Saturday, May 31, 2014

19-victims of coaching sexual abuse urging swim community to sign a petition to STOP Chuck Wielgus’ induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame!

Chuck Wielgus had a chance to apologize to molestations victims on national television but adamantly refused.

The show was a news documentary on ABC called 20/20. I helped put that show on the air and was later thanked by the producer who won an award for it. Watch it here and watch Wielgus' arrogant attitude: [Link]

One has to ask why did he not apologize?

A swimmer I befriended and I will not name this person sent an email directly to Wielgus complaining of a traumatic abuse event and practically demanded thatUSA Swimming investigate. Read his response in the email to a Mr. C. Benton - It's pathetic and his actions were a deliberate purposeful act...

Only now has he admitted "he made mistakes" (he never mentioned that several victims from the hands of just one coach have suffered as a result of the Wielgus mistakes nor has he reached out to the victims). Subsequently he has proffered an anemic apology in writing only after a grassroots rose up to have him banned from the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

But even after this apology one has to ask him if he should also apologize for hiring lobbyists for killing California Senate Bill 131 that would have allowed victims molestations victims at the hands of Catholic Priests and USA Swimming coaches the right to sue. The purpose of the bill:

"... This legislation would provide a one-year revival window from 2014-14 for certain victims who were previously barred [due to a legislative error] the right to seek justice for the abuse they suffered as children. ..."

Now, I am making a new plea, not to a television producer but to you the swimming public, please sign this petition demanding that Chuck Wielgus have his induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame revoked immediately.

I am begging every international swimmer, every parent with a child involved in this sport, to send a message to the International Swimming Hall of Fame that those who protect pedophiles or hire lobbyists to kill bills before congress and local state governments to prevent lawsuits against pedophiles be banned from our Hall of Fame.

Here are some facts:

Sign the petition here:  [Sign this petition NOW - Like right now!]

"... We are 19 victims of coaching sexual abuse and 29 stalwarts of the swimming community that have protested Chuck Wielgus’ induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame for his failure to protect swimmers from sexual abuse. See the materials submitted here: [Link]

Chuck Wielgus has been the Executive Director of USA Swimming for 17 years, earning $908,432.00 in 2012, yet he has not shown leadership in combating sexual abuse in the sport of swimming for most of that time. As of May 1, 2014, more than 100 USA Swimming coaches have been banned for life, making this one of the worst sexual abuse scandals in the US Olympics sports world. But Wielgus isn’t inspiring a protest merely because he was at the helm. Instead, the protest is about Wielgus’ failure to protect swimmers from coaches with well-known, long histories of sexual abuse. Not until Wielgus was pressured by the United States Congress, by heart-breaking media stories on the unrelenting parade of victims, by lawsuits, and by new United States Olympic Committee (USOC) rules, did USA Swimming start to protect victims. It does not take leadership to move an organization under that type of scrutiny; it requires leadership to avoid it.

The Swimming Hall of Fame had indicated that their board didn’t have materials to consider the issue. The link above includes the meticulously-prepared materials in support of the board's decision to rescind.

To support us, we are asking for your signature to send a message to the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) to rescind Chuck Wielgus’ induction into the upcoming June 13, 2014 induction to its Hall of Fame. In addition, please share this petition with your friends and teammates. Tweet: #funnestsport ..."

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


A profound investment. Forward thinking or did they purchase a white elephant?

Quick thought and I will write more later: The Olympics is a cold war relic appreciated mostly by people over 45-years-old. The ratings for the Sochi Games were lower than the London Games and 12% lower than Vancouver. NBC officials have argued that the Sochi Games ratings were higher than the Turin Games and that it was the Lindsay Vaughn and Shawn White's injuries that hurt the overall US ratings. (In my house we were rooting against Shawn White. We don't buy his "nice-guy-surfer" act.)

So why did NBCU book these games for another 18-years?

Entertainment companies are now looking at content like an investor looks at real estate. You lose or break even up front but you have an asset that pays-and-pays well into the future. Within ten-years form now, the DVD will either be dead or nearly dead. Entertainment giants have decided that they do not want the consumer to own content but rather rent it via streaming or cable. Hence, the company who has the most content and owns the internet or cable pipes to deliver it, WINS!

Hence, owning nearly a century of Olympic games will pay back the over cost of licensing the Olympic content much like the state of Alaska paid for itself after Thomas Jefferson when the United States reached an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for a price of $7.2 million. The Treaty with Russia was negotiated and signed by Secretary of State William Seward.

Press release:

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today awarded NBCUniversal (NBCU) the broadcast rights in the USA for the Olympic Games through to 2032.

NBCU has acquired the broadcast rights across all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile. The agreement from 2021 to 2032 is valued at USD 7.65 billion, plus an additional USD 100 million signing bonus to be used for the promotion of Olympism and the Olympic values between 2015 and 2020.

The agreement is a major contribution to the long-term financial stability of the entire Olympic Movement. The IOC distributes more than 90 per cent of the revenue it generates to support the International Sports Federations; the 204 National Olympic Committees and their Olympic teams; and the Organising Committees of each Olympic Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach, who led the negotiations, said: “This agreement is excellent news for the entire Olympic Movement as it helps to ensure its financial security in the long term, in particular future host cities of the Olympic Games, the athletes of the 204 National Olympic Committees and the International Sports Federations. The IOC has worked in close partnership with NBC for many decades, and we are thrilled we will continue to work with them through to 2032. NBC’s expertise in sports broadcasting, as well as their passion for the Olympic values, will mean we shall be able continue to offer first-class broadcast coverage of the Olympic Games to the widest possible American audience for many years to come.”

Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation said: “The Olympics are the world’s greatest cultural and athletic event, and presenting them to the American audience is an honour and privilege for our entire company. Our long-term commitment to and investment in the Olympic Movement are a reflection of our belief in the future of broadcast television, as well as our confidence that our partners at the IOC will continue to deliver great Games and that the Olympics will remain the world’s premier sports event. All of us at Comcast NBCUniversal are extremely proud that we have been entrusted to be the U.S. home for nine more Olympics, and we look forward to using all of our resources to continue our tradition of ground-breaking Olympic coverage.”

Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal, said: “This is one of the most important days in the history of NBCUniversal. The Olympics are part of the fabric of our company, and we couldn’t be more excited that today’s announcement guarantees that this massively popular and profitable programming will continue to air every two years on the broadcast, cable, digital and mobile platforms of NBCUniversal for the next two decades. No event brings families together like the Olympics, and no-one in media is more accomplished or better equipped to tell the athletes’ stories than NBC Sports. I want to thank the IOC for their faith in us, as well as Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel, whose leadership was invaluable in bringing this deal to fruition.”

NBCU, which in 2011 had acquired the right to broadcast the Olympic Games until 2020 (including the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016, the XXIII Olympic Winter Games (2018) in PyeongChang, and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad (2020) in Tokyo), will now broadcast every Olympic Games through to 2032, the host cities of which are yet to be elected. In addition, NBCU also has acquired the broadcast rights for every edition of the Youth Olympic Games through to 2032.

By 2032, NBCU will have covered a total of 23 editions of the Olympic Games, since its first Games broadcast in Tokyo in 1964. This unprecedented long-term agreement demonstrates the confidence the IOC has in NBCU’s expertise and the excellent broadcast coverage it has delivered over many years.