Talbot tug-of-war: Australian Institute of Sport head coach Gennadi Touretski has been demoted and swimming manager Paul Quinlan will be transferred to a new position in the surprise restructuring of the AIS swimming program, as reported by John Hourigan in The Canberra Times.
The changes have been made seemingly to placate and retain the services of national swimming coach Don Talbot through to the Olympic Games in 2000. He had been head-hunted by the British Swimming Federation.
Talbot will become AIS coaching director, with Touretski dropped in seniority to become a member of the coaching staff that also includes Jim Fowlie (a Canadian), Barry Prime (from Britain) and Mark Regan.
During the battle to win over Talbot, the frequently outspoken, often controversial master coach has intimated that he was distressed by the Touretski incident on the plane between Sydney and United States that led to a jail term in Honolulu and a hefty fine as well as the minimal disciplinary action against institute swimmer Scott Miller, who was arrested in Atlanta after the Pan Pacific Championships.
He also referred to lack of support from Australian Swimming Inc. and some Australian coaches. Recent discussions have apparently laid to rest any issues of support, or rather lackof support from Australian Swimming Inc. The board of the Australian Swimming Coaches Association also signified its total support for Talbot.
Just wondering if anyone pointed out what happened to Canada after Talbot was let go in 1988 ...
Class act: Mark Tewksbury has raised $104,000 from his own pocket and from corporate sponsors to stage the second Tewksbury Development Camp for 24 selected juniors.
Tewksbury contributed 20% of the royalties from his signature line of clothing at Sears Canada Ltd. and the retailer matched that. Further assistance came from Canadian Airlines, Delta Hotels and Resorts, the Investors Group, and Swimming Canada, who operated the camp.
Putting the cart before the horse: With the Quebec referendum date set for Oct.30, the province's separatists are apparently already considering the possibility of Quebec fielding its own team for next summer's Olympics in Atlanta.
Bloc QuŽbecois MP Benoit Sauvageau was quoted as saying he thinks "it's very important for our national identity" for Quebec to send its own team. As the party's amateur sports critic, he has pointed out that a large number of the Olympic medals won at the winter Olympics since 1980 have been won by QuŽbecois athletes (17 out of 28). Miriam BŽdard, Canada's double gold medalist in the biathlon in Lillehammer, led the QuŽbec-Canadian contingent to garner 8 of the 11 Olympic medals Canada took home in 1994.
Carol Anne Letheren, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Association and a member of the International Olympic Committee, is doubtful that Quebec will be able to get it together administratively (in the event of a Yes vote) in time to organize its own Olympic team. They would have barely nine months to prepare.
While French-Canadian athletes are generally not willing to comment on such an eventuality, Sauvageau did say that they would be given the choice of deciding whether they still wanted to represent Canada. Those in question are surely aware, however, that the choice to remain red and white would hardly be in their interests. No mention was made of other international competitions in general.
Once again, the heavy hand of politics will add its own pressure to the task of many successful French-Canadian athletes, of whom all of Canada is very proud. It remains to be seen whether QuŽbec will bid adieu to the maple leaf and go it alone...in all walks of life.
Athletes award: John Leonard, chair of the World Swimming Coaches Association's (WSCA) Anti-Drug Committee and Dr. Alan B. Richardson, member of the FINA Medical Committee were awarded the United States Swimming Athletes' Appreciation Award for 1995 at the United States Swimming banquet, last Sep. 23rd in Houston, Texas. Athlete's Vice-Chairman, Harris Troutman said: "No one has spent as much time and effort as John Leonard and Dr. Richardson, to make sure the athletes have a fair Olympic Games in 1996, and fair competition beyond that."
Cash for gold: Russia's 1996 gold medalists will get cash prizes of up to $100,000, while any American swimmer winning gold in Atlanta will get a $50,000 payf off from United States Swimming. In 1992 Spain's gold medalists (backstroker Martin Lopez-Zubero) received a $1 million trust fund. It must have worked as they won 13 golds in Barcelona, whereas they had won only five golds in all the previous Olympics.
Editor: I would like to correct some errors and omissions that occurred in your September, 1995 issue. In the article titled Streppel Takes Pan Pac 25K, author Karin Helmstaedt mistakenly implies that the recent Pan Pacific Championships were the first to include the 25K swim. In fact, the 25K swim was part of the 1993 Pan Pacific Championships. The pool events were held in Kobe, Japan, but because of Japan's notoriously polluted water and lack of experience organizing an open water swim, the event was to take place in Hawaii. The location was then changed to Italy, to allow the swimmers to participate in the Pre-World Championships 25K Invitational and gain experience at the site of the World Championships to be held in 1994. I won that race in 1993, and Kim Dyke from Victoria won the silver in the women's event.
Additionally, I would like to comment on the omission of our medals in the Medal Totals table. Leaving out the 1993 medals is excusable, however, omission of my 1995 gold medal is not. By virtue of the title of the 25K article, Ms. Helmstaedt acknowledges that the event is part of the Pan Pacific Championships. This was a surprise considering the excellent reporting of open water swimming in past issues of SWIM Canada Magazine. What is her rationale for excluding open water medals from the medal table? Why should young readers think that Canada won no gold medals when we actally did?
Finally, I think the magazine would be more comprehensive in its reporting if the 25K results were included. I would like to have seen the 25K results from the European Championships.
World and Pan Pacific Champion
Remember... It's not true until it has been officially denied.