Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yahoo Sports: Natalie Coughlin frustrated that Olympic Trials are held too late in the year.

Coughlin's reasons are related toward athletic performance and focus. I could not agree more but there is also that little detail known as drug testing and athlete selection.

In 2008 USA Swimming held trials so close to the Olympics; (as they usually do), that when Jessica Hardy tested positive for a banned substance both Lara Jackson and Tara Kirk were not allowed to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympics despite racing clean for there was too little time to sort out an appeal, a clarification and most especially the politics... Lara Jackson and Tara Kirk were essentially robbed of a lifelong dream they both earned. [Link]

From Yahoo Sports:
Coughlin, who earned six swimming medals at the 2008 Olympic Games, acknowledges that there are arguments for and against holding Olympic trials earlier. She just doesn't necessarily agree with all of those arguments, she said.

For instance, the end of the college swimming season could interfere with trials, and some coaches believe that allowing swimmers to qualify for the Olympic team too early makes swimmers complacent.



TedBaker said...

Every other nation holds their Trials in March & April. USA Swimming's policy of holding their Trials in June really puts US athletes at a disadvantage.

it is so tough to make the US team that, for most of the athletes, their training cycle is tuned to peaking for Trials, not the Games. Some athletes - Phelps in 2008 is an example - can swim through the Trials but most can't. The net result is they ended up trying to hold their taper for 3 or 4 weeks. That's real tough to do.

Earlier Trials would allow - does allow - those athletes that make the team to go back after Trials and put in another hard block of training and then taper. Easier to manage and it makes more sense physiologically.

Plus, Trials are such an emotionally draining experience. They are "The Hunger Games". Top two or die. The pressure is nerve cracking. Having Trials earlier would give the athletes a chance to mentally recover, too.

The above is, obviously, in addition to your well made points regarding the fiasco last time around surrounding Jessica Hardy's positive test.

Anonymous said...

This is really sad about Lara Jackson and Tara Kirk!

I just read the decision by the American Arbitration Association regarding Kirk and USA Swimming.

"Though not technically a party, Rebecca Soni is an interested person and was granted the right to interpose her objections to the injuctive relief sought by Kirk at this expedited hearing".

What a B**** Rebecca Soni is! I had no idea. A prime example of spoiled brats who don't give a rats ass about anybody else.

It seems like USA Swimming is spearheading a culture who believes that it is the norm to get ahead by screwing others!!!

I've just lost all respect for Soni.

Tony Austin said...

I don't know anything about this testimony.

How can a non-interested party interpose objections? Why was that allowed? Please educate me or send the decision made by the American Arbitration Association

I think the culture USA Swimming is cultivating is that you get ahead by making USA Swimming and the execs look good above all else even if that means you fatally fall on you own sword.

Anonymous said...

Google: Re: 77 190 00305 08 JENF

The second article is the one I am referring to (US Swimming,Inc., memorializing such oral decision provided to..).

Tony Austin said...

Oh my God I just read it. My first reaction was why would she bother to do that when she had no standing?

Why? Was Tara Kirk a threat to her?

Tony Austin said...

I am going to publish this!

Tony Austin said...

I posted the Soni/Kirk arbitration. After I read the post it looks like Soni wanted to swim the 100 breast and keep Kirk out of that event. I really don't know but Soni did not qualify for it originally but she got to swim it.