Friday, October 24, 2014

Synchronized swimming with assault riffles at the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Village?


At least that is what I thought it was when I saw the photo above. (Now, this post is for real, it is not a satire piece.) Looks like armed thugs decided to go swimming at the Rio Olympic Village pool. What were they thinking? "Hey sport, let's go grab our military grade assault weapons and celebrate our "...victory in a turf war over the rival Comando Vermelho, or Red Command, ... to commemorate [our] new zone of influence." Believe it or not that is what they were thinking.
From FOX News Latino
“I loved the pool, man. What a complex, it's all ours," purported drug trafficker Celso Pinheiro Pimenta, AKA Playboy, said on a recording obtained by Folha de Sao Paulo..." 
After splashing around and posing for some group photos, some of the gang members went to social media to post their shots, which were quickly picked up by local law enforcement. An advisor from the Municipal Secretariat of Sport told local media that the sports complex had indeed been broken into and that the police have been asked to increase security. ..." 
[Link]

Sights and sounds: Men's Swimming and Diving vs. Texas A&M [Oct. 17, 2014]



Nice montage of some serious diving and swimming at Texas A&M University. (Their womens swimming page is: here.)

The techno-music is a bit boring and I would have preferred that they just leave in the natural or ambient back ground noise of the actual swimming. That would make it more immersive and less illustrative.

Swimming with Icebergs by National Geographic - Man free dives in and around floating icebergs



The crux of the video is how the swimmer can lower their pulse rate at a moments notice. It is known as mammalian response. Our bodies are designed to lower our blood pressure when our faces get submerged in water. Nonetheless I just enjoy the swimming.  No wonder swimming is a great sport for those with high blood pressure.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The FBI writes USA Swimming after pressure from congress tells them that they suck!


Irv Muchnick has carried the torch for cleaning up USA Swimming after I faltered from fatigue due to outside demands of my time and efforts.  I applaud him.

I am very happy with Irv Muchnick and I won't forget that one little favor he did for me that brought a totalitarian coach to his knees; a coach whose 15-minutes of fame are up and his star swimmer is preoccupied with other more pressing problems. But I digress: Yes, I like Irv Muchnick.  He has been accused of being hyperbolic, writing articles that are filled with puffery & distortions, telling nothing but lies, damn lies and outright lies. Well I am here to tell you that his articles about a congressional investigation and FBI intervention have proven to be 100% true and though USA Swimming will not suffer any consequences it is now in the public that record that congress did indeed contact the FBI and the FBI contacted USA Swimming with a warning letter.

The spinners will say the FBI letter was no big deal and that they applauded the SAFE Sport mechanism and moved on. What the spinners can't spin is that every sordid incident that USA Swimming knowingly and intentionally failed to investigate or tell the police about is mention by the Congressman George Miller letter to FBI director James B Comey's He outlines each failure and the consequences therein. One day a victim is going to pin that letter to Wielgus' gravestone reminding him and others what he left behind.

Remember when Wielgus apologized for not acting on all the sexual abuse complaints? Well here is a lesson in manners: When you apologize, you say you are sorry. Then you admit that it was your fault. Finally you say, I have to make it up you, what can I do so as to take responsibility. What you don't do is spend an ungodly amount of money on lobbyists suppressing laws that would make you take responsibility and you don't water your apologize down with explanations. Did he even apologize the victims personally? The answer is no.

Here is a link to the Congressman George Miller letter to FBI with all it's truth & glory. Below are some snippets:

“[T]he alarming allegations and high-profile reports of sexual abuse in the ranks of USA Swimming necessitate closer scrutiny by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” 
“Together, USA Swimming’s historical failures to address child abuse, the existence of ‘non-compliant victim’ files that leave children exposed to future harm, and the fact that the Safe Sport Program appears not to work for all victims raise significant concerns around USA Swimming’s ability to police its ranks sufficiently.” 
“USA Swimming is regularly failing to address abuse allegations in a complete and timely manner, even though, according to the organization, no statute of limitations exists for abuse cases within its ranks.” 
“[L]eadership and other staff within USA Swimming possess information about previous and presumably present cases of abuse, that, if ignored or improperly investigated, leave children at risk of abuse.” 
“Because basic information about predatory coaches may be kept secret and not shared, predatory coaches banned by USA Swimming may pursue and abuse additional victims.' 
[Link]
Finally in closing a comment from Robert Allard, The attorney who carried the water for the victims and their case to Congress.

“This is the culmination of five years’ worth of collective efforts on behalf of countless brave sex abuse victims across the country to shine a bright light on an organization which is corrupt to the core.
As Congressman George Miller has now concluded after an extensive investigation that USA Swimming has for literally decades utterly and completely failed to protect minors from sex abuse and has engaged in great lengths to cover up knowledge that it possessed of known pedophiles.  We first went to USA Swimming to air our grievances.  
They laughed in our faces and spent millions and millions of dollars at defense lawyers and lobbyists to make us go away.  We refused.  We then went to the Scott Blackmun of the United States Olympic Committee, who told us to scram because, in his words, he has “high regard” for the leadership capability of the USA Swimming brass.  Little did we know at the time that Mr. Blackmun’s incestuous relationships with USA Swimming’s leaders and lawyers prevented him from maintaining even a semblance of objectivity. 
So, as a last resort, we engaged Congressman Miller who we wholeheartedly commend for listening to our plight and doing the “right thing” by taking steps to ensure that childhood sex abuse is eradicated from our society.  We extend our sincerest appreciation to Congressman Miller and his staff, specifically Michael Zola and Scott Groginsky, for restoring our faith in the American political system and by refusing to be deterred by unscrupulous influences.  We can only hope that the FBI takes the next step and holds those criminally accountable for unconscionably turning a cheek while children were being raped by swim coaches. ..."  -- Attorney Robert Allard
In closing: USA Swimming has more 2/3s-more-girls in their ranks than boys - Why is that women are not running that organization but corrupt old men are?

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

USA Swimming: Suspend Michael Phelps for a complete year and not allow him participate in the 2015 FINA World Championships!


Look at him: hasn't shaved in days, his hair is uncombed, and his eyes look dull, brown and lost.

In 2004 when Michael Phelps was 19-years-of-age he received his first DUI arrest. He acted contrite, look down a lot and issued the following statement:

"... Last week, I made a mistake. Getting in a car with anything to drink is wrong, dangerous and unacceptable. I’m 19 but was taught no matter how old you are, you should always take responsibility for your actions, which I will do. I’m extremely sorry for this. ..."

Phelps read a carefully parsed statement calling his arrest a mistake rather than the crime that it was. It was probably written by a handler so as to make this offense sound more like an "error" or a "goof" rather than a crime. Stating that his age was 19-years-old was also a subtle way of "dog whistling" to men who run the sport that his "mistake" should be blamed on Phelps being a "teenage kid" rather than an underage drinker.

A more accurate apology would have gone as follows:  "... I engaged in a criminal act by driving drunk. I am an alcoholic and I need help." Subsequently he may have received the therapy and rehab he needed. Instead he got a three-month suspension during swimming's "off season" and it appears he did not get any better.

The whole world knows by now that Phelps has been arrested for a second DUI — There are alcoholics in this world (8%-of-the-population from what I read) and then there are dumb-ass alcoholics. Any dumb-ass that drinks and drives and knows that they have an alcohol issue and won't do anything about it is the worst kind of alcoholic. Those are the ones that drunk drive often.

Has Phelps ever been thrown out of a bar at closing time? Has he ever fallen down drunk and injured himself? Few people know that answer but we all know this: Gambling, pot, and two drunk driving arrests are bullet points on his resumé.

Phelps does not belong on the USA Swimming's national team. He belongs in both rehab & therapy. He needs to work on himself, his reputation, his business relationships. After that he needs redeem himself with his fans and sponsors. Allowing Phelps to compete next year after a second token suspension will just validate what we all know, sports bodies are corrupt and will let Phelps circle the drain while they profit.

When looking at Phelps' brand predicament I suspect the executives at Speedo, Arena and TYR are glad they did not sign him. I bet the executives for his new suit line are feeling let down and disgusted that somebody so gifted and iconic may have just tossed both his and their livelihoods in the trash.

Michael, capitulate and accept the truth. Get help now!




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The USOC to create an independent agency to investigate sexual abuse! One victim stated: "I think that's crap," said Jancy Thompson. "It's just bull-[bleep]."

Remember when USA Swimming hired all those lobbyist to defeat a Senate bill in California that would have fixed a clerical error which would have given victims of sexual abuse an extra year to seek recompense for being abused at the hands of coaches or the Catholic Church? Lobbyists paid for by USA Swimming killed it so justice could not be served and their golden wallets protected. Here are some blog post covering the subject:  [Link]

This act of greed, non-responsibility, and pride infuriated many but when the International Swimming Hall of Fame in an act of sheer impropriety decided to induct Wielgus into there "hallowed hall" this was the tipping point. Attorney Robert Allard working pro bono created a "posse" of sorts and set up a petition to have Wielgus' name withdrawn. In just a few short days he withdrew his name.

Why did he capitulate so fast, was it Nancy Hogshead smooth negotiation style, Donna de Varona's charisma? No, more likely Wielgus realized that the "Zeitgeist is a-changing." We have President Obama making speeches about college campus rape and statistics all over the headlines stating that around 1-in-5 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.

Wielgus' child protection resumé on this subject are not pretty. They include a cover-up, lobbyists denying a victims' rights bill, his refusal to apologize for doing a lousy job till he was finally challenged by a petition.

One of the 19-victims named, Jancy Thompson, was asked the following question in the Orlando Sentinel and in a honest and penetrating voice she stated the following:

"...The United States Olympic Committee plans to establish an "independent agency" to investigate and rule on sexual-abuse cases involving its governing bodies of Olympic sports.

La-di-da. Not enough.

"I think that's crap," said Jancy Thompson. "It's just bull-[bleep]."

Please forgive Ms. Thompson if she sounds a tad upset. You may be too if, as Thompson alleged, your swimming coach molested you and forced you to wear a dog collar with a leash attached to it as penance for not performing up to par.

Thompson says that happened when she was 15. Now 32, she still bears the scars of abuse and humiliation, as she tries to put her life back together with once-a-week therapy sessions and a legal scrum that has gone on for four years. ..." 
[Link]
I wonder? I bet the money Wielgus spent on lobbyists would have paid for a lot of therapy for Jancy and others.

I would like to organize a team (a posse) to bring the National Organization of Women into this issue and demand Wielgus resign and get USA Swimming reformed. I will keep you posted.



Thursday, June 05, 2014

CBS12 News: Possible indictment for Chuck Wielgus?

The newscaster as plain as day says the word indictment with the words "indictment possible" appearing in the lower third of the screen.

Typo or reality?

This link has the story and the video: [Link]

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Swimsuit company Calavera will show their support for young women, by launching a limited edition tattoo print collection


Here is a press release from our friend Stephanie: Swimsuit company Calavera will show their support for young women, by launching a limited edition tattoo print collection - designed by renowned artist Kim Saigh of television show LA Ink. 50% of the profits will got to the The Keep and Breast Foundation,


Here it is in it's entirety:
It's all about bikinis and boobies...and it's my great pleasure to announce the launch of CalaveraX Kim Saigh X The Keep A Breast Foundation limited edition suit launch, supporting breast cancer research and awareness.  
From today onward, surf inspired swimwear label Calavera will show their support for young women, by launching a limited edition tattoo print collection - designed by renowned artist Kim Saigh of television show LA Ink. For each suit sold, 50% of proceeds will be donated to The Keep and Breast Foundation, and their aim of raising substantial funds to support the foundation's educational recourses and work in the community.  
Two styles of the limited edition print (see images here)will be available for sale online via theUrban Outfitter’s fitness and outdoor apparel division,  Without Walls (withoutwalls.com) and the Calavera website (calaveraswimwear.com). To launch the collection,  Calavera will host a cocktail event and film screening at creative design agency space, Nouvelle Vague (701 Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA) on Tuesday, June 3rd, from 6pm to 8pm. 
The campaign focuses on the concept that "every woman’s body is a work of art", and to relay that idea, Calavera has created a short video filmed by renowned photographer Alberto Guglielmi portraying the story behind the limited edition tulip print. [ The video is worth a look - T.A.] Our hope is that the video will truly reflect the beauty, strength and power that women possess, both in general and with respect to dealing with cancer. Please feel free to share with video with your audiences.  

Monday, June 02, 2014

Orlando Sentinel weighs in on the stupidity of admitting Chuck Wielgus in the International Swimming Hall of Fame

Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming, Lies to ESPN from evasquez on Vimeo.



Above is a letter from Chuck Wielgus telling a colleague via his USA Swimming email account to keep quiet about a sexual abuse complaint sent directly to Wielgus demanding that Coach Andrew King be investigated for abusing young girls such as herself. USA Swimming refused to do so, the "coach" went on to abuse other young girls before getting caught and sent to prison for life. 

Olympian Nancy Hogshead's petition along with 19-other-victims of sexual molestation has exceeded over 500-signatures since May 29th. This petition seeks to bar Chuck Wilegus from being inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. The petition is located here at Change.org - By signing it you will make a difference, a statement, an a blow to coach on athlete pedophilia. Sign it now!: [Link]

From George Diaz and the Orlando Sentinel:
"...No one is accusing Wielgus of sexual abuse. But they are adamant that he is an enabler. It's a story that resonates with the same themes as the Penn State scandal and the recurring nightmare of predatory priests coddled by the Catholic Church:

Those in position of power at USA Swimming did nothing to protect the victims nor stop the abuse. Instead, they failed to responded properly when allegations came to light, and protected the abusers with confidential settlements, weak background checks or re-assignments.

The USA Swimming Board of Directors refutes the claims of the petition, going on the defensive in much the same way it did in 2010 when an ABC News "20/20" investigation found that coaches had molested, fondled and abused dozens of young swimmers.

That report also included a speech that Wielgus gave to coaches in 2009, secretly taped, in which he says of abuse allegations against coaches: "This happens almost every week. ... One of my greatest fears is that someone is going to start linking all this together."

Your fears are confirmed, Mr. Wielgus. Good luck trying to explain it all away. ..." 
[Link]

Saturday, May 31, 2014

19-victims of coaching sexual abuse urging swim community to sign a petition to STOP Chuck Wielgus’ induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame!

Chuck Wielgus had a chance to apologize to molestations victims on national television but adamantly refused.

The show was a news documentary on ABC called 20/20. I helped put that show on the air and was later thanked by the producer who won an award for it. Watch it here and watch Wielgus' arrogant attitude: [Link]

One has to ask why did he not apologize?

A swimmer I befriended and I will not name this person sent an email directly to Wielgus complaining of a traumatic abuse event and practically demanded thatUSA Swimming investigate. Read his response in the email to a Mr. C. Benton - It's pathetic and his actions were a deliberate purposeful act...

Only now has he admitted "he made mistakes" (he never mentioned that several victims from the hands of just one coach have suffered as a result of the Wielgus mistakes nor has he reached out to the victims). Subsequently he has proffered an anemic apology in writing only after a grassroots rose up to have him banned from the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

But even after this apology one has to ask him if he should also apologize for hiring lobbyists for killing California Senate Bill 131 that would have allowed victims molestations victims at the hands of Catholic Priests and USA Swimming coaches the right to sue. The purpose of the bill:

"... This legislation would provide a one-year revival window from 2014-14 for certain victims who were previously barred [due to a legislative error] the right to seek justice for the abuse they suffered as children. ..."

Now, I am making a new plea, not to a television producer but to you the swimming public, please sign this petition demanding that Chuck Wielgus have his induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame revoked immediately.

I am begging every international swimmer, every parent with a child involved in this sport, to send a message to the International Swimming Hall of Fame that those who protect pedophiles or hire lobbyists to kill bills before congress and local state governments to prevent lawsuits against pedophiles be banned from our Hall of Fame.

Here are some facts:

Sign the petition here:  [Sign this petition NOW - Like right now!]

"... We are 19 victims of coaching sexual abuse and 29 stalwarts of the swimming community that have protested Chuck Wielgus’ induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame for his failure to protect swimmers from sexual abuse. See the materials submitted here: [Link]

Chuck Wielgus has been the Executive Director of USA Swimming for 17 years, earning $908,432.00 in 2012, yet he has not shown leadership in combating sexual abuse in the sport of swimming for most of that time. As of May 1, 2014, more than 100 USA Swimming coaches have been banned for life, making this one of the worst sexual abuse scandals in the US Olympics sports world. But Wielgus isn’t inspiring a protest merely because he was at the helm. Instead, the protest is about Wielgus’ failure to protect swimmers from coaches with well-known, long histories of sexual abuse. Not until Wielgus was pressured by the United States Congress, by heart-breaking media stories on the unrelenting parade of victims, by lawsuits, and by new United States Olympic Committee (USOC) rules, did USA Swimming start to protect victims. It does not take leadership to move an organization under that type of scrutiny; it requires leadership to avoid it.

The Swimming Hall of Fame had indicated that their board didn’t have materials to consider the issue. The link above includes the meticulously-prepared materials in support of the board's decision to rescind.

To support us, we are asking for your signature to send a message to the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) to rescind Chuck Wielgus’ induction into the upcoming June 13, 2014 induction to its Hall of Fame. In addition, please share this petition with your friends and teammates. Tweet: #funnestsport ..."






Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

IOC AWARDS OLYMPIC GAMES BROADCAST RIGHTS TO NBC/UNIVERSAL THROUGH TO 2032

A profound investment. Forward thinking or did they purchase a white elephant?

Quick thought and I will write more later: The Olympics is a cold war relic appreciated mostly by people over 45-years-old. The ratings for the Sochi Games were lower than the London Games and 12% lower than Vancouver. NBC officials have argued that the Sochi Games ratings were higher than the Turin Games and that it was the Lindsay Vaughn and Shawn White's injuries that hurt the overall US ratings. (In my house we were rooting against Shawn White. We don't buy his "nice-guy-surfer" act.)

So why did NBCU book these games for another 18-years?

Entertainment companies are now looking at content like an investor looks at real estate. You lose or break even up front but you have an asset that pays-and-pays well into the future. Within ten-years form now, the DVD will either be dead or nearly dead. Entertainment giants have decided that they do not want the consumer to own content but rather rent it via streaming or cable. Hence, the company who has the most content and owns the internet or cable pipes to deliver it, WINS!

Hence, owning nearly a century of Olympic games will pay back the over cost of licensing the Olympic content much like the state of Alaska paid for itself after Thomas Jefferson when the United States reached an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for a price of $7.2 million. The Treaty with Russia was negotiated and signed by Secretary of State William Seward.

Press release:

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today awarded NBCUniversal (NBCU) the broadcast rights in the USA for the Olympic Games through to 2032.

NBCU has acquired the broadcast rights across all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile. The agreement from 2021 to 2032 is valued at USD 7.65 billion, plus an additional USD 100 million signing bonus to be used for the promotion of Olympism and the Olympic values between 2015 and 2020.

The agreement is a major contribution to the long-term financial stability of the entire Olympic Movement. The IOC distributes more than 90 per cent of the revenue it generates to support the International Sports Federations; the 204 National Olympic Committees and their Olympic teams; and the Organising Committees of each Olympic Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach, who led the negotiations, said: “This agreement is excellent news for the entire Olympic Movement as it helps to ensure its financial security in the long term, in particular future host cities of the Olympic Games, the athletes of the 204 National Olympic Committees and the International Sports Federations. The IOC has worked in close partnership with NBC for many decades, and we are thrilled we will continue to work with them through to 2032. NBC’s expertise in sports broadcasting, as well as their passion for the Olympic values, will mean we shall be able continue to offer first-class broadcast coverage of the Olympic Games to the widest possible American audience for many years to come.”

Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation said: “The Olympics are the world’s greatest cultural and athletic event, and presenting them to the American audience is an honour and privilege for our entire company. Our long-term commitment to and investment in the Olympic Movement are a reflection of our belief in the future of broadcast television, as well as our confidence that our partners at the IOC will continue to deliver great Games and that the Olympics will remain the world’s premier sports event. All of us at Comcast NBCUniversal are extremely proud that we have been entrusted to be the U.S. home for nine more Olympics, and we look forward to using all of our resources to continue our tradition of ground-breaking Olympic coverage.”

Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal, said: “This is one of the most important days in the history of NBCUniversal. The Olympics are part of the fabric of our company, and we couldn’t be more excited that today’s announcement guarantees that this massively popular and profitable programming will continue to air every two years on the broadcast, cable, digital and mobile platforms of NBCUniversal for the next two decades. No event brings families together like the Olympics, and no-one in media is more accomplished or better equipped to tell the athletes’ stories than NBC Sports. I want to thank the IOC for their faith in us, as well as Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel, whose leadership was invaluable in bringing this deal to fruition.”

NBCU, which in 2011 had acquired the right to broadcast the Olympic Games until 2020 (including the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016, the XXIII Olympic Winter Games (2018) in PyeongChang, and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad (2020) in Tokyo), will now broadcast every Olympic Games through to 2032, the host cities of which are yet to be elected. In addition, NBCU also has acquired the broadcast rights for every edition of the Youth Olympic Games through to 2032.

By 2032, NBCU will have covered a total of 23 editions of the Olympic Games, since its first Games broadcast in Tokyo in 1964. This unprecedented long-term agreement demonstrates the confidence the IOC has in NBCU’s expertise and the excellent broadcast coverage it has delivered over many years.