SWIMMING AUSTRALIA STILL NOT LEARNING FROM THEIR MISTAKES
As we are heading into another Commonwealth Games competition, it saddens me to think that even though "the hierarchy" has some new faces in it... the ideology has not changed since our own living legend, Dawn Fraser was banned for her extremely athletic flag-poll antics some 50+ years ago.
This initial comment will no doubt anger many of the present officials, but I am more than happy to debate this topic with any of them, in any public arena. Radio, Print, TV, Social Media, Conference... anywhere they would like to choose!
Will this ever happen? Not on your nelly! Why? Firstly, none of them would have the "go-nads" to do so... and secondly, they know that over the past 30years, I have witnessed enough skeletons being stuffed into Australian Swimming's (SAL's) closet, to fill an Olympic Pool or two.
SAD BUT TRUE!!!
They (SAL) are certainly the world leaders in "sticking their heads in the sand" when it comes to certain indiscretions, and every now and then, they will get out their dusty ethics trumpet, and blow on it to an extent where Luis Armstrong would be proud.
Don't take my word for it... the proof is certainly in the pudding, as they say. Their last trumpet blowing concerto was when they marched six athletes out infront of a crowded media circus, and asked them to perform like seals under the big-top, putting their hands up to admitt to doing the wrong thing 3 weeks prior to the start of the Olympics.
Don't get me wrong... were they guilty of breaking the rules? Yes! Did they deserve to be punished? You bet! But even though I don't condone what they did for one second... their school-boy antics paled into insignificance compared to several of the coaches' total disrespect for long-term team proceedures and Olympic Movement in general.
On several occasions, our so-called "elite coaches" were spotted out on the town, drinking alcohol to the early hours of the morning and getting back to the village hours after the athletes were tucked away in their beds, getting their all important sleep before being asked to take on the world.
Did this happen 3 weeks prior to the games? No, in fact... it actually took place DURING THE MEET itself! Yes, that's right... during the meet!
I'm sure there are many past coaches and Olympic swimmers "internally hemorrhaging" and/or "gagging" right now, at the very thought that this went on during the most important meet on every sports' agender, the OLYMPIC GAMES.
Like most people, your 1st thought would be... Did SAL know about this? Of course they did... not only did it come up in the famous "Internal Review" that was held after their return, but I personally approach several SAL officials (along with our National Coaches Association) to ask what they were going to do about this "behavioural disease" within our ranks. I will save their replies for a later date, but in short, "they displayed bigger side-steps than Changa Langlands!"
Anyway, as usual, the swimmers will bust their asses and compete with the pride and tenacity that our swim team is legendary for... with their successes saving the administration and coaches' butts from their "selective hearing" when it comes to disciplining within our sport.
But be forewarned... they might get away with it on the Commonwealth stage, but it will come back to bight them on the ass in two years time.
"WHEN WILL THEY (SAL) EVER LEARN?"
Ps: Feel free to give your opinion on this subject on my email facility.