A beard figured prominently in what German media are calling the country's "debacle" so far in swimming. No German has come close to winning a medal, with even medal possibles failing to advance to the finals.
Under a lot of criticism is backstroker Helge Meeuw, who failed to even make the finals of the 100 meters despite his high world ranking. Meeuw has been criticized for not shaving his beard, in a sport where lack of hair has been shown to improve times. On NBC's broadcast, analyst Rowdy Gaines ripped Meeuw before, during and after the race for not shaving the beard, questioning why he would not do everything possible to gain an edge in a sport where medals are decided by hundredths of a second. I wonder the same thing.