Friday, April 30, 2010

Mike Saltzstein, a former Vice President at 'USA Swimming,' writes an Open Editorial which has now gone global!

Five Hours ago an open editorial penned by, Mike Saltzstien, a former Vice President at USA Swimming was submitted to Associated Press on a lazy afternoon an hour or so just before a lazy, spring, weekend.

Mr. Saltzstein was hoping a paper in San Jose would pick it up but that wasn't the case. Suddenly, dozens-upon-dozens of Associated Press affiliates, names like USA Today, Orlando Press Sentinel, even papers in Asia, have picked the editorial up and are running it. So far over 123 papers are carrying this OpEd.

The subject of his open editorial: USA Swimming's child protection policies.

"...What concerns me is we seem to have forgotten our youth members," he said. "Instead of really focusing on child protection or even following through on the basics, we seem to be worried about the image and how the sport works."

Saltzstein's proposed guidelines would require the reporting of suspicious behavior as a condition of membership; punish USA Swimming staff members who fail to report or attempt to delay an investigation, including possible termination; and forbid any coach from performing massages or rubdowns on an athlete unless certified to do so, and never in a one-on-one setting.

Finally, he asks the organization to implement a "real" protection program that focuses on youth swimmers but requires discipline for any reports of sexual harassment, unacceptable touching or threat of retaliation.


Saltzstein, who served on the deck at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a technical official, said USA Swimming notified him less than a week after he originally sent his recommendations that he would no longer be on the list of officials submitted to work at international meets. ..."

So who is Mike Saltzstein? I called him up after the news broke and asked him for a short bio. He sent me his bio which was at the end of a paper he wrote as to how to improve Child Protection & Coach protection polices within USA Swimming.

Mike Saltzstein's USA Swimming biography:
I have, as a volunteer, served Swimming for more than 3 decades, including as Vice President from 2000-2006, as Initial Chair of the Insurance Subsidiary's Audit Committee, Rules Committee Member, Education Committee Member, Chair Risk Management Task Force, Member of Olympic and International Operations Committee, Member of the International Relations Committee, Local General Chairman, Local Officials Chairman, Local Safety Chair, Inductee of the San Diego Hall of Champions - Officials Hall of Fame, received the USA Swimming Pettigrew Award for outstanding service to the Sport, National and International Referee and as a technical official at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games for Pool and Open Water Swimming.
That is definitely "pool cred!"

He laid out a 6-step action plan and submitted it to USA Swimming. It is twelve-pages long and it lays out the problems USA Swimmers and Coaches face and the way to get this sport out of this mess.

Here is a snippet:

1. All youth‐adult interactions, must comply with the rule of two leadership standard.x No exceptions, no excuses, and effective immediately.

2. Good faith and reasonable suspicion reporting as a condition of membership. Commercial email and voice compliance reporting systems are numerous. Implement a system within the week.

3. Any USA Swimming staff member involved in failing to report, or involved in any failure to report or "lost", "misplaced" or "excessively delayed" investigation, be dealt with through personnel action and, when appropriate, terminated. Implement policy within 10 days.

4. If determined that any Swimming Hall of Fame Inductee engaged in prohibited conduct, call on the Hall to remove the offender.

5. Without specific recognized training or certification, physical manipulation, massages and rub downs are not an acceptable coaching activity xi, and may never occur in a one‐on‐one scenario xii

6. Implement & enforce a real Protection Program. Youth is the focus, but any reported sexual harassment, threat of retaliation, or unaccepted touching must lead to discipline. Require youth protection training. Internet access easily provides quality education.

[Download Link]

I did some research on Mr. Saltzman and found that he has been submitting ideas as far back as 2004 and perhaps even 1999; (I am waiting to confirm regarding 1999.) He is even listed in the minutes of 2004 USA Swimming meeting requesting that not only USA Swimming adopt a de facto child protection process but that the USOC make all the sports under its umbrella create a coherent process that protects both coaches and kids as well.

I like this guy and I want him back in at USA Swimming. I am going to ask him to write for the new swim site that I am building as well.

Mail Online: 'Melting icebergs cause sea levels to rise by the width of just a human hair every year' - but I am posting the story for the cool photo!

Doesn't it look like an exotic 'dinosaur fish' ready to chomp something giant and scary into to small bites of sushi?

Here is what the Mail Online: had to say:

"... If all the ice on land melted, it would raise the levels of oceans by 230ft.

Lead researcher Professor Andrew Shepherd, from the University of Leeds, said: 'Over recent decades there have been dramatic reductions in the quantity of Earth's floating ice, including collapses of Antarctic ice shelves and the retreat of Arctic sea ice.

'These changes have had major impacts on regional climate and, because oceans are expected to warm considerably over the course of the 21st century, the melting of floating ice should be considered in future assessments of sea level rise.' ..."


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chrissie Wellington released from her 'blueseventy' contract - Wellington is now signed with TYR.

Tow things worry me about this: One, TYR is really jumping heavily into the triathlon market and they have not signed any new swimmers lately like Chloe Sutton or otherwise. Two, I must be completely off their radar ever since they moved their PR and marketing to New York! Not a good move for a company based in Orange County, California.

b70 on the other hand is still signing swimmers and triathletes.

Press Release from blueseventy:

Wellington released from blueseventy contract

Triple World Ironman Champion, Chrissie Wellington has been released from her contract with blueseventy.

Wellington has worn blueseventy wetsuits and swimskins since winning the World Age Group title in 2006 through to her most recent titles. The reigning

Ironman World Champion has an opportunity to pursue her sporting and charity fundraising goals by working exclusively in the swim and apparel categories with her title sponsor, TYR.

Dean Jackson of blueseventy commented: “We have been working with Chrissie since she was a little-known age group athlete and have been inspired by what she has achieved.”

“It is never an easy decision to allow an athlete to leave a contract commitment that is in place. We discussed this personally with Chrissie and came to the

decision to release her so she can pursue different avenues of opportunity in triathlon, product development, and personal charity work.”

“We’re sorry to lose Chrissie, but athletes do change sponsors and we’re supportive of her move. We remain firmly focused on the triathlon swim category as well as pool and open water swimming and we will be announcing some exciting new triathlon sponsorships within the week.”

Arena wants a larger bite of the USA swimsuit market!

I conducted an email interview with, Bryan Smeltez, The Vice President of Arena Marketing USA. Arena originally launched in 1973 as a subsidiary of Adidas and was eventually sold by the company in 1987. Three years later in 1990, Arena left the US market and began to focus solely on Europe.

In 2008 when the Speedo LZR was introduced, Arena was so disappointed in the FINA approval, they took out a full page ad decrying the technology. One Italian coach referred to the suit as “tech doping” and Arena seemed to be relegated as a second tier brand. However, within two years Arena had not only bounced back with a competitive suit for the 2009 FINA World Championships, sponsored swimmers from rival companies were neglecting the brands they were paid to endorse and switched to the Arena X-Glide so as to be competitive.

Even, Michael Phelps, was taunted by, Milorad Čavić, who stated he would buy Phelps an Arena X-Glide so he could be more competitive. Phelps, later beat Čavić wearing a Speedo LZR in the 100-meter butterfly final.

I asked how Arena did it, why they left the US market in the 1990, what will their pricing structure be for male jammers and more:

Q: Every brand has a story; what is Arena’s story, what has it accomplished and what makes it more, better or different?

The Break-Out Stroke (the 70’s)

In 1973 Arena launched its first racing swimwear line with the introduction of Skinfit®.

The following year, Arena signed the first female sponsorship agreement with Australian swimmer Shane Gould. Working in collaboration with Gould, in 1974 Arena developed the Shane Gould Female Swimsuit Collection.

Original Arena Elite Team included such world champions as Mark Spitz (USA), Novella Calligaris (ITA), Steve Furniss (USA), David Wilke (UK), Shirley Babashoff (USA), Gary Hall (USA), Klaus Dibiasi (ITA), Ulrika Knape (SWE) and Maxine “Miki” King (USA).

Montreal Olympics paid off and the Arena Elite Team won an astonishing 44 Olympic medals

The Touch Out – Arena is First to the Wall (the 80’s)

Getting used to being first, in 1980 Arena introduced Flyback®: the world’s first racing swimsuit designed with thin straps to create larger shoulder openings and an exposed back in order to give athletes complete upper body range of motion. At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the newest Arena Elite Team member Matt Biondi became the 2nd swimmer to win 7 medals in one Olympiad (5 were Gold and 4 were won with world record times).

The Angle of Attack – Athletes Continued to be Key to Arena’s Position (the 90’s)

At the beginning of the 90’s Arena was ready to launch AquaRacer® a fabric designed to make swimmers glide through the water. In 1997, the Arena Design & Development Team did it again and left everyone speechless with the launch of X-Flat®, a fabric that was even thinner, smoother and lighter than AquaRacer®.

At the same time, the Arena Elite Team continued to recruit new talented swimmers such as Alexander Popov and Franziska van Almsick, two of swimming’s dominating world performers of the 90s.

The Course – Arena Ready to Swim the Distance (2000 and the future)

Arena’s drive to go beyond any established limit gave the world a range of technological breakthroughs: Powerskin® (2000), Powerskin X-Treme® (2004), Powerskin R-evolution®, Powerskin R-evolution+® (2008) and Powerskin X-Glide (2009).

Powerskin technology became the flagship of the new generation of elite competition full-body swimsuits. Powerskin® range has won the privilege of accompanying the greatest champions onto the podiums of the most prestigious swimming events in Europe and the World. And today they are still the preferred racing swimsuits for a great number of international swimming champions, such as Alain Bernard, Aaron Peirsol, César Cielo, Milorad Cavic, Laszlo Cseh, Inge Dekker, Rebecca Soni and the list goes on.

Q: Arena once sold very well in America but then left to focus on Europe; Why was that?

The decision was one made by Arena, and Arena alone. Based on several non-market specific conditions, with the most significant being that the company had been sold by Adidas in 1990, along with the death of, Horst Dassler, the brand founder in 1987, the company moved in a new direction.

Q: In 2008 the swim universe changed with the emergence of the tech suit. Arena’s market share began to dwindle a bit and your company even took out a full page ad denouncing the new suits. However, though FINA ignored Arena’s pleas, in just two years not only did Arena have a suit contender, but rival brand athletes were “changing teams” so to speak and wearing your suit despite contracts with other suit manufacturers.

How did Arena rise to that technology challenge in such an amazingly minute amount of time?

Since its foundation, back in 1973, Arena has made of product innovation and technological development a key pillar for its growth and competitive advantage in the marketplace. Supporting the best athletes, federations and clubs during their competitions is for us a real ‘in vivo’ testing laboratory, in which we can develop and validate leading edge technological solutions, to be then gradually applied to products destined to millions of swimmers and swimming fans all over the world.

With this aim, Arena has built a sophisticated and fully integrated network of scientific partners, from University Research Centers to private R&D Powerhouses, to fabric manufacturers, which are working side by side with our internal experts to create breakthrough solutions applicable to water sports and swimming in particular.

Q: It usually takes years to develop a brand but Arena did it in a matter of months. How did Arena get both the message and your brand acknowledged so quickly in America?

Performance on the deck year after year, competition after competition. As we know the swim community is a tight knit group, and global performance carries a message very quickly. We are very fortunate to have the best performing race suits in the world, as is evidence by our recent performance in FINA World Championships in 2009 in Rome. Arena took home 18 Golds, 21 Silver and 13 Bronze metals. Performance on the deck with a long heritage of championship swimming, leads to immediate creditibilty.

Q: Two of your competitors in the the United States, TYR and Speedo are selling a pair of elite jammers for about $260 a pair. Will Arena sell their jammers in or around that price or will you sell them for less?

Men’s Racing Jammers range from $170-260 for our top of the line Powerskin R-Evo.

Q: If you are selling them for over $100, Why are jammers being priced so high?

PowerSkin R-Evolution is the first and only racing swimsuit based on a revolutionary construction, made from one single piece of fabric to minimize the total number of seams. Thanks also to its incredibly light base fabric; (Only 99 GRs/SQm), PowerSkin R-Evolution is the state of the art suit for top level level swimming competitions.

Q: Now that the tech-suits are “banished,” or what I like to call a “temporary exile,” Is this a good thing for the sport or it it bad?

On our side, we wish and hope that any future re-drafting of the rules will be made by wisely capitalizing on the new technological developments, but always keeping the ethics and the credibility of the sport safe from harm.

What Arena believes is that not necessarily swimming has to shift from one extreme to the other: in between hi-tech suits and textile jammers, there are plenty of possible compromise solutions and it’s up to those who govern swimming to find the option that shows to be the best for the long term development of the sports. For sure, we are ready to do our part to support FINA and the Federations to find this virtuous point of balance.

Q: I have argued on my blog that it is a bad thing to “banish” suits since swimsuit companies will be making far less revenue and therefore sponsor far fewer events and/or athletes. Do you agree with that statement?

It is not by chance that, since early 2008, Arena had publicly expressed its perplexities and concern about the use of such kind of materials – which were not, in our view, a proper way to exploit technology and innovation in racing.

Q: Tell us about your new suit line, what do you like best about it?

When rules are as strict as today, creating a stable competitive advantage is definitely more difficult and only tough, motivated and technologically advanced players shall have a chance to finally emerge as leaders.

All our researches and achievements in the fields of fluid – dynamics, drag reduction and biomechanics will remain as an asset even for ‘new’ textile developments, made in accordance with the new rules. This is something that we owe not only to swimmers and Federations, but also to all our consumers around the world, towards whom we have a strong commitment to consistently deliver products which are more and more performing, at the best market value.

Q: What are your athletes saying about the product?

Improved performance in the water, less drag and superior fit.

Q: When will they be available?

June, 2010

Thank you very much for your time and the product package.

European creative for Arena

Arena Creative from Italy brought to by Ads from the World: [Link]

New NCAA President is biased towards money making sports and is no fan of swimming!

His name is Mark Emmert, former University of Washington President. While there he raised over $2.68-billion dollars for the school which was $700-million dollars over his projected target.

Now let that sink in a moment; $700-million over his target! ("What did he want to do, start his own space program?" -- Louis Black)

Perhaps if he only raised a couple hundred thousand more, the swim team would still exist at the University of Washington? But, then again, he only made $906,500 a year. Maybe if they paid him a "cool-million" or 2.5-times more than the president of the United States he might have come up with the extra cash to allow a swim team to exist but then again, that would have taken away barely a quarter-percent of that $700-million-dollar "moon launch!"

Look at this snippet from the Seattle Times:

Salary: Emmert was the nation's second-highest-paid public university president, with a salary of $906,500. He also collected an additional $340,000 in cash and stock from sitting on two corporate boards. That level of compensation put him under increasing fire as the state budget hit hard times and the UW faced severe cutbacks. When he and other senior leaders announced in February that they would donate 5 percent of their salaries to student scholarships, some considered the gesture too little, too late.

5% of his salary towards scholarships? That is not a "gesture," that's "throwing a dry bone to barking dog" and telling it to shut up.

The NCAA is now my enemy until swim programs are subsidized with the hundreds-of-millions of-dollars that NCAA affiliated universities make and NCAA should be your enemy too. Just 10,000 swimmers in a "shoulder to shoulder effort to topple this organization politically."

Just look what about 50-of-you-guys did by inspiring USA Swimming to shape child protection policies. It wasn't all me; that is for sure.

The NCAA has done nothing but lined their pockets at the expense of "teen labor" by leveraging an "obsolete" word called "amateur." The "paying for their schooling" does not wash since most football players are generally don't test better than swimmers when it comes to academics.

Swim Programs are cut, money making sports that exploit athletes who, for the most part do not meet the grade standards, flourish and since when did it it become public policy for universities to stop looking out for the student body and embrace the unqualified student for the return on investment?

Swim Viking inspired this article: [Link]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Associated Press Article - Does Margaret Hoelzer explain, or explain away the sex abuse issues within the 'USA Swimming' ranks?

[UPDATE] - It is my belief that at least one victim of the Andrew King molestation case be on the committee or consortium of athletes to help formulate USA Swimming child protection policy moving forward.

Margaret Hoelzer spoke to Associated Press offering points of view regarding the sex abuse crisis that USA Swimming is facing. She is also offering her services to help USA Swimming develop strategies to prevent it and I commend her for that; it takes a lot of courage and a lot of one's time to put your name on a policy. However, I would prefer a victim of coach abuse like Deena Deardurff who met the predator, suffered by them, and has probably reviewed it 100's of times what she could have done differently. An opportunity like this could bring some excellent ideas to the table and probably bring closure as well.

The first two sentences of the article suggests to me that Hoelzer is essentially basing her opinions on what she believes or what she was told rather than statistical data provided by an independent party and what she believes is that sex abuse within USA Swimming is no greater than any other kids activity.

I disagree; and even if I am wrong it still has to be treated as if a cancerous tumor has been detected.

No one knows the extent of sexual abuse cases within the USA Swimming ranks, which includes a superstar swimmer like a Margaret Hoelzer for many victims don't come forward. Just look at the rape statistics, domestic abuse cases or cases of incest.

To get an accurate assessment one has to ask how many of these cases were reported versus how many that were not and nobody is going to know that number.

Hence, the safest policy is to treat these cases like they a "cockroach" on the floor in or a rat in the attic. i.e. If you see or hear one, there are always dozens more. Doing damage control that seems to put the dampen the severity "put into context" is bad PR move and pisses people off.

USA Swimming has to own that they have been "asleep at the wheel" and quit diminishing this problem with phrases and statistics. They need to act FAST!

From Associated Press:

Margaret Hoelzer has mixed feelings about the sexual abuse allegations that are rocking her sport.

On the one hand, the three-time Olympic medalist doesn't believe the problem is more widespread in swimming than it is in other sports — or society in general, for that matter.


I have had three coaches send me stuff I can't print. One of which is on hold which is regarding a DA and the FBI in the King Case who had one heck of an idea!

One coach told me stories of two victims of Coach and Olympian, ***** ****, in California and how astonished he was that the families; (plural), would not file against him even when one of the kids became pregnant, they would just leave swimming all together and never returned. He referenced one famous coach who never got caught.

This is a problem, but abuse takes many forms: one coach written about in Swimming World this week did something which I find to be so macabre and offensive, I can't believe parents are not complaining. If I was a kid and was made to do this, I would never swim a 500 SCY again.

From Swimming World:
"... On Saturday, one week after the accident; [She passed away -- Tony], was Natalie's 17th birthday. Natalie's favorite race was the 500, so Coleman decided the team would do a set in honor of Natalie's birthday. The set was 17 x 500s, 17 for her age, and 500 being her favorite race. According to Coleman, her goal for the past few years has been to break the five-minute mark in that race, a goal that would remain unmet. So, Coleman challenged her teammates to do it for her. On the 17th 500, Coleman pulled his swimmers out of the water and told all of them to try to break 5 minutes for Natalie. After a long, exhausting set, one of her teammates was able to complete the challenge. Fifteen-year-old Jack Iotte finished the last 500 in a 4:58 and had met Natalie's goal for her. ..."


Maybe this commemoration wasn't a forced set but in my opinion it is not healthy. Kids who are 15-years-old are suppose to be going to graduations, concerts and dances, not funerals or doing 17x500s as a way to grieve. I suspect a sports psychologist may agree; any out there?

These topics, such as punishment sets, or grief sets have to be addressed too.

Wear Sunscreen - performance art installation reminds us how fragile our skin really is!

Pull off a Post-it like it was a flake of sunburned skin and on the back is a message how to protect yourself. Originally spotted at who found it at Ads of the World.

Nonetheless, stock up, summer is coming, and if you live in So Cal, start wearing it now. :-P

Commercial features "skateswimming" - Skatbording in a pool full of water!

I post it for the "silliness" value.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Child Abuse Scandals: USA Swimming responds with 7-point action plan!

USA Swimming has outlined a 7-point action plan as to how they will address sexual abuse issues within the ranks. This is the second notice or open letter they have posted and/or sent out.

It's time for them to start setting dates, meetings and agendas which include who from the press and families will be invited to contribute and report.

As set forth in the action plan, USA Swimming will do the following:

1. Develop and disseminate comprehensive guidelines addressing acceptable coach behavior.

2. Enhance the system for reporting sexual abuse to USA Swimming and law enforcement.

3. Review USA Swimming’s Code of Conduct, as well as those of other top youth organizations.

4. Review USA Swimming’s current background screening program and determine if enhancements can be made.

5. Produce stronger communications to member clubs, which are responsible for hiring and employing coaches, regarding pre-employment screening, and the responsibility associated with hiring club employees.

6. Evaluate the process for sharing coaching history records with member clubs and other youth organizations.

7. Educate athletes, parents, coaches and club leaders on this important issue.


What the catholic church and USA Swimming have in common as an organization; and this analogy comes about after hearing a story on NPR today about the Catholic church, is that both organizations appear to be be massively centralized in their "Ivory Towers" however in practice they are a sprawling network.

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes" -- Roman poet Juvenal wrote that and it translates to, "who watches the watchmen?" The answer is that we all watch the watchmen: The kids, the parents and USA Swimming officials. USA Swimming can't shift responsibility. If and organization is a centralized body that sanctions and certifies coaches or priests as "holy" then they better be "holy." Watchmen will be needed.

When the sex scandals broke both organizations disassociated themselves from them stating that this sort of despicable behavior was an anomaly and they were not the norm and in no way were they responsible for them. Both organizations appeared arrogant, unsympathetic and definitely not grasping the gravity of this fiasco whatsoever.

Consequently, more scandals and revelations have presented themselves and both organizations have been forced to answer allegations with defensive press releases and letters rather than owning the issue beforehand with open air policy meetings, policy edicts, and an constant reporting of their progress via the press.

USA Swimming is not quite at the "event horizon" where it gets sucked into the black hole but they are close enough throw a rock at it.

How do like the poster? I really do believe that art is more effective in getting notice than rhetoric.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another lawsuit - NEW York Times: "...The suit describes the behavior as “sexual grooming.” ..."

The USA Swimming sex scandal is getting worse and here comes an election year. This scandal began in California and now it appears it is going national. Will USA Swimming soon be involved in a class action lawsuit? The Catholic Church Diocese in Los Angeles certainly was.

Just when I thought movement within the organization was going to take place, that I actually got a letter back ensuring me that it was, all we got was a letter and then silence. They have to go big with fixing this problem.

Please tell them to.

From the New York Times:

Karen Crouse of the New York Times: A 21-year-old former competitive swimmer filed a civil suit Monday in Independence, Mo., against USA Swimming and her swim club, claiming they were negligent in protecting her and others from sexual abuse by a coach. Despite her complaints about his conduct, the suit said, the coach was able to move to a club in a different state.


Thank you John Q. for sending me this link.

Above is a photo illustration I created which I have the complete usage rights to. Illustrations both on a positive swimming note and unfortunately a negative swimming note will appear often at the new swim site I am building.

Friday, April 16, 2010

French nationals: Fabien Gilot again swims under 49 when it truly counts in the 100-meter free final!

Shock and surprised that he took both Alain Bernard and Yannick Angel in the 100-meter free, Fabien Gilot, points to himself in seeming disbelief. Again, under 49.00 with a time of 48.52, Fabien Gilot reaffirms that France is producing the world's best sprinters.

Will Cesar Cielo or Eamon Sullivan respond? I suspect only Cesar can since Sullivan is to injury prone.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Diana Nyad for KCRW, and this is The Score: "I also am a victim of sexual abuse by my swim coach."

I got an email from a reader this evening who is either a nationally recognized swim coach or a person that shares the same name.

Bob Bowman, wrote me today and said I had a great blog. Suddenly I felt like a stupid jerk after all the bad spelling, sketchy grammar, and all those tech suit insults I "spit" at him during World Championships last August. Hopefully it is just someone who shares the same last name.

Mr. Bowman pointed me to a, Diana Nyad, weekly commentary she does weekly for our public radio station here in Los Angeles called KCRW. The commentary is called: The Score and in her commentary she dropped this bomb:

"... I also am a victim of sexual abuse by my swim coach. USA Swimming conducted an investigation on my case and reported to me, after months of extensive interviews, that although my recounting of the events was entirely credible, they could not establish the kind of evidence that would support a criminal prosecution. And short of criminal proceedings, they deemed it inappropriate to keep him from coaching young girls up and down the coast of Florida, where he molested many.

It seems to me, whether it be the Catholic Church or USA Swimming, that when multiple reports of a predator are credible and consistent, there must be some action to keep these deviants from their easy access to impressionable young people who are often away from their families and look up to these preachers, teachers, and coaches as veritable demi-gods. There must be actions when criminal prosecution is not a possibility. ..."


It's official - USA Swimming has been branded!

Even the victims are using the Catholic Church analogy and when a group of people who don't know each other start using the same analogy, that says you have "brand" and the "USA Swimming swim coach" has become the "logo."

This is like a "4-alarm fire" or "Def con 1!"

USA Swimming needs to hold a child protection summit. Maybe it is a week long, maybe two weeks long. These sorts of people should be invited to speak: Diana Nyad, the victims themselves, the police, and of course Children Services all offering suggestions as to adopt procedures which put this subject "six feet under."

USA Swimming would then adopt the recommendations within reason and then tell the world not only is their new policy the true gold standard, but it is "Fort Knox," baby!

This too would send a message to pedophiles that the parents are involved, the kids know the rules about touching, grabbing and one-on-ones etc., and that USA Swimming is looking to put as many heads on a pike that they can find.

Are these the "four horseman" of the swimming "Apocalypse" spelling doom for both American & Australian sprinters?

Yes, yes, yes, yes! In 2008 it could be argued that it was summarily "an act of God" that Jason Lezak was able to overtake, Alain Bernard, in the 4x100 relay. Frédérick Bousquet would argue that it was inexperience on the part of Bernard. Nonetheless, France has produce a 100-meter free LCM where it's top sprinters swam under :49 without tech-suits and one of them, Yannick Angel, is only 17-years old.

It seems like every time Eamon Sullivan produces a fast time to take the top spot, a French swimmer is there to take it way, but this time it was taken away in a prelim and now there is no suit excuse for Sullivan!

I have to concede to, Ted baker, and others, since suits are now out of the equation and it is about the swimmers, it's all about the ability and it is about the technique. (I still want them back though. :-P)

Four swimmers under 49.00

  1. Alain Bernard: 48.32
  2. Fabien Gilot: 48.62
  3. William Meynard: 48.79
  4. Yannick Angel: 48.99 (Could he be the next Michael Phelps)
In the Photo above, left to right: Bouspuet, Bernard, Meynard, Angel.

Photo taken by Elisabeth and Guillaume. All rights reserved!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Frederick Bousquet wins the 50-free prelim, Alain Bernard Second, Leveaux third!

French 50- meter butterfly champion, Frédérick Bousquet,is now could be the French 50-meter freestyle champion.

In the photo above Alain Bernard is walking on deck while Frédérick Bousquet accepts his accolades.

Bousquet swam a 22.06, followed by, Alain Bernard, who swam a 22.12, and finally a strong swim by, Amaury Leveaux in a time of, 22.32. All of the above have qualified for the European Championships in Budapest next August but normally the top-four-places would have made to Budapest but, Fabien Gilot, who swam a 22.41 missed the qualifying time for the European Championships by 400-hundredths-of-a-second.

France2: [Link]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My new site is coming along well and will feature a "soft launch" very soon - till then Coralie Balmy wishes us a big hello!

Isn't she awesome? Yes!

FRENCH NATIONALS - Saint-Raphaël, France – April 13th: Corlie Balmy was always out in front and took the 400-meter title in a time of 4:06.87, the 6th fastest time this year.

Camille Muffat placed second with a time of 4:08.26 and, Ophélie Cyrielle-Etienne, placed 3rd with a time of 4:09.09. Omni Sports is reporting that the minimum time requirement to be accepted to the European Championships in this event is 4:11.6. All three girls are going to Budapest this August.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chris DeSantis on the '20/20' USA Swimming feature: "The Mom Test"

To use a boxing metaphor, the predicament USA Swimming is in is called a "Standing 8 count" - Will the boxer continue on or will this be a technical knockout?

USA Swimming needs to adopt an immediate and far reaching child protection policy that is both bullet proof and transparent. It might not hurt to settle the lawsuit if any negligence took place. I think they call that a consent degree?

From Chris DeSantis' blog - "The Mom Test":

You know a story is big when it passes the "mom test". My mother is not an avid follower of sports news. When she hears about something, particularly in swimming, I know the story has gone well beyond the usual people. Of course, the 20/20 story on USA Swimming passes the mom test with flying colors - my mom sent me a concerned e-mail within hours of it airing.

She was concerned for me- what would the repercussions be for swim coaches at large? And while I won't say I'm not worried, I have confidence that swimming will be able to bounce back from the bad publicity. However, as I read the reactions to the story, a number of questions have bubbled up. ..."

Chris poses unanswered questions and then provides us with constructive opinions and answers.

Now that Chris has me all inspired and such: Here are my two cents and suggestions:

Right now the parents are the "CEO" of USA Swimming and they want to be treated like they are the "BOSS" and the "boss" wants their "coffee now!" Now shifting gears to another metaphor, The parents want to be assured a happy ending is coming up in the "third act" and they want to know that they are going to "applaud" when the curtain drops. If they don't think that is going to happen, they will want a new "director" to finish this movie.

Some suggestions: Back ground checks will be good but they are not absolute prevention policy for what about the pedophiles who do not have a record? (Perhaps they are probably a majority?)

What should have been addressed is what prevention tactics can be deployed on the deck and in the locker room? That is the crux here that will satisfy the parents.

Another key suggestion for transparency: USA Swimming should have an emergency board meeting that invites a parent rep, a writer from Swim Network, a writer from Swimming World Magazine, and a writer from the New York Times to hear how this problem will be faced and how the process and recommendations will be created and implemented.

That would be awesome! It would even school the Catholic Church on how to do it right.

That is transparency and that is what no other organization faced with this problem has done. USA Swimming could be the first.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chuck Wielgus letter to "All USA Swimming Member Coaches"

A coach sent me this. I did not see a copyright notice so I hope it is okay to post. An open letter from Chuck Wielgus:

TO: All USA Swimming Member Coaches
FROM: Chuck Wielgus, Executive Director
DATE: April 11, 2010
SUBJECT: Child Protection Safeguards

In recent days our sport has been portrayed in a very bad light in the media. Sadly, I have also been portrayed as an insensitive, uncaring administrator and spokesperson for USA Swimming. There are pieces of the recent 20/20 interview that I’d like to have back, there were important things left out, and there were pieces of the report that were untrue.

As a father myself, it breaks my heart to know that there are children out there who have been taken advantage of by their coaches or others in positions of trust. It reminded me to sit down with my daughters and have a very frank but very important discussion about boundaries and appropriate behavior.

I also am extremely sorry if our organization has not done enough to provide the highest level of child protection safeguards and guidelines. We cannot shy away from this issue and we are going to need your help and participation. I want to encourage you to be proactive in addressing this topic with the young athletes, parents and other coaches with whom you work.

As a starting point, here are some very important factors to consider:

• This is a societal issue. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that by the age of 18, one in four girls and one in six boys have been sexually molested. This amounts to approximately 39M victims in the U.S. alone.

• Parents have the most important role. Parents need to talk with their children about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable physical contact between the child and their coach and other adults. Parents must also stress to their children the importance of telling them anytime there is inappropriate or questionable behavior by their coach or other adults.

• Sexual abuse must be reported to the police. It is estimated that 30% of sexual abuse incidents go unreported. Children and parents need to understand that it is not only okay to report these incidents, but that reporting is the only way that sexual predators can be brought to justice and prevented from harming others.

• Child protection safeguards are both national and local. USA Swimming provides a number of safeguards, but the most important application of safeguards must take place at the club level.

USA Swimming’s current child protection safeguards are:

• Safety Training – all member coaches must be certified in CPR, First Aid and Safety Training for Swim Coaches.

• Background Screening – all member coaches must clear (prior to joining and then every two years) a criminal history screening that checks for charges involving sexual misconduct and illegal drug use, among other things.

• Education – by the second year of membership a coach must complete the “Foundations of Coaching” course.

• Code of Conduct – our rulebook outlines a thorough Code of Conduct that is applied to all members.

• Reporting of Complaints – our rulebook also details the procedures for reporting any Code of Conduct violations. Complaints involving sexual misconduct should be sent directly to my attention at USA Swimming HQ: (It is worth noting that anyone can file a complaint against a member … non-members may file complaints).

In addition to these safeguards, we are continually studying what other youth- serving organizations are doing to determine if there are other safeguards that could enhance our child protection efforts. Two items that are under immediate consideration are:

• Hot Line – we are currently working to establish an anonymous reporting hotline so that victims who may be frightened can report any sexual abuse and have this information relayed to police.

• Black List – we are studying the feasibility of making available a list of names of individuals who have been banned for life from USA Swimming for sexual misconduct, in order to provide a resource for other youth-focused organizations.

Member clubs, as independent businesses, must also employ responsible hiring practices. At a minimum we recommend the following:

• Raise Awareness – by openly talking about the topic of sexual misconduct you will help young athletes, parents and coaches all become more comfortable with recognizing what is inappropriate behavior.

• Conduct Thorough Reference Checks – club leaders must take the time to thoroughly check the personal and professional background and previous experiences of coaches before they are hired. Do not simply rely on USA Swimming’s criminal background screening; checking driving records and other police records are also important. Clubs should not only check references from prior employers, but should seek input from other parents whose children previously swam for the coach.

• Stress the Importance of Reporting – Sexual abuse is a criminal act and must be reported to the police. Reporting to USA Swimming is also important because we can then take action to expel the offending adult from our organization, and hopefully keep them from becoming involved with any other youth organization.

I hope this information is helpful to you as you address this very important issue with the young athletes, coaches and parents with whom you work.

Thank you very much for giving this your most serious consideration and attention.
I like the majority of this letter. However I do have a critique of this letter but after realizing this is not going out to parents but rather coaches only, I am reserving personal judgment, as should everybody else in my opinion, till a policy letter is drafted.

The 'Telegraph' is reporting that they may have found a cure for Melanoma or skin cancer!

This is a swim related story especially if you swim in Southern California where the UV index reaches well "over 9,000" in the summer.

Buyer beware. Though the statistics for recovery are really promising, it's not for sale yet.

From the Telegraph:

"... A vaccine being tested in the UK has helped been shown to help some patients fully recover from melanoma, even in its advanced stages.

It attacks tumour cells, leaving healthy cells undamaged and carries agents that boost the body's response to skin cancer. ..."


Really neat statistics follow that paragraph.

French Nationals are this week! - I may launch a new website to cover it!

Above is a billboard in San Rafael, France promoting French Nationals; the photo was delivered to me via iPhone.

Some of you may not have known but I am working a building second website that would be more news oriented and even something more that I can't tell you about yet.

I have been getting some amazing suggestions from other swim bloggers and I am trying to implement them. My time-line is to release the site before summer and do a kick-butt job covering US Nationals. I plan on sending 3-photographers down to cover Nationals. Lead photographer will be celebrity photographer Mark Savage.

With French Nationals this week, I am considering doing a soft launch because the new site can handle far more photos then this site can.

I will still continue to maintain this blog since this is where I will be able to express myself as myself with no outside interests. I will still accept no advertising here at the SCAQ blog, accept no gifts, no favors or free food.

The new site, if all goes as planned will feature professional content, lots of media and best of all, user submitted content since I have always believed that my readers are smarter than I am.

Friday, April 09, 2010

In the Octagon: Octopus versus Sea Lion!

From National Geographic: [Link]

Hey 20/20 viewers: Very positive developments regarding USA Swimming child protection policies!

I have new found confidence that the message has been received and USA Swimming is going to address child protection aggressively and protect coaches from false allegations as well.

I suspect the ABC News show, 20/20, was the cannon shot over the bow inspiring the USA Swimming management to realize that perception is definitely reality and that they have to address all concerns. Now take a moment and let that sink in. Perception, whether it be accurate, poisoned or hallucinatory is still "reality" and USA Swimming got it today!

Swimming World sat down with Chuck Wielgus of USA Swimming and asked him what USA Swimming is going to consider so as to ensure swimming with a USA Swimming affiliated club is not only well above suspicion but safe as possible:

Jason Marstellar: "... [ RE: Youth policies from other organizations such as the Boy Scouts. ] The two primary points are that there would be no one-on-one meetings and zero physical contact allowed between a swimming coach and a minor. The two things a pedophile needs to prey on a child are privacy and the ability to touch. If these two items were adopted the red flags would go up as soon as possible within the potential molestation process.

We asked Wielgus specifically about these two points as well as what USA Swimming is working on going forward to help stop sexual abuse in the sport:

"We are looking at what other youth organizations are doing, and what they have in place that we could apply to USA Swimming. It is a little too early to commit to those two specific things, and say we are going to implement those. However, I would say that those are on the table for us to study and consider among other things."


The idea that suggestions are being looked into, and that other solutions are on the table is extraordinarily positive.

Now the courts will decide the case of past liability but moving forward, I am hopeful that this will be confronted head on as policy number one.

Chuck Wielgus: Asked if he had apologized to any of the young teen victims, Wielgus responded, "You feel I need to apologize to them?..."

Here is the rest of the quote in context, or as the context that presented itself in what one could argue is a biased article.

From ABC News at

"... Wielgus says the local swim clubs, not the national organization, bear the responsibility to check the full backgrounds of swimming coaches they hire.

He said the 36 coaches banned by the organization over the last ten years were only a tiny fraction of the organization's 12,000 coaches in that time period.

"Thirty six does seem like a whole lot. A hundred is even more. Five hundred is even more," he told correspondent Brian Ross.

Asked if he had apologized to any of the young teen victims, Wielgus responded, "You feel I need to apologize to them?"

He added, "I think it's unfair for you to ask me whether individually or me as the representative of an organization to apologize for something when all we are trying to do is everything we possibly can to create a safe and healthy environment for kids who are participating in our particular activity." ..."

[Link] It is on page three.

Now, when posters on the message board "turned, burned and went ballistic" using lots really hot rhetoric, a poster who signed his name Chuck Wielgus gave this response below:

"I understand and appreciate the sentiment, and even the outrage, that some people might have over my comments about apologizing, or not apologizing, to the victims of these terrible crimes. While the quotes are accurate, they fail to take into account the context in which they were given during my interview with Brian Ross.

I agreed to participate in the interview with Mr, Ross because I saw this as an opportunity to openly discuss what is a major societal issue and global problem. The issue of inappropriate behavior by adults with underage youth is something that every youth-serving organization must face; including all youth sports programs, schools, camps, clubs, religious youth groups, etc. While no organization has a child protection system that is fool proof, USA Swimming has safeguards that are constantly being reviewed and improved upon.

When Mr. Ross agressively asked me if I owed an apology to the victims, I confess to taking umbrage to what I at first interpreted as a personal attack. Having worked with the volunteer and staff leaders of USA Swimming for more than a dozen years, I knew first-hand how committed these people were to constantly finding ways to improve every aspect of the organization's programs and services and my comments were a reflex reaction to what I perceived as an unfair attack.

My heart breaks for these poor kids who lost so much of their innocence when they put their trust and faith in a coach who then used his position of trust and authority to take advantage of them. I'm incredibly sorry these awful things happened, but the reality is that I also believe USA Swimming was doing everything it reasonably could to have appropriate safeguards in place; and we will continue to evaluate and implement whatever additional safeguards we can to help our member clubs provide as safe and healthy an environment as possible for the hundreds of thousands of kids who have chosen to participate in sport of swimming. -- Chuck Wielgus ..."

[Link to message board]

After the 20/20 episode tonight - I predict USA Swimming gets it and makes successful changes!

If not, how can the USOC ignore this especially on the heels of the Catholic Church scandal? What started in the Boston Catholic Diocese is now a global phenomena. The USOC is not financed by the government. It's all donations and if a national governing body under its wings is suddenly not above suspicion in regards to certifications and policy, well, pass the jelly because that NGB is toast.

To say that sex is a really hot topic in America is an understatement of biblical proportions and due to the litigious nature of the United States; and believe me this place is way litigious, it seems an obvious potential that more lawsuits will be filed unless something bullet proof is drawn up soon.

Therefore, I predict USA Swimming will get it.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Here is a list of 32 swim coaches either accused or convicted of sex crimes mentioned in the Jane Doe vs. USA Swimming et al. lawsuit!

In the Jane Doe versus USA Swimming, Pacific Swimming and San Jose Aquatics brief, there is a statement that references 32 coaches that have been accused and/or convicted of a sex crimes against a USA Swimming affiliated swimmer.

I am posting these names to inspire action. This all could stop now and it could take place before media outlets such as the New York Times, 60-Minutes, and the BBC start asking politicians some really embarrassing questions.

This scandal is huge! it ranks up there with the East German doping stories in the 1970's and it could get worse but it can be fixed with just a few process changes and I encourage those who know any of the executives at the USA Swimming "ivory tower" to scale the walls and tell them to add such simple policy changes such as no one-on-ones, no touching, no punishing, no secret clubs etc.

Here is the link to the 32-names: [Link]

The file was sent after I requested it from the law office of: Corsiglia McMahon & Allard LLP

Inside USA Swimming: Secrets and Betrayal - Brian Ross investigates for '20/20'

News program, 20/20 is going to tear into USA Swimming's incompetent child protection policies tomorrow night. A source who has been updating me on the various aspects of this segment will be interviewed.

Here is a description of the 20/20 news program for European viewers. From Wikipedia: 20/20 is an American "television news-magazine", (similar in depth to a "print news-magazine"), broadcast on ABC since June 6, 1978. Created by ABC News executive Roone Arledge [citation needed], the show was designed similarly to CBS's 60 Minutes but focuses more on human interest stories than international and political subjects. The program's name derives from the "20/20" measurement of visual acuity.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Arena likes congratulate swimmers who win in their suits!

Arena Congratulates the greatest freestyle sprinter of all time, Cesar Cielo. They congratulate, Eric Shanteau; the Lance Armstrong of our sport, and Rebecca Soni; local "grrrl" from USC.

By the way, Rebecca Soni; who I speak so nicely about in the blog, and Aaron Peirsol; who my buddy Mark photographed, did not have the time to answer my email interview questions a couple weeks back just before the first USA Swimming Grand Pix but Cesar Cielo did! - Hail Cesar!

I won't forget that.

CARLSBAD, Calif., -April 7, 2010– Arena, one of the leading waterwear companies in the world, today announced Arena elite team athletes Cesar Cielo and Eric Shanteau medaled at the Columbus Grand Prix, taking home three gold and one silver medal at this weekend’s events.

Cielo, who finished first in the 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle, currently holds the world record in both events. Shanteau, who was a member of USA’s winning 4x100m medley relay in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, placed first in the 200m breaststroke and a close second in 100m breaststroke.

The Columbus Grand Prix is the fifth of the eight USA Swimming Grand Prix series. The series is an opportunity for swimmers to prepare for the national championships while racing against top-level competitors. Arena elite swimmer Rebecca Soni is currently tied for third place with a total of 36 points.

“We are excited to see our Arena elite team member’s continued success in the Grand Prix events,” said Bryan Smeltzer, vice president of marketing, Arena USA. “Cielo and Shanteau both play a pivotal role on Arena’s presence in the United States”

Arena is distributed in the United States by Arena USA, based in Carlsbad, California.
Here is a link to Cesar Cielo's website: [Link]

If USA swimmers were considered "Catholics" then USA Swimming would be considered the "Vatican" - See where I am going with this?

So why am I playing the religious card? Read the following paragraph form the East Bay Express in Florida and tell me this is not becoming a pandemic of "Catholic priest-like" proportions :

"... Jesse Stovall was a married, 35-year-old father of two who appeared to be obsessed with a 16-year-old girl. She was the star of Bear Swimming, the Berkeley-based swim team that he coached, and, according to one witness, he showered her with an "extreme amount of attention," such as holding "private goal meetings" with her. But Stovall's apparent goal eventually became public once he convinced the girl's parents to let him accompany her alone to Florida for a week-long swim meet. ..."


Jesse Stovall may or may not have raped the teenager mentioned in the article but I do know that Jesse Stovall would not be going to court if the swim team had a policy of no one-on-ones.

A coach sent me the story above, a coach who is on the front lines of all this nonsense and who has tried to get reforms in place but has gotten nowhere. Though he is a member of USA Swimming, the "high priests" still refuse to insist on a no one-on-one policy which he suggested way before I did.

The new policies that USA Swimming are implementing are a very good start but they have to go further and they must include parental involvement on deck or include a lifeguard, administrator, or assistant coach for all one-on-ones.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Laure Manaudou and Frederick Bousquet had a baby!

Awesome! From Swimming World:
Auburn coach Brett Hawke, who has helped guide Bousquet to international acclaim that included an Olympic medal and a brief reign as the world's fastest swimmer, was the first to break the news about the pregnancy on The Morning Swim Show. (Watch that episode here.)


The photo was yanked from and shot by Bruce Weber. Many more of Manaudou and Bousquet here: [Link]

Monday, April 05, 2010

CSI on a 4-million-year-old shark attack victim - the victim, a 9-foot long dolphin!

I am still trying to get my head around the fact that 9-million years ago not only did sharks and dolphins coexist, but that they are STILL HERE!

Imagine how frightening it would be to go surfing at Malibu, second-point circa 9-million years ago? (That is if Malibu even existed. Maybe all of L.A. under water?)

The human race as we know it; (homo sapiens), has only been around about 200,000-years or so and we didn't really get anything going till about 3,500 years ago but dolphins and sharks were skirmishing all over creation.

Scientists investigated a well-preserved 9-foot-long dolphin discovered in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. From the remains, the researchers not only finger-pointed the attacker but also how the thrashing went down, suggesting the shark took advantage of the dolphin's blind spot.

"The skeleton lay unstudied in a museum in Torino for more than a century, but when I examined it, as part of a larger study of fossil dolphins, I noticed the bite marks on the ribs, vertebrae and jaws," recalled lead researcher Giovanni Bianucci at the University of Pisa in Italy.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Kenyan swim star Ajulu-Bushell petitons the IOC to switch countries to Great Britain.

Kenyan swim star Ajulu-Bushell is a Kenyan swim star who kicked ass in Britain over the weekend at the British Gas Championships. She is currently petitioning the IOC to allow her to switch her nationality to British but the IOC demands that "switching teams" takes place 3-years before an Olympic Games takes place. Her request to convert came four days late.

I have been vocal about athletes switching countries if it were in their personal best interests but in regards to Kenyan swim star, Ajulu-Bushell, I am disappointed for I believe her participation as a Kenyan athlete would have been greatly received on the African continent. Oh well, she has to do what is in her best interests.

I suspect the IOC will allow the switch and she will be the first female athlete of African descent to swim fro Great Britain.

From the Daily Mail:

Ajulu-Bushell, born in Manchester to a Kenyan father and English mother, last swam for Kenya on August 1 last year at the World Championships.

The London Olympics will open on July 27, 2012 and the British Olympic Association and British Swimming are lobbying the IOC to allow her to swim..."


Saturday, April 03, 2010

High Heeled Swim Fins: The only fins Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice) will wear to workout!

Clay sent me this, missed it for April Fools but the funny thing is, it wasn't an April Fools joke. From the Telegraph:

The shoes were created by the Belgian artist Paul Schietekat for an exhibition in 2006, and there are not thought to be any plans to release them commercially.

Even so, similar designs are causing excitement among style-conscious travellers on shoe websites.


Oh, I stole the Posh Spice joke from one of comments to the article.

Now, I will pretend I didn't see these so keep them in mind when you want to send me a Christmas present. ;-)

The Empire Responds Back: USA Swimming pledges more safeguards in wake of sex abuse scandal but are they enough?

USA Swimming recently wrote an open letter to the USA Swimming community stating that policy changes are being made so as to ensure that swimming with a USA Swimming sanctioned team is safe activity or as safe as it can be.

Generally speaking, these policy changes are all about back ground checks and anonymous reporting. However, one has to ask, how many Catholic priests accused of child molestation well after the fact and in some cases decades later would have been detected with a back ground check?

The answer is probably zero!

From Mercury News:

Under fire for its handling of sex abuse allegations and screening of coaches, USA Swimming, the national governing body of the sport, said it plans a series of steps to make swim clubs safer for its young athletes, possibly including an anonymous reporting system to encourage scared victims to come forward.

The plan laid out for the San Jose Mercury News on Monday is far stronger than the two-page open letter to the swimming community posted on USA Swimming's Web site last week, but some critics say the steps still are not enough to protect impressionable young girls from predator coaches.


I feel like a broken record here but I believe the Boy Scouts have it right in regards to child and scout leader protection. Below are some modifications I made to the Boy Scouts policy which I believe any club should consider even if the USA Swimming leadership is too afraid to admit that their policies did not go far enough:

Two-deep leadership: Two registered adult leaders or one registered leader and a parent of a participant, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required on all trips and outings. The chartered organization is responsible for ensuring that sufficient leadership is provided for all activities.

No one-on-one contact: One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is not permitted. In situations that require personal conferences, such as a Scoutmaster's conference, the meeting is to be conducted in view of other adults and youths.

Respect of privacy: Adult leaders must respect the privacy of youth members in situations such as changing clothes and taking showers at camp, and intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations.

No secret organizations: The Boy Scouts of America does not recognize any secret organizations as part of its program. All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents and leaders.

Appropriate attire: [...] skinny-dipping is not appropriate as part of [USA swimming].

Constructive discipline: [...] Corporal punishment is never permitted.

Hazing prohibited: Physical hazing and initiations are prohibited and may not be included as part of any [swimming] activity.

Junior leader training and supervision: Adult leaders must monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by junior leaders and ensure that [USA Swimming] policies are followed.

Actual Boy Scouts of America policy [Link]

The photo above was shot by William Walsh and I have usage rights.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The 'Apple iPad' is going to sell 7.1-million units in 2010 and why is that important to swim bloggers like me?

Selling 7.1-million units of an electronic device may not be a change in momentum and/or an advantage in the marketplace but doubling that figure to 14.4-million units in the hands of the public just a year later definitely is.

The Apple iPad cannot read Flash. If my blog is going to be iPad friendly by the end of the year, any videos I link to really should not be in the Adobe Flash format. Most of the You Tube videos I link to are in the Flash format.

If you upload videos to a particular site such as You Tube, or my favorite video sharing site, Blip.TV, please upload them in either the HTML5 format or the H.264 format.

From Electronista:

Apple could sell as many as 7.1 million iPads in 2010 alone, iSuppli estimated today. Analysts believed that a strong wave of early adopters and those simply drawn to a tablet design should be enough to push millions of iPads each quarter this year. It would be enough to at least temporarily overcome the lack of Adobe Flash and could actually be conservative if Apple upgrades features or cuts prices quickly, the study creators said.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

New Masthead: back to the original masthead - I could not take my own joke!

I hope you like the new masthead and name, Ahelee Sue Osborn painted it. Needs some bunnies don't you think... Oh and some glitter for the bunnies to eat.

Sorry the masthead was driving me crazy... I could not take my own joke.