Welcome to our collation of editorial views on all swimming-related news. If you have a view on the topics and issues we consider or would like us to look into a particular theme you feel has been overlooked, let the Editor know: email@example.com.
April 18, 2017 -
The debate in Britain flowing from allegations of bullying by coaches and in the realms of those governing sport has reached far and wide and has made for many a media headline of late. A good moment, then, to consider the the word on the subject from a man cleared of bullying allegations by an independent inquiry in Britain: a comment from Bill Sweetenham for SwimVortex:
March 24, 2017 -
Editorial: Vladimir Salnikov comes under scrutiny in a long feature at the sovsport.ru website in which the main arguments for forcing his out of the top seat at the Russian Swimming Federation is “loss of trust” in connection with a “failure to produce results”. The conclusion and the copious words that flow before it, some praising Yuliya Efimova* and others who elsewhere in the world are seen as a definite part of Russia’s problems in sport, point to a mood to have Salnikov removed from office. The issues raised are fascinating; but they really ought to stretch to doping … and citing Efimova as the word of wisdom is not exactly helpful
March 19, 2017 -
This week delivered a hint of the height of IOC ambition in a gender equality plan, a statement about which ended with these words: “With the adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020 in December 2014 and as reaffirmed by the IOC Executive Board last December, the IOC is committed to working with its stakeholders to increase the possibilities for girls and women in sport and to achieve the goal of female athletes representing 50 per cent of the athletes taking part in the Olympic Games.” Is that it, then? Is that really what gender equality means: 50/50 participation? Let’s hope not. After all, there’s so much to do, including dealing with a backlog of woe holding back progress and trust.
March 18, 2017 -
Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry has turned his spotlight on the epic tale and journey of Yusra Mardini, the Syrian refugee who fled a war zone, was made welcome in Germany, trained in Berlin and made the IOC’s Refugees Team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. There’s another side to every story and this one could well extend to the role of politics in sport and the conflict at the heart of the Olympic Movement.
March 14, 2017 -
For many a long year, there have been lawyers willing to take on and represent the athlete who makes the ‘mistake’ of taking products that contain banned substances, a spectrum of fact, fairness, faith and fiction in the mix. Now, there’s a legal outfit ready to step in to fight the corner of the whistleblower. Enter, stage right, Fair Sport offering financial and legal assistance to those who serve as guardians of sport and help get the truth out about cheating. It will vet those coming forward with information. Vetting the vetters will be just as important in a world where rogues have long made sure they have access to the experimental drug long before such things make it from behind lock and key
March 8, 2017 -
The wag, that wag, the nag, the feminine realm and role in world sport is celebrated far and wide in various forms this day on the edge of International Women’s Day. Women swimmers and other aquatic athletes have been making headlines for more than 100 years as they made their pioneering way from open water to pool, off board, in noseclip and chucking a ball across the surface with a force fit to flatten. Much to celebrate this day – and far too much to mention here, of course. We ought, however, to mention the bad news, too, starting with the woeful imbalance in gender representation at the house of FINA
March 6, 2017 -
Editorial: Australian head coach Jacco Verhaeren has resigned from the coaches commission of FINA, the International Swimming Federation, in protest at what he describes as a lack of leadership and backing for clean sport. “I don’t think me leaving will make any difference but at least I am giving a signal to the world swimming community that this needs to improve.” Snap. Good for him. Now, over to you Matt Dunn, Athlete’s rep on the FINA Bureau, and many more who know that what Verhaeren says is the truth of it. What are you doing about it? When do you suppose you might conclude that the gravy train has left the tracks on substantial issues and you ought to either press for serious change or join the Dutchman and others in making the point that a federation refusing to listen to its stakeholders is not one worth supporting.
February 28, 2017 -
Editorial: It as if Denis Cotterell has taken leave of, if not his senses, his sense of history. Indeed, it might be fair to suggest he takes the idea of building a super centre for Chinese swimming in Australia lock, stock and barrel and dumps in in Trump’s America somewhere. At least there could be a meeting of minds when it comes to alternative questions that may lead us to alternative facts. “Race”, as in racist, followed by “I don’t know’ is a cop out. You may or may not know, Denis Cotterell – but I do. The line has long been a masquerade for the bad and the ugly overseeing the abuse of teenagers in China; it was the last resort of rogues in the 1990s. The line is a lie. The line is a lie – and not why serious questions are being put and need to be put. Coach Cotterell surely knows that only too well
February 26, 2017 -
Sunday Essay: The past few days have delivered another gust of Storm Katie. Ledecky won two solos, went stroke-for-stroke with Stanford teammate Simone Manuel over 200y and helped The Cardinal quartets 4×100 and 4×200 win the day, too, at Pac-12 Championships. In the bargain, there were American records over 500y free and 400IM. Whenever Ledecky takes to the water in peak-to-peakish form, comparisons with men are never far away. She’s that kind of woman – but the context of her greatness is best sold and told by celebrating her achievements as a woman in the context of other women
February 15, 2017 -
Editorial: Lilly King and her stance for clean sport at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has been described as the “North Star – our guiding light” of the United States Anti-Doping Agency by the man at the helm, Travis Tygart. In an editorial for the Clean Sport Collective’s website, Tygart rates King’s finger-wagging in the face of Yuliya Efimova, a then California-based Russia who tested positive for a banned steroid in 2013, among “favourite Olympic moments … unforgettable actions seared in our memory”. Sport has reached a defining moment, says Tygart, as he asks: “Since the depths of Russia’s state-supported doping system were brought to light, what has been done to prevent this from happening again? What will win it? Let the voice of the clean athlete, coach, program be heard.