|Front page of the Chicago Tribune, February 23, 2013. |
Not shown is the complete 2 page spread inside.
February 23, 2013. "Tribune investigation: With the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia less than a year away, US Speedskating is spinning into chaos — financial troubles, organizational problems and a team broken into factions — and the athletes are paying the price." ...says the brief summary of the investigative article "On Thin Ice." This and 2 other supplementary articles are fairly good, covering the general aspects of many issues, so the average reader (who likely knows next to nothing about speedskating) can manage to create a picture US Speedskating organization (USS) . Since it seems like everybody's weighing in on the matter, here's a few thoughts from me about our side of the story...
As many of you know, we have had our own issues with USS. Having declined the option to skate with the USS program based in Salt Lake City, we have chosen to train with Nancy Sr. Yet, of course we still represent them in competition because we can't really be our own entity and then compete in international competitions. Yet, at this point we would prefer to represent just ourselves and our country.
All we want is to be treated fairly and for the organization to acknowledge "Hey, you guys have be working your butts off over there, we don't have that much money at the moment but we care about you and we'll try to help you out in any way possible," and actually do it. But even though our 4x Olympian coach has trained many Olympians through the 80's, 90's and 00's, the organization ignores our existence unless we have results that get their attention and then, of course, they want the association. Our coach is not included in meetings, necessary information, and receives "No you cannot's" constantly. She is told that she will be treated like any other non-national team coach and that she's not good enough to create a medalist (which she's already done). She's also been criticized for not taking her skaters out to train in Salt Lake.
Nancy Sr. is an Olympian, alumnus and present coach of Olympians. This is why USS has financial problems, membership problems, rebellion and little alumni support-because more was taken away from them than ever received. The way to get alumni to give back and help create financial solvency is to have supported them when they were skaters with confidence, trust, recognition, communication and finances if possible-um, no brainer! Instead, USS continues to take it for granted that Nancy Sr. continues to create Olympians with literally no sweat or money out off their back. In fact, along with offering little help, they actually make it more difficult for us.
There are so many instances where we can describe unfair treatment towards us. They range from to seldom recognizing midwest skaters in the media and when they actually do, often accepting credit for their successes. T
of our worst conflicts with USS, though, was in the Vancouver Olympics, when USS board members Jack Mortell and Brad Goskowitz took away an Olympic accreditation Nancy Sr. received from speedskating's international governing body (the ISU) to coach Nancy Jr. and Brian Hansen during their Olympic races. Leaving them with other USS coaches instead. They took away a skater's mother who was her coach at the Olympics! This was reported in the press but didn't get much attention.
P.S. Brian Hansen won a Gold and three Bronze World Cup medals this year so keep his name in mind if you read the "Talent Pool In Long Track Could Be Drying Up" article :)
"On Thin Ice"
"Who Is Jack Mortell"
"Talent Pool In Long Track Could Be Drying Up"
A later article written March 5th, 2013, in the Chicago Tribune that says 6 speedskaters recently filed an official complaint to the USOC (which isn't unusual) and demands reorganization and a new CEO.
"6 skaters demand USS Speedskating reorganization"