Friday, November 26, 2010

I was just sent the police report in the Ken Stopkotte embezzlement arrest.

It was Coach Ken Stopkotte that contacted me months ago about the USA Swimming sex abuse issues once I made a blog post regarding a really scary San Jose coach. He was later seen on ABC News 20/20 laying it out out on the table and making lots of enemies in the swimming community.

This was sent to me as a fast note from an anonymous source regarding the recent charges filed against him. They included the police report in the arrest along with a cryptic comment:

"... Attached is the police report. [Note:] There is no mention whatsoever that Ken used any of the funds for personal gain, no mention that he embezzled money, no mention that the monies in said "private account" which in reality was a FAST account found its way to Ken.

More next week! ..."
Enter dramatic music - 0_o - I love a mystery, let's see what we get next week. The anon source did drop a bomb that I am too chicken to print. They say I will be getting more details next week.

Natalie Portman included swim training in preparation for her latest movie epic: 'Black Swan'

I like dance! I appreciate the athleticism and the grace. Apparently some ballerinas like swimming too. Elle Magazine conducts an interview with Mary Helen Bowers of, Ballet Beautiful, for Elle Magazine. Bowers trained Natalie Portman getting her amazingly fit and graceful for the Darren Aronofsky film: Black Swan. It opens December 3rd, 2010.

The obvious part I liked best was that Helen Bowers included swimming as part of Portman's artistic and physical development. From Elle:

Did you include any cross-training in your sessions with Portman?

I did. Ballet can be hard on your joints and when you’re on a movie set doing take after take it can become really repetitive. To give her joints a break, we’d go swimming because it allowed us to work on her endurance and elongate her muscles with zero impact. ...

Read it to see how far she swam, how often, and what strokes.

A red flag for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games - Week long violence prompts Rio Olympic organizers to promised "total security" for Rio Games!

From Associated Press via USA Today:

More than 96 buses and cars have been burned on major roadways, many motorists have been robbed and police outposts have been shot in the city that will host the final match of the 2014 World Cup as well as the 2016 Olympics.

At the Wall Street Journal, which is very good at looking around corners and providing analysis, they mentioned that Brazil Peacekeeping Police brought in armor carriers borrowed from the military to quell violence:

A burned-out car was found with a sign declaring "no Olympics" as long as the peacekeeping police are in place, a local newspaper reported. State authorities responded by deploying heavily armed paramilitary police units to battle the gangs.

I recently became worried about the Rio 2016 Games when I noticed that the interest rates on their bonds and certificate of deposit rates started to spike.

In the 1980's Brazil's inflation rate roared to +80% a month; (a loaf of bread that cost $1.00 in June cost $1.80 in July), and the government had to institute some new ideas and a new currency; (the Real featured in the photo above).

What is the inflation in Brazil today?

From Bloomberg:
Higher prices for food, including beans and corn, helped push the annual inflation rate in Latin America’s biggest economy to a five-month high of 5.2 percent in October. Consumer prices rose 0.86 percent in the month through mid-November, the fastest pace in nine months, the national statistics agency said Nov. 23.

Now, within one hour or writing all the above, the International Olympic Committee weighs in:

"... "Security arrangements fall under the responsibility of governments," the IOC said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. "In the past, Rio and Brazil have shown that they are able to host major events safely and we have full confidence in the Brazilian authorities' capacity to deliver a safe games in six years' time.

"The IOC has discussed the security issue directly with Rio 2016 and express confidence that there will be adequate security for the games. ..."


Though the IOC gives their full endorsement that Brazil will have both it's Security issues and the ability to host international events in six years time fulfilled, FIFA is showing a little less patience demanding results in both Stadium preparation and airport infrastructure.

From USA today:
[President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva] also criticized FIFA for imposing "European standards" for the construction and the upgrade of stadiums for the World Cup. He specifically complained of the FIFA veto to Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo, which has forced the city to build another venue to try to host the competition's opening match.

[FIFA demands a stadium that can hold 65,000 spectators - airport infrastructure is also contained in the article.]


If I was an IOC official, I would quietly give Brazil a 2012 deadline delte all internal security concerns and proof that the 2014 FIFA World CUP was on strong economic footing. If not, I would start shopping for a "Plan B" venue for the 2016 games. Beijing, Japan or Los Angeles would be my choice for a "Plan B."

What shocks me the most about all the these governing bodies from FIFA, the IOC and even FINA: You would think the IOC and others would pick a country that had it's ducks in a row rather than betting that they will come opening ceremonies.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Politics as usual: Coaches charging rent for pools they do not own and I question if swimming has entered the dark ages?

This sort of corruption is taking place in pool facilities all over America. This is not an isolated case. If a local swim team or a masters swim club wants to get into a pool, the head coach is the first person they have to see. In most cases the coach will say the following: What will you bring to this facility to make it a better pool? Or the possibility that a coach will suggest something more sinister like: "What will you do for me?"

From FOX 59:

Since 2006, the Fishers YMCA had been paying $6,000 a year to use the Fisher's High School pool. The only problem is the district never received any of those funds nor did they know that the pool was ever being used in the first place.

According to a probable cause affidavit, [Ken] Stopkotte charged the YMCA $500 a month rent for approximately four years. But on at least three occasions that amount was doubled to $1,000 a month.

It is my belief that swimming is not doing very well right now. I am unimpressed with the sex abuse lawsuits, the "poolitics" at the local level, and of course the politics at the governing body level.

We have had a professional swimmer die in a race that never should have been staged. A race staged with a governing body who had little experience to execute the task all the while a USA Swimming/ASCA coach was on site and actually allowed the team to swim in such hazardous conditions.

To their credit FINA and USA Swimming have called for an investigation, but nothing has been investigated so far according to Swimming World on November 22nd 2010:

"As of two days ago, the FINA open water committee has not been charged by FINA to find out what went wrong in Dubai," Shoulberg said.

We are now entering a phase in swimming where swim coaches are being routinely arrested and Swimming World is becoming a quasi police blotter since they have been reporting any convictions made.

USA Swimming has been in a constant state of litigation for almost 3-years now by the victims in their wake. It certainly did not help their case when their policy du jour was seemingly to point fingers at the sex abuse victims in San Jose for not filing "official complaints."

Then we have the retail level: Governing bodies are still playing favorites with suit manufacturers. FINA has even been playing favorites with whose suits they will approve first. Manufacturers such as TYR and blueseventy are flirting with more friendlier sports, namely open water and triathlons, professional swimmers are begging for money to support themselves while execs who profit off their backs make hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars-a-year at the governing bodies.

In 2008, swimming had suddenly become a professional sport and obviously the governing bodies did not like that for USA Swimming, Swimming Australia, and other governing bodies were actually forced to pay swimmers who set world records.

Hence, welcome to the dark ages. Will anyone outside of swimming know who Ryan Lochte is or will his name end up like Matt Biondi's whereas only hard core swimmers remember him?

Kids, there is no money in this sport so take the scholarship and create a real life for yourself outside of all this nonsense. Keep swimming and don't stop but keep it fun.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shoulder pain fixes - lots of information and photos.

If you feel shoulder pain after a workout, you were doing something wrong with it. Of course there are conditions like arthritis and otherwise, but swimming, if done correctly will not harm your shoulders. Here are a couple of sites I found with some pretty good information:

From Swim Smooth:
"... Correcting your technique is not actually that difficult, but you do need to know what to look out for and, just as importantly, work diligently to improve in these areas. If available to you, video analysis is a great tool for this because it really helps you identify what you personally need to work on. We recommend you get some if you possibly can. ..."



"...Swimmer's shoulder can be prevented by using proper freestyle stroke. The hand should enter the water with the small finger first and the palm facing inward. When the hand enters the water it should not cross the middle of the body to avoid impingement. For further stroke instruction, seek the advice of a swimming coach.

Swimmers should avoid rapid increases in training distances or frequency of training as this is likely to wear out the shoulder muscles leaving them at risk for impingement and shoulder pain. ..."


AP is reporting that Mark Schubert is out as USA Swimming head coach!

Another one of Chuck Wielgus' emails may have been leaked and this time it allegedly reveals that, Mark Schubert, is out as USA Swimming national team coach.

If this email leak is true, this Mark Schubert story seems a bit odd to me. After the USA Swimming convention, Schubert is suddenly put on a 60 day paid suspension leave of absence with no official statement made known by either party. There are a lot of whispers but nothing solid. Then, when 60-days is up, he is suddenly fired no longer the national team coach and no reason has been provided.

So again, if this is true, why is neither side talking? Why is there no acrimony, pleasant farewells or a gold watch goodbye? Sounds like there is a "game theory equation" in there somewhere whereas it was in USA Swimming's best interests to dump him and consequently it is in both parties interests to to say nothing about it.

From Associated Press:

"... USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus wrote in an e-mail obtained by the AP that Schubert "is no longer the National Team Head Coach..."


The photo above is Tyler Cary at the TYR Swim Meet of Champions. The photo was taken by Mark Savage.

Monday, November 08, 2010

FINED $8,700 - 'USA Swimming' refuses to turn over evidence in the Jane Doe vs. 'USA Swimming' sex abuse case!

A Santa Clara Superior Court judge in the Jane Doe vs. USA Swimming lawsuit has fined USA Swimming a total of $8,700 for failing to comply with the judge's orders on two separate occasions. There was one fine for about $3,500 in conjunction with USA Swimming failing to produce witnesses for deposition and then recently another for about $5,200 for failing to deliver documents to the plaintiff's lawyer.

The documents in question contain nearly 2,000 pages of sex abuse complaints filed against coaches USA Swimming has sanctioned. The plaintiff's attorney, Robert Allard, has complained twice to the Santa Clara Superior Court judge handling the case stating that USA Swimming is not cooperating and they have been sending nothing but gibberish, indecipherable newspaper clippings and redacted documents. The judge agreed and has now fined USA Swimming twice so far. USA Swimming is appealing.

Do you realize that this organization has been in a constant sate of litigation for the past 2-years or so? What National Governing body has ever been sued this much?

Not only is the swimming community getting fed up with these people but the Colorado Springs community is too. See this editorial in the Colorado Springs Gazette:

USA Swimming gave the files to Allard in August, however, they were “indecipherable,” he wrote in a Sept. 13 motion, noting they “were not provided in any logical order” and alleging the NGB assumed “a most liberal interpretation (of the court order) by redacting anything that provided any specifics whatsoever.”

Essentially, Allard got a lot of garbage. Names of witnesses, cities, schools, swim clubs and police departments were struck from the documents, termed by Allard as “entirely nonsensical” and “virtually unreadable.” In six cases, USA Swimming redacted bits of newspaper articles, and in two cases, the NGB submitted identical documents with different redactions within each document.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Will NASA endorse tech-suits?

Taking a cue from progressive swimmers, NASA is about to test a tech-suit or what MIT calls a, gravity loading countermeasure skinsuit, that astronauts would wear to prevent bone loss.

Space travelers lose 1%-to-2% of bone in their legs for every month they are in space. These tech suits which don't look nearly as a effective as a blueseventy or a Jaked are suppose to prevent all that.

The TYR Tracer Light with all it's seams is definitely an option as well.

From Trendhunter:

Designed by MIT, the Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit essentially acts as an elastic band, compressing the body lengthwise so that the shoulders pull down towards the feet. By doing so, researchers believe it will replicate Earth’s gravity effects. Although still in its testing stages, the results look promising thus far.

From CNN:

"... MIT isn't the first group to think of a gravity-replicating suit. The "Penguin Suit," made by the Russian space program, is in use at the international space station now, according to the report. That suit uses bungee cords and a leather belt to create tension on a person's skeleton. The cords connect from the belt to the shoulders and also down to the feet and calves..."

English Channel swim crossings may be banned!

The French have never been too thrilled with English Channel crossings since the English Channel maybe one of the most busiest sea lanes in the world. Consequently, they feel the economics of having their shared channel remain free and clear from collisions and accidents mitigates any fundraising opportunities or ferry boat fees.

The article mentions that as many as 500 ships travel through the channel each day at speeds of 25-knots or so and that these container ships take about a mile to stop. The obvious concerns sited are potential collisions between boats and swimmers.

I do believe their concerns for 21-years ago they banned channel crossings from their side which illustrates an antagonism towards the swim rather than any sort of political or economic machinations.

From the Guardian:

"... Danish company DFDS, which runs a service between Dover and Dunkirk, wants the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to oversee swims instead of the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation and the Channel Swimming Association.

"We are concerned these crossings are unregulated and growing at an expedient rate. We would like to see it regulated by the MCA," said DFDS passenger director Chris Newey.

The company's concerns will be echoed by Deputy director of the French Coastguard Jean-Christophe Burving in a BBC documentary tomorrow, Inside Out South East, in which he calls for the swimming route to be banned entirely, according to the BBC. ..."

A container ship can costs as much as $50,000 a day to rent when the economy is humming to probably about $10,000 today. No one wants an accident. I think will careful permitting and mass, staggered, start I am sure something could be worked out for swimmers and the French.
Shawn sent me this: "...Upcoming movie on Logo as part of their Logo Doc series. It's called Synchronized Swimming and it premieres Saturday at 8:00 PM /7:00 Central.

Here is a synopsis of it:
Go below the surface and join the dazzling divers of Synchronized Swimming. Two teams of hopeful girls—and one ambitious boy—battle it out in a stunning display of grace, beauty, and fabulousness. Following the team’s preparation for their climactic U.S. open performance, the documentary explores the training, team bonding, and adversity encountered by the athletes. With all its breathtaking splendor and ferocious competition, Synchronized Swimming is sure to make a splash.
Hope all is well and hope you enjoy the film!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Most swimmers I know like to drink - How much is the safe allowable amount?

I include the numbers just for men to save space. I decided to do a post on this after looking at what a terrible carcinogen alcohol is, even more so than smoking when you take into account all your organs. I also want to include that those who do not drink; (like myself), are ironically at risk for general organ cancers as well but in my opinion that study needs more supporting evidence.

Note, the numbers listed below are in grams. 30-grams (30g) equals one fluid ounce, 237-grams equals a cup.

From Wikipedia, the numbers in blue are links to valid references:

Daily maximum drinks (no weekly limits recommended)

  • Australia: 2/day; 14/week (@10g = 20g/day, 140g/week)[14][15] (New guidelines were adopted on 6 March 2009.[16])
  • Austria: 24g
  • Czech Republic: 24g
  • Italy: 40g (30g for the elderly)[9]
  • Japan: 1–2 (@19.75g = 19.75–39.5g)
  • Netherlands: 3 (@9.9g = 29.7g)
  • Portugal: 37g[13]
  • Spain: 3 (@10g = 30g) Also suggests a maximum of no more than twice this on any one occasion.[13]
  • Sweden: 20g
  • Switzerland:2 (@10–12g = 20–24g)[17]

Therefore, these countries recommend limits for men in the range 20–40g per day.

Daily/weekly maximum drinks

These countries recommend a weekly limit, but intake on a particular day may be higher than one-seventh of the weekly amount.

  • Canada: 2/day; 14/week (@13.6g = 27.2g/day, 190g/week)[2][18]
  • Hong Kong: 3–4/day; 21/week (glass of wine or a pint of beer)
  • New Zealand: 3/day; 21/week (@10g = 30g/day, 210g/week)[11]
  • UK: 3–4/day; 21/week (@8g = 24–32g day, 168g/week)
  • USA: 1-2 units/day (14–28g/day), not to exceed 14 units/week (196g/week)[17]

Therefore, these countries recommend limits for men in the range 27.2–32g per day and 168–210g per week.


Monday, November 01, 2010

I would like to include some evidence that has not been mentioned in the press regarding the Fran Crippen tragedy!

UPDATE: I failed to make it clear that I have been told that Dale Neuberger recused himself from every Dubai meeting and FINA vote regarding the fatal Fran Crippen swim. I was also shown a reference at 'Swim News' that he did so as well.

I still stand by the questions I asked but I want to make it clear that I do not accuse Mr. Neuberger of using de facto leverage to get Dubai accepted as a venue but I do question what influence his title at FINA may have had in getting Dubai selected.

FINA has assembled a task force to investigate what caused Fran Crippen's tragic death at the UAE Swimming Association, FINA 10k Open Water Championships in Fujairah, Dubai.

I would like to include some evidence that has not been mentioned nor have I seen it written anywhere in the press.

First, FINA has put together a task force with the following members:


• Mr. Gunnar Werner
Lawyer, Senior Vice President of the Court of Arbitration for Sport & FINA Honorary Member


• Dr. Harold Vervaecke, PhD (BEL)

Secretary General of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS) Doctor in Sports and Physical Education

• Dr. Antonio Pelliccia, MD (ITA)
Scientific Director of the Institute of Sports Medicine of CONI and World Authority on Cardiovascular Disease and Sports Medicine (specialised in sudden death)

Mr. Greg Towle (AUS) – subject to confirmation Leading open water coach from Australia. He has extensive experience coaching open water swimmers under many different conditions.

• Dr. Tobie Smith, MD (USA): Doctor of family medicine practising in NYC. Champion in the 25km at the 8th FINA World Championships Perth 1998. Advocate for Open Water Swimming and safety for its athletes.

The FINA Task Force will start its activity immediately.


All members are summarily accomplished in their respective fields which is a very good start. Consequently, I would like to submit some evidence that was sent to me by someone who would prefer to remain anonymous.

Dale Neuburger, former president of USA Swimming, is an accomplished man. He served as USA Swimming President from 1998 to 2002. He is currently the Vice President of FINA and has been since 2000; (this is just scratching the surface of what he has accomplished.)

Neuburger's accomplishments in sport related activities run deep at the local, national and international level. Here is an ad hoc resumé at the FINA-Aquatics site that lists his accomplishments and the positions he currently holds.

One notable resumé point that sticks out is, Neuburger's, Director title, for a sports management company called, TSE.

Who is TSE and what do they do: if you read their What We Do section at the TSE website, these notable services stand out:

  • Host City Strategy and Development
  • Sports Performance (Includes: Developing a strategic plan for Games planning and preparation
  • Bid Process Management
  • Event Appraisal
  • Bidding

Above are just some of the items that TSE offers as a service but why does this mean anything and what is the big deal?

There is a press release at the TSE website stating that TSE not only organized the bid for the UAE Swimming Association, but that the UAE Swimming Associatioin won an overwhelming majority in the first round of bidding; (14-out-of 20-votes), defeating other bidders such as Hamburg, Germany and the Moscow, Russia. Counties who obviously feature cooler water for a 10-kilometer marathon swim versus the high-eighties the swimmers were subjected to in Fujairah, Dubai.

The question: Why is it that a Vice President of FINA was allowed to have a company that he holds a Director title within elligible to pursue an economic opportunity that may have been in his best interest to have FINA select?

Were there any conflicts of interest in this winning vote?

Did other members who voted for Dubai feel any undue influence or pressure to vote for the UAE venue versus Hamburg or Moscow since the Vice President of FINA possibly had a dog in the fight?

Can USA Swimming be unbiased since they may have to investigate a relationship of one of their own accomplished members?

I hope the FINA team assembled thoroughly investigate this tragedy which I call an unintentional homicide and release their findings to the family and the public at large.

If you work in the press and you are reading this, please go to the sites and take screen-shots.