Beijing 2008: The Key Part Of The Flip That Was A Flop

The best ever: the term applied to Michael Phelps at London 2012 as he took his golden tally to 18 … but not to the Games, terrific as they were in many ways; not to any Games, in fact … they all had their merits and downsides - and Rio 2016 will be no different [Photo: Craig Lord]

Comment: The head of USA Swimming, Chuck Wielgus, has revealed that Michael Phelps (photo – his last gold medal at London 2012) and others knew of a plan to switch to morning finals at Beijing 2008 more than a year before the rest of the world got to hear about it; global sports authorities fall down on their responsibility to all when the decision-making process comes down to a one-nation, one-eyed view

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Comment: The head of USA Swimming, Chuck Wielgus, has revealed that Michael Phelps (photo – his last gold medal at London 2012) and others knew of a plan to switch to morning finals at Beijing 2008 more than a year before the rest of the world got to hear about it; global sports authorities fall down on their responsibility to all when the decision-making process comes down to a one-nation, one-eyed view

Comments

Clive Rushton

Well, that’s a bag of worms isn’t it? In NZL we IMMEDIATELY flipped ALL nationals through to the Games trials and I expected every nation to do the same thing. One thing that did come out of the Beijing flip was, “Morning swim? What morning swim?” If Jason L could go light speed fast (and others in the same race) then, so what it’s morning, but, but, but ………. your point of one nation or one swimmer knowing before everyone else: NO WAY! Is there a way of putting that in bold, italic, underline, caps, increased font size, highlighted, repeating on/off flashing neon colored text??????? NO WAY!

Craig Lord

done …

KeithM

I never liked the whole affair at the time, mainly because FINA/The IOC didn’t consult athletes/coaches across the globe. Cornel Marculescu said back in 2006 that while they preferred morning finals that they would not oppose the proposed move in order to maintain good relations with the IOC. Interesting that international sporting bodies admit that they don’t have equitable counsel with the big boys because they need to genuflect to remain in the good graces of their superiors. That’s not a healthy relationship. Rogge was front and center on this. He’s cultivated a positive reputation, much moreso than his predecessor, but I think people need to take a closer look at his true character. He’s much more a shrewd businessman than an advocate of democratic process or an adjudicator of fairness. That only certain athletes or coaches would know ahead of time, even if it’s just a year that far out, sets a bad precedent. Having said that, in real terms did this actually confer a tangible advantage? That’s debatable. It’s not something you’re going to prepare for in any significant way until you know it’s definitely on the cards. Many coaches in the US said it was mainly mental and made no long term training changes. Properly trained elite athletes should already be able to swim fast in the morning and things like lactic acid tests in the morning would be old hat already. Moreover, oddly enough in the US much less was done to prepare athletes for the new competition format at the elite level than done in many other countries. There were much fewer meets with morning finals, including the 2008 US Olympic Trials which still scheduled finals in the evening. Yet none of that matters when it comes to a fair process and depriving others of the same opportunity to implement whatever preparations they feel will best prepare their athletes.

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