Backwash features short clips, gossip, letters and opinions.
Contributions are welcome.
Now for the rumours behind the news.
Snelling leaving: It has been rumoured for weeks but it is now official:
Deryk Snelling, coach of swimming at the High Performance Centre in Calgary
since its inception two years ago, is leaving Canada for a job back in his
native England. He will be taking up a position as National Performance
Director for the British Swimming Federation.
One of Canada's most successful coaches, British swimming officials feel
Snelling will help to put the shine back on Britain's performances in the
Over the past thirty years Snelling has placed 71 swimmers on Canadian Olympic
teams. The 1996 additions include IM record-holder Curtis Myden, sprint
flyer Jessica Amey, backstroke specialist Chris Renaud, and breaststroke
veteran Jon Cleveland. Snelling will see them through the Atlanta Olympics
before moving on.
The rumoured replacement for Snelling at the Calgary Centre is Chris Martin,
formerly of the University of Florida, but this is not yet confirmed.
Foschi banned...again: 15-year-old Jessica Foschi of Long Island
has been suspended from competition once again after a hearing in Lausanne,
Foschi tested positive for steroids in the summer of 1995 and the ensuing
waffling of U.S. Swimming over whether or not to suspend her (Foschi was
put on probation, then suspended, then put back on probation and allowed
to swim at her country's Olympic Trials) has been widely criticized in a
time when the U.S. anti-doping stance is supposedly at its height.
Foschi's two-year suspension will be taken up again by her lawyer-her case
goes next to the 18 member FINA Bureau and then to the Court of Arbitration
FINA backtracking? Word is that FINA may be backtracking on its decision
for a four year ban for a first doping offense. The rule, passed at the
Doping Congress in Rio de Janeiro, will not stand in Atlanta, according
to Cornel Marculescu of FINA. The penalty for a first offence will be two
years, while a second offence will get four years.
Looks like FINA is backing down already to pressure from the IOC Medical
Commission. Will catching the cheats really be a priority in Atlanta?
Testing technology: There is a more sensitive drug testing technology
ready to go in Atlanta.
A technique called high resolution mass spectrometry can apparently detect
a banned substance at one third of its original concentration level, thereby
significantly lengthening the time necessary to clear all traces of a drug
from an athlete's body.
American medical officials believe that the new testing will generate more
positive tests in Atlanta, catching those who have stopped using drugs early
enough to avoid detection with conventional technology.
Chinese women out in force: A recent article in Newsweek had some
interesting facts and figures on the Chinese Olympic Teams. China will send
310 athletes to Atlanta-200 of whom are women. Their women are expected
to be medal contenders in just about every event, while the men will, for
the most part, make a good cheering section.
Interestingly, Nils Lindstedt of the Swedish firm International Doping Tests
and Management, implanted in China for the past two years with the aim of
spot testing China's high performance athletes, feels that there are no
concrete results to support the theory of a centralized doping system in
China. So how is it that the women are such powerhouses? Admittedly those
numbers are hard to accept given China's extraordinary doping record over
the last five years. Whether centralized or not, doping is a dark legacy
that the Chinese men and women will have to carry as they walk into the
Atlanta stadium. The 1996 Games will not only be a test of athletic prowess,
but a test of drug-taking and testing technology, and both contests should
yield interesting results.
Go Team! The Canadian Olympic Swim Team has pulled out all the stops
in their Olympic preparation.
Swimmers have had access to everything from nutritionists to psychologists
to various medical specialists. Just over a month ago National Coach Dave
Johnson flew in a world-renowned stroke expert from Estonia to videotape
and computer-analyze the stroke technique of every swimmer on the team.
And if that wasn't high-tech enough, he also enlisted the services of a
specialist in "psychocybernetics" to conduct personality profiles
of each athlete.
Johnson feels the results are extremely positive and that the greater knowledge
of each swimmer's make-up will help in making important decisions as the
Briefs: Less than two months before the Atlanta Games, sprint freestyler
Gary Hall Jr. switched coaches. Hall left Troy Dalbey in Phoenix to train
with Mike Bottom, a 1980 Olympian.....South African-born Jonty Skinner,
the coach of the U.S. Resident Swim Team, was diagnosed with cancer shortly
after the U.S. Olympic Trials. Skinner underwent surgery to remove two lumps
in his throat and will start radiation treatment later this summer. Not
wanting to leave his swimmers in the lurch, he has been able to resume his
coaching duties.....Australia's Shane Gould says she thinks the Olympic
Games will self-destruct if the trend towards winning at all cost is not
reversed. The former triple gold medalist told The Weekend Australian that
the problems of drugs, commercialism, and the pressures to win at all cost
were "quite frightening." She said she supported the idea of forming
an independent body to challenge FINA if the pace of progress against doping
was not satisfactory. "FINA must be made accountable," she said.
Editor: The members of the Richmond Hill Aquatic Club wish their
former coach, Takeo Inoki luck and success in his new position as head coach
of the Sea Lions Aqua Club, Sha Tin District, Hong Kong.
At this time we would like to express our sincere appreciation for his dedication
in coaching our swimmers and developing our program for almost five years.
He has brought our program to a new standard, including success at the Provincial
Age Group and Youth Championships levels.
Ron Eilath and Janice Hainer
On behalf of the board of the Richmond Hill AC
Editor: What a great suggestion from Bernard McGrath from Gibsons,
B.C., and a great opportunity for Dick Pound to put up a scheme to the IOC.
The IOC should make it mandatory for bidding cities to include a ticketing
plan that shows seating accommodation will be reserved first in the various
stadia for the following categories:
Surely the Organising Committees don't care whose bottoms warm the seats,
provided they are paid for; but the IOC, which is supposed to have the interests
of the athletes and the sports at heart, should be interested. All the above
groups are only too willing to pay for seats. Many of them are in the sport
for a lifetime and have some right to priority seating, not because they
had luck in a lottery or because they know someone in a position of influence.
- families of participating Olympians in the relevant sport
- former Olympians in that sport
- members of the national bodies of the participating countries in that
- members of coaching and sports science organizations of participating
countries in that sport, before any other seats are sold.
Yes, let's cater to the athletes first and the sports supporters next. The
rest should be decided by lottery or on a first up best dressed basis; or
do what the majority do-take the best seat in the house, sit back and enjoy
the Games in the comfort of your favourite armchair.
Founding Vice President
World Swimming Coaches Association
Remember... It's not true until it has been officially denied
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