Thursday, May 17, 2007

Manaudou versus France and Italy

An European eccentricity I don't understand: The Laure Manaudou controversy.

Laure Manaudou falls deeply in love with an Italian swimmer name Luca Marin. She decides to leave her French coach who states that she left because she is lazy and feels that he is working her to hard. Well, Is it love or coaching? Who cares, she jets off to Italia to train and be with her lover.

The coach feeling jilted flames her new Italian coach and his training methods by insinuating how "fearful" he is that they will turn her into a "Frankenstein-like pharmaceutical experiment." The Italians look the other way and take the political high ground.

The Italian Swim Federation is worried that the French Federation will feel a French Olympian training in Italy is unacceptable and could lead to bad blood. They say, we won't train her unless the French agree or she changes her nationality! [Link]

Blam! Drama! Drama! Drama! Some negotiation , some wine, maybe a little French cheese and all is good. Laure will swim under the French flag and race for her [former] French club Canet-en-Roussillon! [Link] [More]

In America, American swimmers can train wherever they want. The "patron saint" of this blog, Natalie Coughlin, who we often make fun of but appreciate greatly trains in Australia from time-to-time. Ian Thorpe trained in America briefly. German Olympian, Erik Hochstein, trained at USC. We currently have Chinese swimmers, Turkish, South African, British, Brazilian swimmers training in the United States and USA swimming has no problem with an American swimmer interchanging ideas with coaches from other countries.

The exchanging of information and knowledge for benevolent purposes should have no border, boundary or law preventing it. The French and Italians should realize this and embrace it.

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