17 February 2014

Day 10 -The Elephant in the Room, more from Nancy Sr.

It's been a quiet day since I've heard a no comment policy has been issued within USS.

But I get an overwhelming feeling that a certain amount of acceptance, and...this is the "best the skaters could do" mentality is settling in. I do not accept it.



Thanks Dan for writing this. I've been hearing
 about international skaters reading your blog too!
I agree with the title of this team, that it was the Most Talented Team ever!!! The skaters entrusted themselves to the organization, believing the decisions were made by a qualified team of high performance experts. These guys deserve a statement of explanation that doesn't have to wait til the competitions are over. Respect, not controversy, will follow words honestly and carefully selected to give the athletes the faith that the organization isn't waiting a moment to get to the bottom of it. And in the meantime, to give them the tools to feel empowered to fight on with a confidence they can succeed.

And I guess one way to avoid damage control is not to talk. But that can incite speculation and I say it's worth trusting that honesty will be respected. And over time, can define the character of an organization. And couldn't we also be teaching lessons along the way of this sport journey knowing that not everyone will achieve the goals they set out to achieve? And that lesson could be learning to communicate which seems to be a valuable tool for life, and one the organization itself admits is lacking. So why not begin with tough times and show the athletes how to maneuver through such and come out on top as it is done in sport. Practical sport to life lessons...right?

There have also been comments about the team and lack of such...and that being a dysfunctionality. US Speedskating has historically touted its individualism as being it's saving factor in producing the medals we have throughout time. This needs to be continued to be embraced as it has served the US well. The US team is made up of teams and individual teams. This is not an "I" less team. That is an incorrect expectation.


As is in Holland, there are many teams and they do not share training or training ideas. They compete against each other more heatedly than the US does, and they would not survive without the "I". I believe if you accept the fact that this is an individual sport with a team aspect, that acceptance alone is simply honesty.

*************

Paul Golomski is one of US Speedskating's valuable assets. He not only knows how to make (arguably) the fastest ice in the US, but he is skating's #1 fan. He works tirelessly at the Pettit, making personal sacrifices and is always looking out for the skaters. He loves the sport and is always playing with statistics to help him with ice conditions and comparisons to other rinks. In the last years leading up to the trials having to have been in Milwaukee, he kept statistics on the successes of US athletes in different rinks, and of course looked for reasons to promote the Milwaukee rink to USS. He has kept statistics on altitude competitions vs. lowland. He has put together evidence of altitude skaters performing significantly better on altitude tracks vs lowland tracks and lowland skater performing significantly better than their counterparts on lowland tracks. He does this out of a desire to put the facts out their cause numbers show a clearer picture. Paul deserves the respect of USS and what was shown him recently is the same disrespect that private coaches have historically received ...


This Olympic Team should ask the high performance team why Paul's stats were brushed aside when presented to them a long time ago. Embracing respectfully all the entities that ultimately contribute to the 
organization will put a face on this sport it has never before had. 

Goodnight from Sochi,
Nancy Sr.


Videos:

After a day off from the 1500m Shani Davis, Brian Hansen, and Jonathan Kuck (Joey Mantia on a couple) put together a great TP practice . These guys just needed one 6 lapper to start feelin what they needed. These guys have what it takes to medal, so be watchin for this race on the 21st and 22nd of February.



Another short clip of Brian Hansen, Jonathan Kuck and Shani Davis training for the Team Pursuit races on the 21-22nd of February 2014.



A typical scene from the "Olympic life of Brian and Nancy Sr."...heads in our phones...and I'm just as bad, but don't I do Facebook and Twitter, which Brian thinks I'd love to do cause I like to make teaching "points"...