Friday, January 21, 2011

I am looking at USA Swimming's 2009 USAS 990 Public Disclosure documents!

I am not well versed in the dark arts of tax forms but by simply "glazing" through 45-pages of the the USAS 990 Public Disclosure document one could not help but notice some very, large, hairy, warts staring back.

According to the USAS 990 Public Disclosure document that was sent to me, CEO Chuck Wielgus of USA Swimming now makes $731,581 a year which is way up from his $636,651 paycheck from the previous year.

Did any of you get a 13% raise this year? Note, this is during a year when the San Jose sex abuse scandal broke in April of 2009 and the two hostile documentaries aired on national TV branding our sport a haven for pedophiles in 2010.

I suppose trying to get by on $12,000 a week was just simply too unkind, Hence, USA Swimming in their "grand display of benevolence" now pay him $14,000 a week or $350-an-hour if he works a 40-hour week. What he makes in an 8-hour day at this "non-profit" is what an average American makes in an entire week month.

Another disgusting aspect of this filing is that USA Swimming spent $1.3-million on lawyers trying to "metaphorically" beat up a 14-year-old girl who is suing them over the San Jose sex abuse case. Perhaps a 1-million dollar settlement would have been a better use of capital reserves rather then trying to crush the victim? Where is the Board of Directors on this? What are they, "Yes-Men?"

Now, ask yourself this, how much of USA Swimming's money is actually put into the subject of their non profit? i.e. How much of that money goes into producing Olympians and growing the sport of swimming. I need an accountant to help me figure it out but USA Swimming sure looks really good at collecting money.

From what I am seeing in my perfunctory read through the document, there is no reason why USA Swimming can't be paying our national team members $100,000 a year each, or more accurately, less than 20% of their annual budget so as to both grow the sport and make swimming more popular.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Awesome pools in and around New York City!

The New York Times has a profile on luscious pools and health clubs within the city: [Link]

Ok, raise your hands, how many of you did this as boys growing up?

We males are deeply aware of spatial relationships and are utterly infatuated with trajectory consciousness. (i.e. Baseball, basketball, football, soccer, golf, cricket, etc. etc.) Look at how much we pay those males that are good at it from David Beckham to Tiger Woods.

Here is a link to a series of photos of Eamon Sullivan doing what every boy who has ever had access to a pool has done every summer.

From the Sydney Morning Herald: [Link]

Geoff Huegill Article: "Fire up Thorpie, says Skippy"

There they are, Ian Thorpe and Geoff Huegill at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Google Analytics
tells me that Geoff Huegill was my most searched for swimmer to this blog and each week he remains in the top ten. Mostly visitors like to read how far he had fallen and then how hard to worked to come back. I spoke with his rep by email some months ago and he confirmed that Geoff is motivated, inspired, and in the game.

Now, Geoff Huegill tells the Brisbane Times that he wants to see wants to Ian Thorpe on an Australian relay team with him in the London 2012 Games.

WOW! I hate to say this but I would be rooting for that team because even though I am an American, I am a sucker for sincere comeback stories.

Here are some quotes which includes some polite trash talk towards Michael Phelps.

From the Brisbane Times:

"Absolutely. I hope I have ignited a fire in his (Thorpe's) belly," the champion butterflier told AAP.

"Hopefully he will swim on and want to be a relay swimmer (at London)."

Thorpe has been spotted training in Sydney and been in close contact with national head coach Leigh Nugent in recent months, adding to speculation he may return after his 2006 retirement.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

AAARGH! More Excuses from Phelps as he qualifies his win at the Austin Grand Prix!

Michael, you won- sincere congratulations! You even beat Ryan Lochte; (Who I think just called me a "hater" on Twitter? "Jeah!")

Michael, talent oozes off you like hot fudge off a Sunday but please stop qualifying your wins with more rhetoric about how unprepared you are. We have heard it before. Accept your win, smile, and be gracious. People paid to see you. Stating that you go to meets unprepared is like throwing a wet towel on the result.

Once again, you beat Ryan Lochte the best swimmer circa 2010. No more of this: "I am not really in shape..." rhetoric. Show up, dominate, accept the win and stay in the pool 500-more-days and strike both fear and awe into everyone who swims against you.

From AP:

"... AUSTIN, Texas — Michael Phelps won the 100m backstroke at the Austin Grand Prix, but the 14-time Olympic gold medallist said his winning time showed he has plenty of work to do. ..."

"I would really like to work on being able to finish a race better. My legs were in a lot of pain. That's just lack of being in shape. I would like to feel a lot less (fatigue) than what I am, just because it's close to the world championships and we're heading into an Olympic trial year."

An underwater photography gallery featuring 65-photos!

Beneath the surface: That place where things seemingly move in slow motion, where gravity is suspended and dark scary, creatures reside. Here is a link to a underwater photo gallery at Designer Terminal featuring 65-images to marvel at.


The London Aquatics Centre Webcam dsisplays significant progress made so far!

The London Aquatics center is starting to beef up a bit. The roof looks finished, The stands are now being created and how about all that scaffolding within the center itself? I do believe that this will be a beautiful facility and I hope they make the surrounding environment just as aesthetic.

Here is a link to the London Aquatics Center webcam: [Link]

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ryan Lochte - Quit being a jackass!

Memo to Ryan Lochte: Quit bragging about how wealthy you are, how much money you spend, and how fast you or a possible friend has driven you in their ridiculously expensive car.

From Universal Sports:

On Wednesday, Lochte posted a tweet saying

"...Just cruisin down the road... Wit my
boi @rexgator44 !! Ya dig!! Jeah!!!"

With a photo attached of a speedometer. A zoomed-in portion of that photo can be seen at above right, with the operative number being 166 -- as in 166 mph...

Lochte, it is time you grow up or at the very least pretend in public that you have so as to instill a sense of confidence that you are both reliable and literate.

Note: You are a brand, a potential Olympic asset for the United States and a role model. Currently your tweets make you look and sound like you're Paris Hilton's spoiled little brother who affects an urban dialect so as to sound "street."

Your tweets give the appearance that your maturity sudden froze at 14-years-old; probably around the same time you started to illustrate that sublime talent of yours. Move on!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Joel's random stuff: "USA Swimming Launches New Logo Branding"

Granted, this satire is a bit crass and over the top but it should serve as a serious warning to USA Swimming that they take both rumors and complaints seriously and that includes whatever happened with the Fullerton Aquatics Swim Team (FAST).


Friday, January 07, 2011

"Polar Bear Swim" - 14-million-year-old lake with oxygen 50-times greater than normal could eventually be unleashed unto a barren land!

The ultimate "polar bar swim" could be in play for a Russian drill bit is about to make contact with a submerged Antarctic lake shut off from mankind and the rest of the planet for the past 14-million years.

The Russians are only going to sample the water therein ; (The lake is in a fluid state right now).

This is not oil we are talking about but rather kick-ass water that has hyper-oxygenated content. The Antarctic is the driest place on earth. Maybe the place could use a few plants? Maybe we genetically engineer a few that can survive a winter, grow, and swallow up some of the carbon dioxide if or when the planet heats up and could use a massively large forest to cool us off.

Oh, and then we add some wholly mammoths too, along with some dire wolves. We lose the saber tooth tigers they were a bunch of pricks and they all viewed us as cat food anyway! We will make the place Los Angeles circa 10,000 years ago!

Call it "earth hacking" - From New Scientist:

From New Scientist:

Lake Vostok, which has been sealed off from the world for 14 million years, is about to be penetrated by a Russian drill bit.

The lake, which lies four kilometres below the icy surface of Antarctica, is unique in that it's been completely isolated from the other 150 subglacial lakes on the continent for such a long time. It's also oligotropic, meaning that it's supersaturated with oxygen -- levels of the element are 50 times higher than those found in most typical freshwater lakes.

The Washington Post absolutely stands by it's Sean Hutchison resignation piece!

With this absolute endorsement from the Washington Post, "the sharks now smell blood in the water." It is never a good idea to state that a reputable paper, a paper that broke the Watergate Scandal posted rumors.

On December 29th, Amy Shipley of the Washington Post wrote an article complete with names and quotes stating that Sean Hutchinson had resigned from his coaching position at the Fullerton Aquatics Swim Team (FAST) after being confronted regarding rumors of a swimmer/coach romantic relationship, a concept forbidden by USA Swimming despite participants being adults: [Link]

Soon after USA Today followed up with their own story which pretty much collaborated what the Washington Post had written but included even more quotations by Bill Jewell.

Then on January 6th, Swimming world posted that the Washington Post Story was innaccurate in that Sean Hutchison did not resign and everything was all good.

I wrote the Washington Post for either an endorsement and/or a clarification and The Washington Post responded quickly and aggressively making it extraordinarily clear they meant every word.

Here is a snippet from the letter I received:

"... Of course we stand by our original story. Both parties told us in plain language they were going separate ways. There was no confusion about this. I believe the quotes we used were quite plain. ..."

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Sean Hutchinson is either "unresigned" or never resigned from FAST (Fullerton Aquatics Swim Team)

The Washington Post is a reputable newspaper and Amy Shipley is a reputable writer; likewise with USA Today. Yet reports this evening from Swimming World report that Sean Hutchison has NOT resigned from the FAST Aquatics Club and the subsequent reports in those two reputable papers mentioned above were simply rumors:

From Lane 9 News:
After a short holiday break, Hutchinson resumed coaching the elite swimmers associated with the USOC-funded program that is channeled through USA Swimming as a program hosted by Fullerton Aquatic Swim Team (FAST). [...]

Bill Jewell, CEO and head coach of FAST told Swimming World that "He (Hutchison) did not resign. He was not fired. I do not know who started those rumors nor how it got into the press. Sean did communicate a plan to move on at some point and I support that 100 percent. That is the current plan we are working under."


Both papers had quotes from Bill Jewel stating that Sean Hutchison resigned. Both papers included detailed quotes:

From the Washington Post:

"... He is going his own way," Jewell said. "I'm just not comfortable with some of the rumors, and I addressed them with him. Basically, the rest is pretty much private and personal and I don't want to get into it."

Jewell also said: "I didn't ask him to leave. I asked him to solve this problem. . . . I'm being proactive. . . . Sean has always been an entrepreneurial guy; I suspect this is really what this is about. "


From USA Today:
"...I brought these issues to Sean's attention, and Sean denied these things," Jewell said. "I, in turn, was relieved with his denial. But still, I'm a guy running this club and I've got rumors flying around out there. I've got parents saying, 'Is my child safe in your place?' I have to address these kind of issues." ..."

I find it hard to believe that both USA Today and The Washington Post would make up ad hoc quotes and put them into their papers with Bill Jewell's named attached to them. Both papers make it clear that these were Jewell's quotes. Where did they get them?

Did some anonymous source claim they overheard all of this or did Bill Jewell wake up with a "horse's head" in his bed?

Photo above: Tyler Clary wearing a FAST cap at the TYR Swim Meet of Champions.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Michael Phelps has a swim school - Personally, I think it should be called the Bob Bowman Swim School!

From Marketwire:
The Michael Phelps Swim School Is Coming to Greenwich, CT

GREENWICH, CT--(Marketwire - January 5, 2011) - The Michael Phelps Swim School is coming to Greenwich, CT. The methods and techniques taught to the world's greatest Olympic swimmer are now available for swimmers of all ability levels, ages 3-12. Classes will be held Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings at Greenwich Catholic School beginning January 15. Enrollment for classes is now open.

"Our school offers lessons from teachers trained in a comprehensive method of instruction developed over the last 30 years," said Michael Phelps Swim School CEO and Olympic coach, Bob Bowman. "Michael Phelps learned to swim in this program."

Students will not only receive swim instruction based on the motor skills of swimming (kicking, stroking, and rhythmic breathing), but also the mental preparation to understand the properties of water, in order to be better prepared to swim. Participants will learn personal safety, stroke technique, and rescue skills, as well as the mechanics of floating, how to achieve balance in the water, proper body positioning and optimal breathing practices.

"This school offers the finest lessons available. The combination of teaching physical and mental concepts has made our program a success for nearly 30 years and ensures each participant has the opportunity to become safe, comfortable, and confident in, and around, the water," says James Barone, General Manager, Michael Phelps Swim School, Greenwich, CT. "But it's not all work. We've taken our time in selecting the most competent instructors, who we then train to introduce these concepts in fun and imaginative ways."

About the Michael Phelps Swim School

The Michael Phelps Swim School is based in Baltimore, MD. The school boasts a learn to swim program geared toward all ages and abilities. Lessons from the Michael Phelps Swim School are the first step in a lifetime of aquatic safety and fitness. For more information on registration, please visit: [Link]

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Will Laure Manaudou's former coach Philippe Lucas coach Federica Pellegrini?

The first video is Laure Manaudou in Athens 2004. Isn't her two beat kick so very symmetrical and her bend-at-the-elbow catch so thoroughly boss?

The second video is Federica Pellegrini at 2009 World Championships in Italy. Note the stall in her kick when she breathes. Note how long her reach is?

Dana Volmer is next to her and she kicks throughout the race. Could these two girls be faster if they had a six beat kick or is this laconic use of their kick keeping them more oxygenated for the back half?

Technique-wise I have to give it Manadou but technique dies not matter when you hold the WR!

French coach, Phillipe Lucas, the coach who helped Laure Manaudou reach her full potential has reportedly been approached by "masterless samurai," Federica Pellegrini, to make her even greater.

This is large!

From Le' Equipe with a Google translation:

"...And among the contenders: Philippe Lucas . La Gazzetta dello Sport revealed that the coach of Amaury Leveaux and Benjamin Stasilius would swell the ranks of potential coaches of former rival Laure Manaudou. (To be read in Team Friday) ..."

In a undisclosed location; (Auburn University with Brett Hawke), Laure Manaudou is in training with Batman. Let's see who wins, shall we?

Monday, January 03, 2011

I am going to be reviewing 'blueseventy warmups' next week - Here are my first impressions!

I received two pairs, a womens pair and and mens pair. I gave the womens pair to Diane to "beta test" and she went on long walk in 42-degree weather just before a storm was about to roll in. She called me later and said, "I am not giving you these back, thanks for the Christmas present!" So it looks like I am buying them.

When I put on the hoodie, I was stoked, no wind sneaking in yet it felt breathable. I wore the sweats for only a short time and I am thoroughly impress as to how light they feel and how warm you stay. It was then that I realized what blueseventy is really best at and it is so obvious too yet you never see it in their branding message: Their stuff keeps you warm and comfortable.

Even when they made real techsuits instead of jammers, the suits kept you warm in between swims. I remember Joel telling me that when I was freezing at UCLA Masters meet wearing a textile techsuit while he looked composed. (That is a photo of Joel at the top of this post. Note the timers wearing sweaters and vests.)

When I finally got a blueseventy nero comp, I remember feeling warm and relaxed during a breezy meet in Long Beach between heats. Function is senior to form when it comes to comfort and blueseventy is good at both so far.

'New York Times' Blog 'Freakonomics' intrigue by the dark arts of setting up a Masters 400 IM relay!

Dan Hamermesh, a professor of economics at the University of Texas in Austin submits a post in the Freaknomics Blog at the New York Times regarding masters swimming. He seems befuddled or amazed how masters swimmers can game a 400 IM relay with age group mixes and individual times based on age.

I can't quote very much of the post since I would reveal the heart of the article which could be a copyright problem; (I am not sure). Instead, here is one sentence where he notes some complexity:

"... The programming problem becomes even more complex because each swimmer’s time slows at a different rate in different events. ..."


Above are SCAQ members Dan and Chris who swim in two different age groups but swim numerous IM relays together.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

One "Polar Bear" to rule them all - Rob Dumochel of Rob Aquatics!

Blogger, Rob Dumouchel, of swims and completes an Avila Beach, Pier-to-Pier, swim at Pismo Beach without a wetsuit in middle 50-degree water.

This was an epic test of endurance and ability. Hypothermia charts predict exhaustion or unconsciousness can take only one-to-two hours, expected time of survival is 1-6 hours. Rob completed the marathon swim in about 4-hours.

Could this become a premier "polar bear event?"

More 'Polar Bear Swim' photos starting to roll in!

Long Lake near Lacy, Washington: Air temp 30, water temp 35-degrees. Well, at least the water was warmer than the air but in my opinion those temps sounds more like lousy ice skating weather than a suitable swim.


Polar Bears Toronto at a place called Ashbridge's Bay. If a Polar Bear Swim takes place in Canada on the first of January, you know the temperature is obscene. Several photos and a slide show too.


Atlantic City Polar Bear frolicking in 50-degree air and water hovering around a toasty 37-degrees.


Saturday, January 01, 2011

Polar Bear Swims 2011 - mixing madness with the bliss to bring in the new year.

Welcome to Harding Bay, Nova Scotia: "200-jumpers" took the leap but look at the faces on the gentleman above. They seemingly appear to suddenly realize what they are about to commit to.


Luckily there was any not ice to break through at Charlottetown harbor, located somewhere in the UK where it snows. (Wait, it now snows everywhere there.) At the Charlottetown event. 100-people sprinted into the drink and some went in for a second dunk. My personal DNA prevents me from such frivolity and I draw the line at 65-degrees ABOVE zero without a wetsuit.


20-minutes north of me, at Hansen Dam, a small group of people braved 68-degree air temps and decided to take a dip into some 45-degree chlorinated water. OH! the humanity!


More tomorrow qwhen the photos come in.Welcome to Coney, Island, New York - Lovin' that that FINA approved tech suit! - This quote says it all: "..."I don't know of any definitive medical studies that have been done to measure the health benefits of cold-water swimming," Dr. Alan Steinman, one of the country's foremost experts on hypothermia and cold-water survival told "

He finishes up saying that for some a quick plunge into ridiculously cold water can KILL YOU and that you should enter the water slowly and gracefully. For me that means I put my feet into the water in early June and then fully submerged by July.


More Polar Bear swims tomorrow once more photos are posted.

'Rio 2016' logo revealed and the only thing nice I can say about is that it is nicer than the 'London 2012' logo.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games logo looks like a hospital or health care logo rather than resonating anything remotely connected to sports or Brazil.

If the London logo gets an "F", this one gets a low "D"