I haven't been watching the Olympics this summer. All I did was follow the exploits of Michael Phelps. Yeah, Michael!
I did catch a segment of one of his races in which he was doing a "stroke" that involved holding his arms back by his sides, keeping his legs and feet together and undulating his body like a fish to propel him through the water. Like a fish, I tell you!!
I was astounded. Michael Phelps, I thought, is a flippin' merman!
Then, a few days later I was browsing the web and found out that he is for sure a merman. Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz must have seen him do the same swim move that I did, because she picked him to be in her "The Little Mermaid" shoot for a series she is doing for Vanity Fair called "Disney Dream Portrait Series". (PS - Julianne Moore is Ariel.)
Look at them in the photo above. Yes, it's a photo, not a painting, and they are accompanied by other well-known swimmers in the background.
Here's what the article said, in part: "Fitted in his silvery fishtail, Phelps was lowered into a backlot tank in Los Angeles used for underwater movie scenes. Leibovitz was on the outside, snapping away, communicating her instructions to Phelps via members of her crew.
"One of the most complicated shots I have ever done," said Leibovitz. "I didn't know if it was going to work, what to expect. I have to tell you, he was beautiful. Michael put on that tail and ... he just became like a modern dancer. He just took to it and enjoyed himself and swam through this tank. I was blown away."
She adds, "His movements were so graceful and beautiful you just felt like you were watching a real merman."