Backwash features short clips, gossip, letters and opinions. Contributions are welcome.


Cloud over LEN Championships

LEN (Ligue Europeen de Natation) advised that the 1999 European Championships scheduled for Istanbul (TUR) July 22-Aug 1 will not be cancelled or moved to another city because of the on-going conflict with the Kurds within Turkey. The decision was reached after presentations were made to the LEN Bureau by the Istanbul organizers and a police spokesperson during meetings held April 23-24 in Istanbul.

Alexander Sansa, LEN Director said, "It is a very tranquil atmosphere here. There's no sign of any strange situation. Of course, something may be happening out there. But then something is also happening in the Bronx in New York and in London."

LEN will concentrate on increased security measures in Istanbul to ensure a safe championships.

In an earlier declaration, Rudiger Tretow, president of the German Swimming Federation (DSV), is considering withdrawing the German team from the LEN Championships. "This is the only alternative unless they are moved to a new location. If they are not relocated they will be poorly attended." Sprinter Sandra Volker (GER) indicated that if the German team goes to Istanbul, she will stay home.

Dunn Breaks Leg

Matt Dunn, Swimmer of the Meet at FINA WSC, came home from Hong Kong in a very happy frame of mind and in his exuberance, broke the fibula bone in his right leg as he trotted down the rain-drenched driveway at his parent's home in suburban Sydney.

Technically it's a broken ankle because of the site of the break in the lower end of the fibula. Matt will have his right leg in plaster for two weeks from the end of April before having it placed in a splint so he can begin swimming the second week of May. Better this year than next, Matt!

Other News from Down Under

Controversial Aussie Scott Miller, silver medallist in Atlanta in the 100 m butterfly, married on April 11 in Sydney. The wedding was a social event on the Sydney social calendar. The reception was held at the exclusive Quay restaurant. Guests included Olympians Chris Fydler, Matt Dunn, and Duncan Armstrong.

Fifty swimmers from the Pan Pac 54-man team attended the Orientation camp, which included biomechanical testing, musculo-skeletal testing, blood and saliva testing, plus surfing, golf, a trip to Movie World, and the movies.

Meanwhile, other members of the national Pan Pac team have gathered on Queensland's Gold Coast to train and be assessed by the coaches and sports medical/science staff before returning to their home programs. Most will attend specialist stroke camps before coming together as a national team for a team-building camp in Sydney and going on to the Pan Pacs in August.

Danielle Lewis (SA), the backstroker who was 4th in the 200 World SC in Hong Kong, had her tonsils removed after National Age, and missed the camp on the Gold Coast. Olympian Julia Greville was hospitalized in Melbourne with a kidney infection in the third week of April and also missed the Gold Coast camp.

Two others who did not attend the camp were Emma Johnson and Elli Overton, who are both back in the US studying at college until the pre-Pan Pac camp.

Difficult working conditions

Patrick Kramer, who took the pictures for our coverage of the Short Course World Championships, had this to say about his working conditions: "Well, Hong Kong is a nice city, but I won't live there. I prefer a place which is more quiet. It is really interesting to see poverty and riches so close together... After this trip I know the difference between Chinese food in Switzerland and Chinese food in China-it's not the same!

The conditions of work have been very bad. I had a long fight until I got a special accreditation to move a little bit more around the pooldeck. The day before the competions started, there was nothing available in the press center. The announced photo developing service was a big joke. They came at the first day and it took them more than 3 hours to develop the films. But that's not all, on the first day they left exactly at the moment when the finals started. So I was not able to develop my films of the first day. During the break on the second day, I found a lab who was open until 22:30. So after the finals I had to go to the city to develop my films before I could go back to the hotel to scan my pictures (And they closed the press center 3 hours after the final). These were the conditions."


I would like to thank the CSCA, SWIMNEWS and the generous sponsors for the 1998 CSCA Coaching Recognition Awards. In addition to the March '99 SWIMNEWS page dedicated to the award recipients, I would like to thank the CSCA, Speedo & Swimco for the Awards presentation/reception held at the Spring Nationals in Victoria. Your efforts are much appreciated. Congratulations to the award-winning coaches for their contribution to making Canadian swimming better.

Sean Baker
Nanaimo Riptide Swim Team


Today (April 20) I couriered a copy of the complete meet results from the ROD Invitational held in January. The individual who ran our meet this year was a first-time meet manager and did not know that a copy of the complete meet results needed to be sent to SWIMNEWS. I know that there were a lot of times that would make the top 50 rankings for the short course season, and hope that you will be able to squeeze them in. You should receive the results in the next day or so.

Ian Amundsen
Regina Optimist Dolphins Swim Club


Editor: I am sure that the Surrey Knights Swim Club is thrilled to know that Brian Johns is swimming for them, but I am also sure that he is a Richmond Racer (RACER). Great last issue by the way!

Craig McCord,
Head Coach, Richmond Racers


Bravo to Mr. Tewksbury. I applaud you. I have two children that I have enrolled heavily in sports, swimming in particular. They are in sports as I had hoped it would give them a better playground for learning valuable morals, rather than hanging out at the street corner and learning how to coerce the little kids into handing over their lunch money. I guess some bullies never grow up; I just want to know who let them in? I guess they were appointed. I was appalled at the outcome of the IOC trials. At least you have the courage to be able to like the person who looks back at you every morning. There should be more men like yourself and Johann Olav Koss. Thank You.

Tammy Pannell


Once again SWIMNEWS has taken the lead in addressing the most important issues faced by the world swimming community. In your February issue, we were treated to Mark Tewksbury's scathing commentary on the recent (and not particularly shocking) exposure of corruption within (or should I say atop?) the IOC, Karin Helmstaedts's continued vigilance in pursuing the demise of the systematic abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in our sport, and an examination of the heretofore taboo issue of eating disorders among female swimmers. While it is a crime that this last issue has been ignored for so long, I commend Nikki Dryden and the editor for having the conviction to write and publish the article.

Above all, I would like to express my utmost admiration for Allison Wagner, both for fighting to conquer her personal demons, and for having the strength of character to come forward and allow her story to be told. Far too many young women have allowed their self-images to be crushed or dictated to them under the guise of "coaching." Perhaps because of Allison's bravery, a new generation of young women in swim clubs throughout Canada, the United States, and the world will realize that their own body image should not be determined by the opinion of their coach, or society as a whole.

Thank you again, SWIMNEWS, for continuing to bring this and other important issues to the fore. And thank you Allison, for allowing us to read about your struggles. I wish you all the luck in the world, both outside of the pool and in it.

Matthew McWha,
Washington, DC


Remember... It's not true until it has been officially denied