“Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo” (역도요정 김복주)

If I were to rate this series, I would give it a 👎 for the first half. But the second half … wow. It was worth sitting through eight hours of meh to get to the satisfying ending. Bok-Joo is the top female wrestler at her school. In order to give the other women on her team a chance of medaling, her coach asks her to go up a weight class. The 5-foot-9 athlete weights roughly 127 pounds and must go up by about 10 pounds. Bear in mind that by U.S. standards, she would be considered thin. But much is made of the fact that she’s a big, overweight girl.

Go Away With … Bob Bowman

Bob Bowman is the coach of the most famous swimmer in the world: Michael Phelps. While he won’t confirm if Phelps will compete in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, he says the two enjoy competition of another kind: horseracing. “Michael and I own some horses (Water Cube, By a Hundredth),” says Bowman, who is based out of Baltimore. “These horses are amazing athletes in their own right.”

Healthy competition

My little guy will compete in his first swim meet tomorrow evening in three events: breast stroke, free style and free style relay. His coach says he’s actually quite good at the butterfly, which is odd since he hasn’t learned it yet. He’s not nervous. But me? I’m a mess!

At seven

I was invited to go to a swimming pool with a friend and her family. I remember being really excited about getting to play in a real pool. Per the admittance requirements, we all rinsed off in the locker room and waited in line. One by one, we stuck our arms out so that a park district employee could rub his or her fingers on our forearm to ensure our cleanliness. The whole thing sounds crazy now. But those were part of the rules, I guess.

A swimmer’s divide

For too long, Asians have had a reputation as being meek, smart, well disciplined and bad at sports. Look at Jeremy Lin. Despite playing at an elite level and leading his high school and college teams to championships, he was overlooked by the NBA. Maybe the instructors saw Kyle and his blue-eyed, blonde-haired friend and assumed that my son would be the weaker swimmer. I’m sure they never heard of Olympic gold medalist swimmer Park Tae-hwan, who is the Michael Phelps of Korea.

Go Away With … Jason Lezak

The 2012 London Olympics is the fourth Olympics in which American swimmer Jason Lezak, has competed. He swam in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay preliminaries, which helped the United States reach the finals, where they won a silver medal. While this race wasn’t quite as exciting as the same race at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 — where Lezak swam the crucial anchor leg that helped propel the U.S. to a gold medal — the California-based athlete says every competition at the Games has been memorable in its own way. Lezak, 36, spoke from London, about how swimming has given him an opportunity to see the world.

Go Away With … Kim Vanderberg

A bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympics, swimmer Kim Vandenberg is hoping to be part of the United States contingent that will compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer. “You never know what can happen at the Olympic Trials,” says the 28-year-old Californian. “I’m more experienced than the last time and I feel well prepared. There’s definitely some nervousness when you compete, but since this is my second time trying to make the Olympic team, I know what to expect in terms of emotional requirements at trials. I’m looking forward to it and try to take things one day at a time.”

Michael Phelps: Olympians’ swimwear works in water and with the ladies

Michael Phelps may not have matched Mark Spitz’s record seven gold medals, but the Olympic swimmer has him beat hands-down when it comes to style. The 19-year-old — who won six gold and two bronze medals at last month’s Olympic games in Athens — set tongues wagging when he competed in Speedos that rode down so low on his hips they made Britney Spears’ outfits seem demure by comparison.