This act of greed, non-responsibility, and pride infuriated many but when the International Swimming Hall of Fame in an act of sheer impropriety decided to induct Wielgus into there "hallowed hall" this was the tipping point. Attorney Robert Allard working pro bono created a "posse" of sorts and set up a petition to have Wielgus' name withdrawn. In just a few short days he withdrew his name.
Why did he capitulate so fast, was it Nancy Hogshead smooth negotiation style, Donna de Varona's charisma? No, more likely Wielgus realized that the "Zeitgeist is a-changing." We have President Obama making speeches about college campus rape and statistics all over the headlines stating that around 1-in-5 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.
Wielgus' child protection resumé on this subject are not pretty. They include a cover-up, lobbyists denying a victims' rights bill, his refusal to apologize for doing a lousy job till he was finally challenged by a petition.
One of the 19-victims named, Jancy Thompson, was asked the following question in the Orlando Sentinel and in a honest and penetrating voice she stated the following:
"...The United States Olympic Committee plans to establish an "independent agency" to investigate and rule on sexual-abuse cases involving its governing bodies of Olympic sports.
La-di-da. Not enough.
"I think that's crap," said Jancy Thompson. "It's just bull-[bleep]."
Please forgive Ms. Thompson if she sounds a tad upset. You may be too if, as Thompson alleged, your swimming coach molested you and forced you to wear a dog collar with a leash attached to it as penance for not performing up to par.
Thompson says that happened when she was 15. Now 32, she still bears the scars of abuse and humiliation, as she tries to put her life back together with once-a-week therapy sessions and a legal scrum that has gone on for four years. ..."
[Link]I wonder? I bet the money Wielgus spent on lobbyists would have paid for a lot of therapy for Jancy and others.
I would like to organize a team (a posse) to bring the National Organization of Women into this issue and demand Wielgus resign and get USA Swimming reformed. I will keep you posted.