14 February 2014

Day 7 -Day Before Brian Hansen's 1500m Olympic Race

14 Feb 2014


It's Valentine's Day, and I never had a moment to think about it except when Jeff Sr. sent me a picture of the roses he bought and card he made...

Tomorrow is a big day for Team Swider-Peltz as it is Brian's 1500m. Brian's racing style is super fun for the spectator to watch (as I think I may have mentioned before his 1000m) because he has this ability to put the pedal to the metal when the situation calls for such. As a coach, when I see that, I have great respect for the competitive heart he has to be able to just turn that on! It also comes from training physiologically, putting off the anaerobic threshold a bit further to the right on the graph!!! Our self-described trademark.
He will race almost exactly at 6:45pm our time (8:45am your time Saturday morning) See below for the pictures that detail his pair/race for his 1500m tomorrow.

Today was a tough day for myself as the day started with serious consequential decisions to be made. As some of you have read in the papers, online or maybe heard on the news, that the skin suit developed over the last years was steeped in hundreds of hours of design and wind tunnel testing. It was supposed to be a revolutionary super fast skin wrought of a technology never before done. Yet as the racing days ended, each one started bringing questions and suspect that something was not right with the US Speedskating team. As I said yesterday, there are other potential reasons which could all be valid, in addition to training programs that just failed.

But when the trajectory is going the wrong way, you have to make decisions to either try to change it or conclude that nothing can be done but to move forward and give it ones best shot .

Most everyone in USS (and private coaches) directly involved with the athlete and who was in Sochi, met to start the process of determining what may be the cause and what would be done. It was determined to ask the athletes (yet to race), who were of medal potential, what was their choice...either to continue in the high tech skin or change to the Fall World Cup skin suit. And then to move forward and make changes to the high tech one or to make the WC skin suit compliant to Olympic requirements.

It was also told to me by the Dutch that some of the "new" ideas on the suit had already been tried by them in previous years and had been determined to be more of a drag than a streamline. Some of the US speedskaters had described the suit as feeling like their "drag" suits.

The athletes decided (a majority) that it was better to give themselves the shot at the skin suit that served them well in the Fall World Cups. They would rather take their chances than to live with the regret that they didn't try. There are very far-reaching consequences to the organization for not seeing this skin suit to the end, and so much is at stake for so many. It may or may never be known what caused the results thus far, because it's too late to quantify a persons physical condition, and results also involve the mental state, the equipment, 
diet, health, sleep, etc. Monday-morning quarterbacks and speculators will debate that for some time to come. But this is where we're at now: pending a final ok to the World Cup skin suit in the morning, that is what will be seen on the US speedskaters.

At times like this, it is my opinion that when organizations seek to do justice to the real goal and not to personal agendas and financial pressures, ultimately it will come back to earning trust and support by those who are needed for the success of the organization.

Tomorrow is a new day and I know Brian is hungry for this one!

As I keep saying, thanks you all for all the comments. I love it and it makes me smile. I'm still enamored by Facebook "screen shots" from Jr. :)


Brian's 1500m details: if you are wanting to watch his race live, you have to watch it online either with a subscription to NBC extra live (http://www.nbcolympics.com/live-extra) or from another country's live broadcast (I go to http://nos.nl/os2014/ using a different IP address). The 1500m Men's races begin at 7:30am CST, but Brian is in the 2nd group, 16th pair, approx. racing at 8:45am CST. For live non-video results, check here: http://www.sochi2014.com/en/speed-skating-men-s-1000-m.


God bless and goodnight from Sochi,

Nancy Sr.


Videos:

Outside the dorm where the US team lives looking out to the Black Sea......I know I've sent maybe too many scenes of the Black Sea but we keep getting these incredibly warm days as you can see from what we're wearing! :)


Here is Emery Lehman, the "young kid" out of Oak Park (speedskater) shows up and I decided to make his debut in this blog. You can see him race the 10,000 next week!