyes. What better way to honor this evil, diabolical chemical than to dress as it for Halloween? Finally you can greatly irritate the non-swimming masses, just like chlorine does to us every single day.
What You’ll Need: Dress in black and print off a diagram from the periodic table. Clorine’s element name is “Cl” and just pin that on your shirt, and walk around saying, “I make your skin smell and your hair dry!” Spooky.

Ryan Lochte.
He’s the most popular figure from the Olympics. He’s so popular, even SNL has parodied him. I have to imagine a lot of non-swimmers out there will dress as Lochte, but c’mon. Let’s not let those non-swimmers dress as one of our own! He’s our Olympic champion, and we’re entitled to dress as him for Halloween. There’s quite a few different ways to dress up as the Lochtenator…
What You’ll Need: Alien green shoes, a pink Speedo or jammer, Jeah! sunglasses, and a USA flag swim cap with “Lochte” written on it. Just make sure you have the physique of Lochte, otherwise, you may get some unwanted comments…

The Retired Michael Phelps.
Everyone has done or seen the “regular” Michael Phelps costume. But here’s your opportunity to do “The Retired Michael Phelps.” Think: Michael Phelps in retirement. Maybe add some golf clubs, some suntan lotion. What would you do if you were retired from swimming?
What You’ll Need: As many medals as you can find to hang from your neck and arms, a full-body suit, big headphones, swim cap with “Phelps” on it… then possibly a golf club or two, some suntan lotion on your nose, maybe some added weight around the stomach… (kidding Michael.)

A USADA Drug Testing Agent.
You see it all the time on Twitter: National Teamers lamenting the 6:30am wake-up call as a drug tester randomly selects them to do testing. I don’t know these people, but I’m sure they are wonderful and good at their jobs. But that doesn’t mean you can’t dress as one for Halloween.
What You’ll Need: I don’t even know what they wear. Maybe a polo with a name tag, some khakis, a clipboard, and many clear plastic “collection” bottles…

A Disgruntled Official.
We love our officials. Almost all of them are always full of sunshine and spunk and happiness. But occasionally, there are some bad days, hectic days, chaotic days… You know which official I’m talking about. The one who looks a little morose. The one who needs a few less preliminary heats of the 1650. The one who perhaps needs a nice stress-free hour in the hospitality room with a big cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookie.
What You’ll Need: White shirt, white pants, a whistle, a clipboard. Constantly raise your arm and point to a swimmer, or pull someone aside and say, “I saw that one-handed turn…” or just walk around shouting, “LANE FOUR.”

Your Own Swim Coach.
The 4000 IM practice. The 5000 yard swim for time. The never-ending relay “game.” Halloween is the one day a year a swimmer can enact just some revenge (though be sure not to hurt any feelings with this one… as they will result in a month straight of 8000-yard butterfly main sets…)
What You’ll Need: Details are key here. Does your coach always wear flip-flops on deck? Do they have a strange way of saying, “Ready…. GO!” You’ll need a stop-watch, an old, folded heat sheet filled with split times, maybe a cup of coffee if they’re always drinking coffee.

The Overly Excited And Constantly Cheering Swim Parent.
I’ve always loved this type of swim parent. You know the kind. The swim parent who is in the stands, cheering every single stroke, turn, and lap of an entire 1650. The swim parent who is always excited for every race, even the preliminaries of the 10&Under 25-yard butterfly. The swim parent always leading the team cheers in the stands. We need to honor these types of parents.
What You’ll Need: An adult-sized team uniform, pompoms, a megaphone, a noisemaker, large signs wishing swimmers luck, and a very large, booming, carrying voice.

Do you have any more swimmer-themed costume ideas? Are you going as something swimmer-themed? Contact Mike on Twitter at @MikeLGustafson.

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