Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Ye Shiwen: "Can statistics explain her win?" - The BBC suggests so!

SCAQ swimmer Charlie sent us this. :-D

When the Olympics have come and gone and the US Presidential election is over, people will look back at the London Games as a glorious event that featured lots of remarkable races with all the drama happening on field of play rather than in the stands.

However, the only black mark that will be remembered won't be Mitt Romney questioning London's security but rather the crass statements made by John Leonard that sparked ill feelings toward China and US swimmers. Despite the IOC, FINA, the USOC, and USA Swimming releasing statements distancing themselves from John Leonard, the damage had been done and the US was embarrassed.

In retaliation, Chinese nationals suddenly began pointing fingers at Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky calling each of them dopers - one of the accusers was even a doctor. Subsequently, sixteen-year-old Ledecky had to defend herself in a press conference post a gold medal finish and did Ye Shiwen. Both of them did not deserve that.

In closing, John Leonard made swimming look dirty and it appears he will suffer no consequence for it whatsoever.

BBC News takes a look at Yi Shewen:
The comparison with Lochte just isn't that telling. It's not the first time that Lochte has been slower than a woman over the last leg of that race. In Beijing in 2008 when he won bronze, he was slower than the Italian Alessia Fillipi - by more than half a second - and she only came fifth in her own race.

Lochte simply paced himself over the race very differently to Ye Shiwen. Dr Ross Tucker from the Sports Science Institute at the University of Cape Town warns against reading too much into the comparison with Lochte.

"Lochte didn't swim [the last leg] as fast as some of the other men in that same race. Ye's performance compared to the best men for that leg was maybe not that impressive," he says.

Tucker points out that Rebecca Adlington swam faster than both Lochte and Ye in the final leg of the 800m freestyle at the world championships last year.



Anonymous said...

Sometimes consequences take time. USA Swimming may have made a statement that he isn't an employee, but there is a relationship. The consequences may be to USA Swimming. The granting of governmental body status is not permanent and can be challenged, within 1 year following the Olympics. With the sex abuse scandal and the John Leonard embarrassment, USOC may be willing to make a change if there was an alternative.

Tony Austin said...

US Masters Swimming can't do it hence there is no alternative. :-(

I am going to write a letter to the USOC outlining these failures and request that they at the very least audit this organization.

Anonymous said...


Outside of this blog, this story is already old and forgotten before the Olympics have even finished. I understand that you have a personal vendetta, but everyone else has moved on.

The big story now is this sex scandals and its a story that's not going away any time soon. Apart from the very horrific personal tragedy from these scandals, they have the potential to unravel all the gains that the sport has made during the Phelps era. It's going to be a sad day (and seems to be quickly approaching) when "swim coach" has the same stigma as "catholic priest."

Anonymous said...

Don't you know anybody who wants to be the governing body? Wasn't there someone who was running for president? USOC is a non-profit themselves; it is unlikely USOC has any authority or desire to audit the governing bodies they select. It is in their charter to choose a governing body for each sport. It's not that overwhelming. Most sports have the NGB, and separate organizations for youth sports and professional associations. Swimming is the only sport that tries to lump everything together; or rather allows USA Swimming to control everything. I say that, because it is a much easier undertaking to for a non-profit organization capable of selecting the Olympians and interfacing with FINA, the primary responsibility of the NGB. The new organization does not need to be ready to take over all aspects of swimming.

If the fallout from Leonard's comments lasts long enough, switching NGBs may look appealing to the USOC.

Tony Austin said...

How is story old when the BBC ran this article less than 23-hours ago and the San Jose Mercury News just mentioned him 22-minutes ago?

The big story now is the sex scandals, especially Rick Curl and what USA Swimming did or did not know in 2010.

Tony Austin said...

I am missing something here. USA Swimming is the mandated governing body and they have the designated monopoly on it. There is the YMCA but they are a private entity.

What I would like to see is that USA Swimming grows the sport.

That that they pay their athletes a living wage, ($52,000)

They certify their coaches per the The American National Standards Institute of certification.

(i.e. you separate the educational body from the certifying body so that you have no conflict of interest and/or are paying the teacher to certify you.) Right now John Leonard is part of their mess that they call certification.

I would like to see USA Swimming adopt solid policies to prevent child abuse like the Little League has.

That's all I want I think their executive director is totally in the way of accomplishing those goals. I think John Leonard smells like fish too.

Anonymous said...

If USA Swimming was going to change, it would have done so by now. They are either incapable or unwilling.

Form a new corporation to petition the USOC to be the NGB.

It's simplier than changing USOC.

Normally, in any endeavor, those in power stay in power. But here is a window. The USOC, is presented with an alternative, might switch.

Like everyone else, it's probably wondering how many more sex scandals are out there. And what if the USOC has a choice, but stays with USA Swimming? Are they culpable too.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of angles to look at the issues you have with USA Swimming. Here's something to consider:

One of the few aspects of the USA Swimming business enterprise that the USOC grants exclusively to USA Swimming is selecting the Olympic team. No one is complaining about that.

The club swimming is where the sexual abuse occurs, and you complain about the lack of professional opportunities. But neither of those are the role of the NGB. The marketplace makes determinations about those. And quite frankly, as defective as they are, there's little else going on.

USA Swimming has lots of rules which control and limit the LSCs and clubs. Some rules are designed to "grow the business", some force membership of all swimmers who share a coach or pool time with USA Swimming swimmers. There is a perceived exclusive deal with ASCA, but if you read the rules closely, ASCA membership is explicitly mandated by USA Swimming, although the LSCs tend to mandate it.

These rules push the limits of their non-profit status; based on their business model and even their objectives, its tough to see them as a charity.

USOC has no say in club swimming or professional swimming. Quite frankly, the only financial stipulation is that the NGB must be a non-profit. Maybe USA Swimming should remain the NGB. It's the one thing they do well.

As for club swimming or creating professional swimming league, are people really dissatisfied enough to make a change?

Tony Austin said...

May I make this a post? _ I will run it as is but I do have questions.

surfer said...

its not just a matter of dissatisfaction. People will change because a US Pro Swim League would be better than college or club swimming. Such entity will take over the selection process from USAS as determined by USOC. Seems there are a number of elite teams that would be excellent candidates for buying into the pro league.

Im amazed waterpolo has failed to score big with the American audience, its classically American sport with backtalk, cheap jabs, and plenty of 'flopping'

Anonymous said...

yes, wait a few days. I may have more. When I write this down, and read it a few hours later, I get more ideas. I'm having a conversation with myself in public. Now I'm thinking the LSCs contribute to the club swimming problem. But no-one's addressed this, so I should shut up for a day or two and try to express what will be new ideas to the swimming community.