Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The USOC to create an independent agency to investigate sexual abuse! One victim stated: "I think that's crap," said Jancy Thompson. "It's just bull-[bleep]."

Remember when USA Swimming hired all those lobbyist to defeat a Senate bill in California that would have fixed a clerical error which would have given victims of sexual abuse an extra year to seek recompense for being abused at the hands of coaches or the Catholic Church? Lobbyists paid for by USA Swimming killed it so justice could not be served and their golden wallets protected. Here are some blog post covering the subject:  [Link]

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 Attorney Robert Allard working pro bono created a "posse" of sorts and set up a petition to have Wielgus' name withdrawn.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.



Thursday, June 05, 2014

CBS12 News: Possible indictment for Chuck Wielgus?

The newscaster as plain as day says the word indictment with the words "indictment possible" appearing in the lower third of the screen.

Typo or reality?

This link has the story and the video: [Link]

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Swimsuit company Calavera will show their support for young women, by launching a limited edition tattoo print collection


Here is a press release from our friend Stephanie: Swimsuit company Calavera will show their support for young women, by launching a limited edition tattoo print collection - designed by renowned artist Kim Saigh of television show LA Ink. 50% of the profits will got to the The Keep and Breast Foundation,


Here it is in it's entirety:
It's all about bikinis and boobies...and it's my great pleasure to announce the launch of CalaveraX Kim Saigh X The Keep A Breast Foundation limited edition suit launch, supporting breast cancer research and awareness.  
From today onward, surf inspired swimwear label Calavera will show their support for young women, by launching a limited edition tattoo print collection - designed by renowned artist Kim Saigh of television show LA Ink. For each suit sold, 50% of proceeds will be donated to The Keep and Breast Foundation, and their aim of raising substantial funds to support the foundation's educational recourses and work in the community.  
Two styles of the limited edition print (see images here)will be available for sale online via theUrban Outfitter’s fitness and outdoor apparel division,  Without Walls (withoutwalls.com) and the Calavera website (calaveraswimwear.com). To launch the collection,  Calavera will host a cocktail event and film screening at creative design agency space, Nouvelle Vague (701 Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA) on Tuesday, June 3rd, from 6pm to 8pm. 
The campaign focuses on the concept that "every woman’s body is a work of art", and to relay that idea, Calavera has created a short video filmed by renowned photographer Alberto Guglielmi portraying the story behind the limited edition tulip print. [ The video is worth a look - T.A.] Our hope is that the video will truly reflect the beauty, strength and power that women possess, both in general and with respect to dealing with cancer. Please feel free to share with video with your audiences.  

Monday, June 02, 2014

Orlando Sentinel weighs in on the stupidity of admitting Chuck Wielgus in the International Swimming Hall of Fame

Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming, Lies to ESPN from evasquez on Vimeo.



Above is a letter from Chuck Wielgus telling a colleague via his USA Swimming email account to keep quiet about a sexual abuse complaint sent directly to Wielgus demanding that Coach Andrew King be investigated for abusing young girls such as herself. USA Swimming refused to do so, the "coach" went on to abuse other young girls before getting caught and sent to prison for life. 

Olympian Nancy Hogshead's petition along with 19-other-victims of sexual molestation has exceeded over 500-signatures since May 29th. This petition seeks to bar Chuck Wilegus from being inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. The petition is located here at Change.org - By signing it you will make a difference, a statement, an a blow to coach on athlete pedophilia. Sign it now!: [Link]

From George Diaz and the Orlando Sentinel:
"...No one is accusing Wielgus of sexual abuse. But they are adamant that he is an enabler. It's a story that resonates with the same themes as the Penn State scandal and the recurring nightmare of predatory priests coddled by the Catholic Church:

Those in position of power at USA Swimming did nothing to protect the victims nor stop the abuse. Instead, they failed to responded properly when allegations came to light, and protected the abusers with confidential settlements, weak background checks or re-assignments.

The USA Swimming Board of Directors refutes the claims of the petition, going on the defensive in much the same way it did in 2010 when an ABC News "20/20" investigation found that coaches had molested, fondled and abused dozens of young swimmers.

That report also included a speech that Wielgus gave to coaches in 2009, secretly taped, in which he says of abuse allegations against coaches: "This happens almost every week. ... One of my greatest fears is that someone is going to start linking all this together."

Your fears are confirmed, Mr. Wielgus. Good luck trying to explain it all away. ..." 
[Link]

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 ..."






Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

IOC AWARDS OLYMPIC GAMES BROADCAST RIGHTS TO NBC/UNIVERSAL THROUGH TO 2032

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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

TED Talk: More on Sue Austin's Deep sea diving wheelchair - Extended footage and she explains what inspired her to make this happen.



When Sue received her wheelchair, she noticed that people on the street could hardly look at her yet she felt emancipated. This social phobia or distress of the chair inspired her to and start doing fun things with it that involved art and otherwise.

Later inspiration struck again and she decided to combine scuba-diving with her wheelchair to take it to a whole new level. So back to the lab she went it and took it to the pool first for R&D work and "modded" it as needed so she could become a scuba diver. When completed she called the chair her "Portal." I think you know why?

 There is more underwater footage of the dive as well and it is very relaxing to watch.

A very inspiring woman.

Here is the description of the video from YouTube:
Published on Jan 8, 2013: When Sue Austin got a power chair 16 years ago, she felt a tremendous sense of freedom -- yet others looked at her as though she had lost something. In her art, she aims to convey the spirit of wonder she feels wheeling through the world. Includes thrilling footage of an underwater wheelchair that lets her explore ocean beds, drifting through schools of fish, floating free in 360 degrees. (Filmed at TEDxWomen.)

International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice president says Rio 2016 preps are 'worst' ever


It was early October in 2009 when the President of the United States, Barrack Obama, got on board Air Force One and flew to Copenhagen so as to lobby the IOC in awarding the 2016 Olympic Games to his home town of Chicago. Never in the history of the games had a US President personally lobbied on behalf of an Olympic candidate city but his efforts were all for naught. The Olympic Games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro instead.

Most press outlets decried that the real reason Chicago lost was due to the intense acrimony the IOC had towards the USOC executives. (Yes, it is always abut the money with these guys). Apparently the USOC wanted to build an Olympic cable network and the IOC was not fond of having them do such a thing. But alas here they are, the IOC selected the wrong city, or "bought a lemon" so to speak and now and now they are going through the cathartic process know as buyers remorse.

And now, the "glorious summer" of the 2016 Games has become nothing short of a "winter of discontent" according to Vice President John Coates of the IOC:
"... Coates describing the Rio preparations as "the worst I have experienced" [...] He added that the host city Rio de Janeiro also had "social issues that need to be addressed".

The first Games on the South American continent have been plagued by delays, rising costs and bad communication between different levels of the Brazilian government and organisers, prompting criticism from international sports federations.

Brazil has been under the spotlight for the far more immediate concern of the football World Cup starting in June. Amid problems with stadium construction, labour unrest and security in other parts of the country, thousands of troops occupied Rio's slums in February to wrest them back from the control of drug gangs and criminals. ..."

[Link]
Notable phrases:
•  Social issues that need to be addressed: (Read as the public there is poor and wants the money spent elsewhere.) 
•  Plagued by delays: (Read as infrastructure and supply chain problems) 
•  Bad communication between different levels of the Brazilian government and organizers: (Read as Rio has over-promised and is under delivering.)  
•  Thousands of troops to wrest back control from drug gangs: (Read as the police were not skilled enough so they were forced to bring in the army.)
The Next Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo in 2020, a country that would better off spending any extra penny they can find in cleaning up what is arguably the biggest nuclear power disaster in history, Fukushima.

Mr John Coates, admit it. You should have picked Chicago, hmmm? Perhaps the IOC better move to a "Plan B" for both Rio and Tokyo?


Monday, April 28, 2014

Sue Austin "swims" in and around a coral reef in her underwater wheelchair - the director's cut



Sue Austin, after losing her ability to walk, decided to make her wheelchair into something more! With careful planning and engineering (like something Batman Batgirl would do) she turned her wheelchair into a vehicle that "flies" though the water with transparent wings and propeller jets giving her absolute freedom to participate in scuba diving adventures.

No Geoff, NOOOO! - Olympic swimmer Geoff Huegill and his wife allegedly found carrying cocaine


This is so depressing - I hope this situation is sorted out quickly in that they are either both exonerated or if caught abusing given a chance to go to rehab.

This guy was my favorite story in 2010 and I still find him quite an inspirational swimmer. This was a lousy way to greet my early evening.

From the Guardian:
Olympic swimmer Geoff Huegill and his wife, Sara Hills, will appear in court after they were allegedly found carrying cocaine at the races in Sydney.

NSW police were patrolling Randwick racecourse on Saturday when they were directed to a suite in the grandstand by security personnel. They say officers spoke to a 35-year-old man and his 30-year-old wife, who stand accused of possessing a small quantity of white powder, believed to be cocaine. 
[Link]

The Princess of Monaco who is also a South African Olympian visited Tustin, California this weekend and participated in teaching some kids how to swim.


The Princess of Monaco and also a South African Olympian in the backstroke and visited southern California this past weekend. I don't know what business she was here for but I am thrilled that she took some time out to teach kids how to swim.

From the Orange County Register:
On the bus ride over, six-year-old Noah Hernandez didn’t know what to expect.

Tyler Copeland, 15, who has been teaching Hernandez to swim at Tustin’s Blue Buoy Swim School for the past two weeks, wasn’t sure either. 
“I thought they were just bringing a girl dressed up as a princess, but instead, it was the real Princess of Monaco,” Copeland said. 
“She wasn’t wearing a dress, but she was nice,” Hernandez said..." 
[Link]

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Search GPS by Rip Curl - The World's First Surf GPS Watch - That's right: for SURFERS ONLY!



I am a watch freak and I am slowly building up quite a collection. Recently I was tickled to see a Mad Men episode on AMC where the hero (or anti-hero) Don Draper looks down at his watch and there it was in all it's glory an Omega Seamaster De Ville Automatic. My most favorite watch in my collection. (Swimmers are attracted to Omega for obvious reasons. Even Coughlin and Phelps wear a Omega and when they looked up at the wall to stop the clock, that was the tose were the first words they saw: Omega Timing.)

Though I prefer watches that are manual wind of or and automatic wind I do adore watches that serve extracurricular purposes such as this watch GPS Watch for Rip Curl. This one tells you time, you max speed, wave count & distance you rode and probably the time and tides. It also links to you iPhone.

I am thinking this Pretty boss!