Backwash features short clips, gossip, letters and opinions. Contributions are welcome.
Chad Carvin, who made a comeback this year after being sidelined the Olympic year with a heart problem, will miss the World Championships because of a nagging back problem. Carvin, 23, who was named USS Swimmer of the Year for 1997, qualified for the championships in the 200, 400, and 1500 frees and 800 relay. He won four events (200, 400 and 1500 frees, 400 IM) at the U.S. spring nationals and two (400 and 1500 free) at the summer nationals in 1997 and earned the men's Kiputh Award as the high scorer at both meets. If his back doesn't improve, he plans to retire.
We have written about scholarships in Canadian universities quite a number of times in the past 20 years. The need has been obvious. Now the issue seems to be coming to a head. Western and Atlantic universities want athletic scholarships now. Ontario universities are adamantly opposed. A split in the CIAU is likely over the issue. The CIAU has announced a mediator will be hired to help settle the issue.
American swimmers will earn prize money for medals: $20,000 for gold, $10,000 for silver and $5,000 for bronze at the World Championships in Perth. US Swimming will provide the funds.
Barcelona and Fukuoka are candidates for the 9th World Championships in 2001. The winning candidate will be selected in January by the FINA Bureau. Edmonton is bidding for hosting rights to a future short course World Championships, either in 2000 or 2002.
Former national record holder (100 fly) Hugo Duppre has been suspended for four years by the Brazilian Federation after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone.
From seven competitions in 1997, it increases to nine in 1998, and probably 10 or more in 1999 as Edmonton, AB, is seeking hosting rights. Prize money increases to US $9,000 for a category points winner, $4,500 for second and $2,000 for third. A bonus of $2,000 for a world record will be available.
12 competitions will be held in 1998. Each competition may offer prize money as, for instance, the Coronda to Santa Fe 57km swim, which will have $30,000 prizes in total. US $47,000 will be available as prize money at the end of the series for the top six point getters.
Martin Lopez-Zubero, 28, Spain's most successful swimmer, has retired. He holds the world record for the 200 backstroke for both long and short course pools.
Winner of the 200 back in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics, he won European titles at four different championships going back to 1989, winning his last title this past summer in Sevilla. He won two World Championship races, the 200 back in 1991 and the 100 back in 1994.
He was born, raised and trained in Jacksonville, Florida, but chose to represent his Spanish father's native Spain.
Canadian swimming has a great reference tool in your magazine. It enables us to track the advancement of Canadian swimming from the grass roots all the way to the international level. It enables us to make comparisons not only within the senior ranks but age group level as well.
Fortunately or unfortunately, as the case may be, we can also compare our results now with our results in the past. Clearly the glory days of Canadian swimming on the international scene are gone. Long gone.
One has to question whether the coaches at the national level in our country are riding on past laurels. The saddest and most disturbing part of this statement is that everyone knows it, but everyone is scared to say it.
Someone should have said it after the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Someone should have said it after the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games, after the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and after the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games.
Canada's hero, Mark Tewskbury, barely saved us from the embarrassment of having no individual medallists at swimming's biggest dance in 1992. But how much longer can we ride on his success?
Can we afford to be blind to the problem for five more years or do we have to start laying some blame, as uncomfortable as that may be? Someone has to point the finger. Seeing that nobody else is prepared to do so, my finger points to the highest of the high performance coaches. Dave Johnson is not doing his job.
Johnson reported after the Commonwealth Games in 1994 that our lack of success on the international level was due to him not receiving talented age group athletes. Checking American age group rankings, one discovers that our age group swimmers are on par with the development of American age groupers who year after year develop into the strongest swimming power in the world.
You do not have to be a swimming genius to conclude that somewhere between age group swimming and the international stage, Canadian swimmers are not receiving the same degree of coaching that is apparent in the U.S.
Eventually, the only solution to this problem will be to change leadership in Canada.
There is no leading and little management. Coaches of up-and-coming swimmers receive little direction.
What has Dave Johnson done for you coaches working with the next wave of swimmers? If you are fortunate enough to get a swimmer that you can develop to the international level, has Dave Johnson helped you get them there? No, but he will then step in and take not only control but the credit as well.
We need a leader that can help develop the talents of Matthew Huang and Courtney Chuy, examples of the best prospects last summer.
We heard all about Dave Johnson's plan in the January and February issues of SWIMNEWS. Go back, read the articles, and decide for yourselves:
I call for all other coaches that feel the same way I do to stop mumbling about it behind closed doors and come forward and help make the difference.
I just wanted to say that SWIMNEWS is a great magazine. The stories and photos are the best, and every month I can't wait to read the next issue. I enjoy reading about swimmers and swim meets that go on all around the world. It helps me keep in touch with my own personal goals as a swimmer. Every time I read SWIMNEWS I read about someone I aspire to be like, and someday hope to accomplish the same achievements and more. I was also wondering if you could tell me exactly how many days there were until the 2000 Olympics.
Dorado Stars, Brampton, ON
The 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia will be held from September 15 to October 1. The first day of swimming is September 16. That means that as of January 1, 1998, there will be 990 days left to get ready.
Vancouver Pacific head coach Craig Potsep's enthusiasm for SWIMNEWS speaks well for your publication (SWIMNEWS, October 1997 Backwash). But for you to go too far along with his suggestion that "Canada should be the main focus of your magazine" is, I think, a backward step.
As you know, I have watched the growth and development of your magazine from day one. I have seen it grow from its "wing and a prayer" black and white launch, with its decidedly Canadian tilt, to its present sophisticated format with the whole swimming world its catchment area. The challenge for Canadian swimming is to shine on the world stage-nothing less. When it does shine SWIMNEWS showcases it. When it doesn't shine, SWIMNEWS lays out, in great detail, where the improvements have to be made and challenges met.
I'm sure that Craig, possibly without realizing it, is contributing to this philosophy. Step one, for his swimmers to see their names, in a climbing mode, in the TAG listings. Step two, for them to be mentioned in articles of "Making Waves." Step three, earn the kudos of having them featured with photos in SWIMNEWS. Then to giant step four, to have their photo on the cover when and only when their achievements merit the swimming community's attention.
In short, stick to your focus on the world of swimming, with Canadian swimming part of that world.
Remember... It's not true until it has been officially denied