The SwimVortex Safe Sport Series
Among the most explosive revelations for the trail of abuse and woe linked to USA Swimming is the tale of Tracy Palmero. She was a teenager when U.S. national team director Everett Uchiyama began a sexual relationship with her.
That’s the crime but the errors of judgment, to put it politely, did not stop there. It seems that USA Swimming, through a non-disclosure deal, paid the teenage victim for her silence.
According to the Orange County Register, on October 17, 2008, then USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus received an email from Joe Palmero, the teenager’s father an Orange County parent he was all too familiar with.
Two years earlier Tracy Palmero’s allegations that Uchiyama, who rose to the team director job without any apparent form for the position, had started a sexual relationship with her when she was a minor had led to USA Swimming firing Uchiyama and banning him for life.
The dates of that action, however, was kept a secret by USA Swimming under the non-disclosure agreement that the federation had insisted the Palmeros sign, according to the family.
The story appears top explanation why Pat Hogan has to resign from USA Swimming last week. The OC Register reports the following woe:
On December 22, 2006, nearly a year after Uchiyama resigned at USA Swimming and accepted a lifetime ban, Hogan was contacted by Rose Snyder of the Country Club of Colorado, which was considering hiring Uchiyama. Although Uchiyama continued to work with Hogan at USA Swimming and Wielgus has described Hogan as the employee most knowledgeable of the child protection program, Hogan said in a deposition at the time he was unaware of the reasons behind Uchiyama’s abrupt resignation from one of the top jobs in American swimming.
According to Country Club documents, Snyder asked Hogan about Uchiyama’s attendance, initiative, dependability, and ability to get along with others. According to a sheet filled out by Snyder during the conversation, Hogan listed “acceptable” to each category. When Snyder asked him whether Uchiyama was eligible to be rehired at USA Swimming, Hogan said “yes.” Asked why Uchiyama had left the organization, Hogan said “personal choice.” Later in the conversation, Hogan described Uchiyama as “Fantastic” and “the most popular employee in the organization,” according to Snyder’s notes.
Uchiyama, based largely on Hogan’s recommendation, got the job.
The question on the lips of the American swimming community is summed up by these words from one leading figure: “This suggests that USA Swimming knew Uchiyama was a child molester, did not stop him from returning to work in the sport and revealed nothing, having pressed the victim to stay silent in a non-disclosure deal to save their faces.”
The questions that flow include:
- Did USA Swimming pay a teenage sex abuse victim to stay silent?
- why would USA Swimming behave like that?
- would it not have been easier and good for all involved to simply sack the man, declare that ‘this is not what were do – apologies and support for the victim’?
- what was the logic and legal argument in favour of gagging a teenage sex-abuse victim?
These questions have been sent to USA Swimming – and we implore the federation to answer them.
The SwimVortex Safe Sport Series – so far:
- significant developments in GB Masters
- the words of Olympic podium placer Michael Jamieson and considered their relevance to woeful culture at the heart of FINA and the poor response of national federations who show no inclination to use their potential power to change the game in the interests of athlete protection from various forms of abuse.
- the Larry Nassar abuse case, a story about much more than a doctor who traded the hippocratic oath for hypocrisy and criminality; a story that calls into question the usefulness of the Olympic Movement, the United States Olympic Committee and the role of USA Swimming when it comes to the protection of athletes.
- Climate Change: empowering coaches to ensure sport is a safe, healthy and enriching place for all, at whatever level: we recall 2014 lectures delivered by Prof. Joan Duda, of Empowering Coaching, at the World Aquatics Development Conference in Lund on a day of high relevance to current events; and by Dr. Fiona McLachlan, academic adviser to Shane Gould in the 1972 triple Olympic champion’s PHD studies, for the guardians of swimming youth to consider “How to be Good”.
- the relevance of Fran Crippen and his passing to events at the Winter Olympics.
- the death of Qing Wenyi
- World Coaches call for global swim community to press FINA on clean sport
- If Prohibition Must Sober The Olympics, Then Ban The Blazers Craving Nobel Prizes
- Time To Ban The Olympic Cold Shoulder To Truth, Whistleblowing & Red-Flag Waving
- I Ran Past The First Watchman … Does your silence indicate permission to pass?
- Why USA Swimming’s Leadership Must Face Full Inquiry Into Abuse Down The Years – The Orange Country register’s telling investigation
- Susan Woessner Resigns As USA Swimming Safe Sport Boss Admitting Hutchison Link
- Don Heidary, ASCA Board President, Writes Of ‘Real Culture of American Swimming’
- Athletes On USA Swimming Board: ‘Why Was Complacency Allowed To Take Hold?’
- ‘Knock. It. Down. & Burn The Remains’ – Time to Torch The Olympic Scam Of Us & Them
Questions sent out this week to pertinent parties:
- Questions For Coaches On Their Jobs, Athlete Welfare & The Role Of Blazers
- Questions For USA Swimming, USAS & Their Busy Safe Sport Unit
- Questions For Athletes Who Represent Athletes At The House Of FINA