Tuesday, July 27, 2010

'Speedo' has a new president: James Gerson will run both 'Speedo' and the 'Calvin Klein' swimwear brands!

James Gerson will replace former president Paula Schneider, who abruptly left the post of president of Warnaco’s swim division in late February. His duties will include the oversight of Speedo and Calvin Klein Swimwear business. He has done work for Reef, Jentzen, and North Face.

This is a fresh start, let's see how he plays ball with FINA and let's hope he likes techsuits. :-P

Monday, July 26, 2010

Diana Nyad: The Dara Torres of open water swimming.

That is not an exaggeration nor hyperbole. She has accomplished so much not just as a swimmer but as a sports personality as well. She has done an extensive amount of TV work for networks like CNBC, FOX Sports, ABC and NBC.

Diana Nyad is hoping to swim from the Florida coast to a Cuban beach in early-to-mid August. This swim is so long and so incomprehensibly dangerous that if accomplished it would summarily dethrone the English Channel making it no longer the "crème de la crème" of open water swims supplanting it with a new "Mount Everest" of the sport.

Here is a quick bio from Wikipedia:
Diana Nyad (born August 22, 1949 in New York City) is a former world record-holding American swimmer and public radio contributor.

Over two days in 1979, Nyad swam from Bimini to Florida, setting a distance record not broken until 1997 by Susie Maroney. She broke numerous world records, including the 45-year-old mark for circling Manhattan Island (7 hrs, 57 min) in 1975. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1986. Nyad was honored with her induction in the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2003.

She currently provides a weekly five-minute radio piece on sports for KCRW called The Score (heard during KCRW's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered"), as well as for the Marketplace radio program. She formerly hosted the public radio program "The Savvy Traveler."

Nyad graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Lake Forest College in 1973.

On July 10, 2010, at the age of 60, she began open water training for a 24-hour, 103-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, a task she had failed to finish thirty years previously. When asked her motivation, she replied, "Because I'd like to prove to the other 60-year-olds that it is never too late to start your dreams." She is schedule to make the actual swim in August of 2010.
Here is a link to her site which covers the details of her ambitious goal: [Link]

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Arbitrator in the Mike Saltzstein/USA Swimming dispute sides with Mike!

Mike Saltzstein, former USA Swimming, Vice President, had openly complained to the media regarding USA Swimming's incompetent behavior in the wake of the Andrew King Sex abuse case; consequently he was slammed! USA Swimming pulled him off the deck of major swimming competitions as a way to silence him and this was the second time he had been punished for thinking independently.

This was the last straw for, Saltzstein, and he decided to complain to the USOC. The verdict is in and and they agreed with him.

Saltzstein had been trying since 2004 to get USA Swimming to institute new policies to protect both children and coaches but all to no avail. Obviously Mike's dedication to this subject pissed-off a lot of people off and when election time came, Mike Saltzstein, had two candidates running against him.

It also did not help that John Leonard of ASCA jumps into the fray widely circulation a document stating that Saltzstein had to pay a $2,000 fine once for trading stocks incorrectly. This document was disseminated to Swimming World and perhaps other voting members at large as well. In my opinion, this letter was packaged as a "Gordon Gecko", insider-trading violation from, Oliver Stone's, movie, Wall Street. Subsequently, it was politics as usual and USA Swimming lost an independent thinker.

Well, round two went differently.

From ESPN:

A former USA Swimming vice president who complained about the organization's handling of sexual abuse cases is back on the list of potential judges at major international events after winning his arbitration case.


Here is the arbitrator's decision:


1. The Parties submitted post-hearing closing briefs on July 17 and post-hearing reply briefs
on July 20, 2010.

2. The Arbitrator closed the hearing on July 21, 2010.

3. The Parties agreed that the Arbitrator could announce his decision by July 22, 2010, and
thereafter issue a reasoned award.

4. On July 21, 2010, the Arbitrator announced his decision that:

a. The Arbitrator has concluded that the Respondent’s decision—to nominate Mr. Broyles as a FINA Referee rather than re-nominate the Claimant—was arbitrary, capricious, and in violation of the Claimant’s legally protected opportunity to participate as an international referee under the Sports Act, which affords him due process rights in being fairly considered as a nominee for FINA List 16.

b. The Arbitrator therefore orders the Respondent to immediately replace Mr. Broyles with the Claimant as a Referee nominee for FINA List 16 and so inform FINA immediately.

July 21, 2010
James R. Holbrook
If this were any other sports body, would behavior at the top like this be tolerated in any manner or form?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's open water time so let's make sharks look cuddly, fun and ridiculous!

Shark Week celebrated by the Discovery Channel on some building in Maryland. The site is in French so I am unclear on whose building it is. [Link]

A movie producer who now distributes movies once told me that if I ever want to get some sage advice on how to get a movie made, find a producer who regularly gets really bad movies made for cheap and then widely distributed. He says getting a good movie distributed is rather easy but getting a bad movie distributed that was made for nothing that really smelled up the place is true craftsmanship.

He is absolutely right, perhaps SyFy's: Sharktopus qualifies?

Patricia Walker has some serious knitting ability along with some serious issues. Her knitting gallery is both macabre and displays extreme craftsmanship [Link]

Monday, July 19, 2010

FINA is playing favorites with new open water suit designs!

Apparently, FINA was going to approve open water suits at the end of July and submit their approved list but some suits have gotten their approvals early just in time for the FINA Open Water World Championships in Roberval, Canada this weekend. One suit that was approved was the Jaked while other suit manufacturers are still waiting for their approvals.

One has to ask, is this a "Speedo LZR redux" whereas some federations or countries have a distinct advantage regarding what suits they get to wear while others have to wait or beg for the opportunity to wear the suit they want to wear?

More on this coming soon.

Deepwater Horizon Info Graphic

Boat Insurance
Via: Boat Insurance

Click to make it large.

Friday, July 16, 2010

How many of these beard types has Michael Phelps donned?

He was definitely working the "French Fork" at the Paris Open EDF! One beard he had for the Charlotte Grand Prix which is pictured above is called "the anchor" - Think that old TV show in the 1970's, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir or the photo above. ;-)>

Thursday, July 15, 2010

BP containtment cap has stopped oil leak!

British Petroleum (BP) has capped the Deep Horizon oil well leak some 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico and now there is no new oil flowing into the gulf. Oil had been flowing from the hole since April, 20th, 2010.

The US Government was at the complete mercy of BP's technology and promised word that they could cap & clean-up any disasterous situaton that occurred when they originally granted the oil giant the right to drill in such a vital resource.

Logic dictates that the government had no buiness granting BP a license to drill in the first place if the government had no tools, technology or a "Plan B" if a disaster of such "Biblical" proportions occurred.

Blame for this event starts at the US Bureau of Mines and Geology all the way down to the company that placed the drill into the ground. To point the blame completely at BP is completely inaccurate a "scapegoat" tactic. Everybody as to pay for this mess starting with the US government. To point a finger at just BP is to beleive politician press releases

From AP:

Officials have been testing a cap to temporarily halt the leak. It was put in place Monday with its valves left open. Government officials were afraid the build up of pressure from closing the valves could cause additional leaks. After further analysis BP engineers were given the okay to close the valves. Wednesday night a leak was detected before testing of the new cap could begin. As of Thursday morning, the minor leak was repaired. As of Thursday afternoon, the gushing major leak has been plugged.


Dita Von Teese to be the "American Ambassador" for Perrier Water!

Perrier Dita RollDice
Uploaded by OgilvyPR. - Arts and animation videos.

Dita Von Teese is an American burlesque artist, model, and actress. She began performing burlesque in 1993, and typically incorporates a large martini glass as the signature feature in her shows. Fascinated by 1940s Hollywood cinema, Von Teese is noted for her glamorous appearance and classic retro style, largely inspired by both 1940's and 1950's glamour models, she has appeared on the covers of numerous magazines. She also has done catwalk modeling and appeared in numerous music videos. - [source Wikipedia]

The commercial above features no nudity whatsoever; there is more nudity is an episode of Bay Watch from the 1990's then then these commercials provide but they are certainly sexy enough to merit the NSFW; (Not Safe For Work), warning.

Wow, what an artist!

Perrier is finally admitting that they are a masculine brand. I guess they will leave Avian and Fiji to the girls. As for me, I like to mix Perrier with chocolate milk: 1-part chocolate milk to 2-parts Perrier. There is nothing so very boss as chocolate milk with bubbles in it. I think they called that an "egg cream" in New York about a 1/2 century ago.

Here is the French blog, Viacomit with links, postcards, images and even more movies of, Dita von Tesse, being very creative with Perrier:

Après “Paparazzi” l’édition limitée de l’été signé Perrier avec Dita Von Teese. Perrier revient pour une nouvelle campagne avec son égérie dans un site 100% interactif. Sur ce site la marque nous invite à rejoindre Dita dans son manoir baptisé “Perrier Mansion” pour une expérience sensuelle, pétillante et unique. Dans dans “la Chambre secrète” Dita prend la pose et l’internaute s’improvise photographe, il suit des yeux Dita, déclenchant à sa guise l’appareil depuis son clavier…. Dita l’invite ensuite à jouer aux “Dès du plaisir”, il faudra beaucoup de dextérité et de chance toutes les facettes de la reine du burlesque… vient enfin la « Leçon de séduction », durant laquelle Dita se dévoile dans un show très glamour et complice avec l’internaute.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

RUMOR: Chuck Wielgus and USA Swimming nominated for an 'ESPY Award' - Victims are pissed!

So, I have not blogged in what feels like weeks; (reasons I will get into a another post), but when I woke up this morning to 5-emails in my inbox from victims in the USA Swimming/Andrew King sex abuse scandal informing me that Chuck Wielgus may have been nominated for an ESPY Award in the category of "Best Sports Governing Body Leader," I had to post something.

Definition of what an ESPY award is from Wikipedia:

The ESPY Awards is an annual awards event created and broadcasted by American cable television network ESPN to celebrate their legacy as a sport channel. Athletic awards are given as well. Begun in 1993, the event confers eponymous awards, fully styled as Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards, for individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance during the calendar year preceding a given ceremony.

The Nominations for "Best Sports Governing Body Leader" as provided by Yonivi.com:

Mike Cavanaugh, USA Table Tennis
Cheryl Kirk, USA Racquetball
Steve Stenersen, US Lacrosse
Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming

If Wielgus did get nominated, this nomination is so absurd and beyond comprehension one has to ask how it could be possible especially after looking back at what happened in this past year alone: Sex abuse scandals; (emphasis on plural tense), blaming the victims of said sex abuse scandals not on one televised news segment, but rather two; (ABC News 20/20, and ESPN's Between the Lines).

An anti-trust lawsuit from TYR where the judge did acknowledge that USA Swimming was indeed "rule breaking" but TYR could not demonstrate monetary damage as a result of the activity hence the suit was thrown out.

Complaints filed by former USA Swimming, Vice President, Mike Saltzstein and Indiana, Coach, Ken Stopkotte to United States Olympic Committee (USOC) stating they were signaled out and denied career enhancing duties after complaining to USA Swimming regarding their lousy child protection rules, but then it gets worse!

USA Swimming gives a glowing recommendation to former national team coach , Everett Uchiyama, who was accused of sexual abuse by a 30-something-year-old woman who stated the abuse began when she was just 14-years-old. Uchiyama, was later placed on the "banned list" of coaches yet the USA Swimming "brass" gave Uchiyama a solid recommendation to The Country Club in Colorado Springs who hired him as a swim coach a year later.

These events were chronicled by Associated Press at the Huffington Post:

"... Her accusations, made in a Jan. 24, 2006, e-mail to USA Swimming, led to his resignation under a confidential agreement three days later. He was permanently banned from the organization on Jan. 31, 2006, but that didn't stop him from landing a job at the nearby Country Club of Colorado a year later. ..."

But how long has this sort of nonsense been going on? It is demonstrable that this sort of shady or sketchy ethics handling has been going on since 2003:

From the San Jose Mercury News:

"... In her lengthy, Jan. 20, 2003, e-mail to Pacific Swimming's Benton, Kelly described her experience swimming for King at Chabot 10 years earlier. She said she "was shaking as I type," and called King "a terribly abusive coach" who had made female swimmers kiss the males in front of the team before practice. If they didn't, the whole team had to swim extra laps. "Andy timed it with a stop watch, because the rule was I had to kiss this person for 30 seconds," she wrote.

King also subjected swimmers to lengthy diatribes, filled with comments like "stupid bitch" and "you are an idiot" if they did not swim as well as he wanted, she wrote in her e-mail.

In the same e-mail, she said "over 10 years later, I feel I need to say what I wish I said then. I can't change what happened but maybe something can be done to stop this from continuing." She wrote that she was "writing not to lodge a formal complaint, because perhaps too much time has gone by...."


"... In a Jan. 27, 2003, e-mail, Wielgus wrote that he had talked to the group's attorney and here is our counsel:

"1. No formal complaint is being filed, so there is no formal action for you or us to take.

"2. You should monitor the situation and alert us if any new information comes forward.

"3. USA Swimming will open a file on this matter and while we will take no action at this time, we will remain alert for any new information.

"4. This matter should be kept confidential by both you and us.

"5. When and if any new information comes forward, we will assess the situation at that time and determine if any action is required."


So, how with a straight face or a moral conscience can this nomination be made? Who made the nomination? Perhaps the voters need to be educated on how both swimmers, parents, and most especially the victims feel about this.