Friday, March 30, 2007

Thorpe Reports

So here they go.
Leaked reports (L'equipe, France) of Ian Thorpe having failed a drug test. Not much of a way to wrap up the World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne. One wonders if this is to deflect light from Michael Phelps of the USA, who is poised (as they say) to become the greatest male swimmer in history. If so, it also clouds Thorpe's achievements in the pool.
Canadian men won a bronze medal in a relay today, another achievement.

Great Day in the Poool!

Brent Hayden of Mission, BC yesterday won GOLD in 100m free at the WorldAquatic Championships in Melbourne, AU. What an accomplishment for him, and a credit to the coaching and support staff of the swim team! President Dan Thompson and CEO Pierre Lafontaine provide fine leadership to swim Canada. Wouldn't it be great if every NSO in Canada had people like them at the helm?!

As the Worlds come to a conclusion, it is clear that synchro and diving have some work to do. The synchro and diving worlds have changed dramatically even since Sydney's 2000 Olympics, and Canadians in both these sports are going to have a tough time getting to the podium.

With announcement today that FINA has changed the qualification process for the 2008 Olympics, Canadian synchroo athletes (team) have a challenge just getting to Beijing now. Continental champions plus 3 additional teams that go to a Q Tournament in April in Beijing will be in the team event at the 2008 Olys. The struggle will be at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio this summer, when the USA and Canadian teams vie for the gold in the team event. The winner of the gold will sigh in relief.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What the feds didn't do

The federal budget that came down on Monday is a disappointment to many Canadians. For now, let's just register that anyone who values Canada's performances and success at major multi-sport games is not only disappointed, but still disillusened about this government. What is says and what it does are two different things, and it's word cannot be taken at face value.
This creates a climate of suspician for Canadians, who don't know if this government (not new, it is now old) has more on it's mind than spending wildly in order that Canadians will vote for it in the next federal election. This is certainly what it seems to be doing.
Canadian athletes, their sport federations and multisport organizations in Canada are once again left to struggle.
The PM will go to events and will certainly appear at the OOlympic Winter Games in Vancouver, smile, shake hands, and enjoy the applause (if his government lasts that long). We who administer and lead sport will mutter under our breath, and observe the duplicity.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March 17 at the Worlds!

Check out the World Aquatic championships website at

They've done a fine job of providing info about Susie O'Neill pool construction and about water reuse. Both interesting for the aquatics fan. The "temporary" pool is now in vogue, and destined to be a feature of future World championships because of cost of building a 50m pool, and subsequently maintaining it.

We are hopeful that in Kingston a 50m pool will be built in the near future. It is desperately needed in this part of Ontario, and will be put to many, many uses by citizens as well as competitive swimmers, synchro swimmers, water polo players, and I hope, divers. To build a pool without 10m tower capacity in this day and age, would be a great mistake. Sort of like the mistake that the city has made in the now-being-built sport and entertainment centre, which has been "shoe-horned" (a fine phrase coined by former Councillor Beth Pater) into a site that is far too small. Consequently, many features (and size) that are essential for top-of-the-line events have been deleted from initial plans. But all that is another story for another day.....

Canada's duet placed 5th in prelim technical event. Scores are well-below the leading Russian duet, and a stretch from the 4th place Chinese duet. Here's looking for better scores in the next event.

Friday, March 16, 2007

World Aquatic Championships

Well, the Worlds are about to start! Will be interesting too see how Canada does in synchro. Too bad the Head of Delegation isn't doing a cool blog from Melbourne. Maybe it's not too late to start one!