Charlotte's own Ricky Berens has been splashed all over the Internet the past few days because of a swimsuit problem. Berens, in Rome for the World Championships, had his suit split right down the butt just before he swam a qualifying leg of the 4x100 relay in Rome.
Berens -- a rising senior at the University of Texas -- is a laidback sort. He just kind of went with it, swimming the event halfway in the buff. "I kind of freaked out for just a second," Berens told reporters in Rome afterward. "I felt like (the hole) was almost down to my knees. I felt like I was putting on a pretty good show."
These sorts of things aren't as uncommon in swimming as you might suspect. Because of the skin-tight, high-tech nature of suits these days, it can take 15 minutes to pull one on (and help from a partner, too). Several suits ripped to varying degrees at the Charlotte UltraSwim in June (although not Berens').
You might also recall that Jake Delhomme had part of his butt hanging out of his uniform during a game before changing pants. But while that was a PG show, this one was more like PG-13.
It may ultimately turn out to be good news for Berens. It wasn't his fault, after all, and it sure is giving him a ton of publicity. (Check out the woman-on-the-street story CNN did here.)
Plus, Berens went ahead and swam the event. His relay team qualified and ultimately won the gold medal over heavily-favored France in the final Berens didn't swim that one, but still gets a gold because of his preliminary performance.
At only 21, he is considered one of America's best hopes for the future in swimming and is a possible qualifier for multiple events at the 2012 Olympics in London.