**I apologize in advance if you’re sick of hearing about the suit debacle, but today I’m kind of pissed off and this is my blog so I’ll rant if I want to :) Generally the best thing you can do with a troll on the internet is to ignore it, and that’s what I usually do with Craig Lord over at SwimNews.com. Despite the name, his site is more about ranting against tech suits than actual swimming news. Today he did 2 things that really get under my skin 1) He caused even more tech suit confusion by posting what appears to be opinion as fact 2) He belittled masters swimmers in the process. -Rob D.**
Your post this morning has been stewing in my head all day. It makes me mad that you would take pot shots at masters swimming and that you would spin what masters is doing in regards to the suit debacle in such a way that it makes masters swimmers more confused as to what they can and can’t do in the competition pool.
You said: “FINA has given suit makers a green light to press ahead with every technological experiment in the world of masters swimming. The conclusion is clear: in such a playground, the doping suit will be developed and the cost of swimming in masters for those who wish to remain competitive will soar.”
Really? Do you have proof of that? No one else has seen or heard anything that confirms this. If this exists some where in writing I’m sure we’d all love to see it. I would think Swimming World Magazine (who does see masters swimming as worth covering and does so proactively) would have said something about this if it were legit. Currently USMS is on hold waiting for FINA to make some actual decisions and in the meantime they are allowing previously approved suits to stay legal. Not really all that radical. It looks like German Masters are taking the same approach and various National Federations feel removing certain suits from their countries is premature because FINA isn’t done testing and approving suits. Can you imagine the mess we’d have if we had to outlaw suits and then just 60 days later they were good to go again? Not an effective use of time and energy. USMS has basically said once FINA steps up and actually bans suits then they’ll decide what to really do about all of this. They may still come in line with FINA’s directive, they’re just waiting for FINA to figure out what the hell it’s actually doing. Seems fair enough to me.
“SwimNews does not cover masters swimming. It is the equivalent of the fun marathon, in which level playing fields are very relative indeed. The purpose is fun, fitness, health and skills for life. Most approach it in that spirit. A minority take it very seriously indeed and vanity, disposable income and time-on-their-hands all play a part. It is to those people in particular that a playground of fast suits (and keep an eye on that price range aimed at the grey market in the US) may appeal.”
First off high five for disparaging a group that probably makes up a good portion of your readers, we find that endearing. Yes a good majority of us swim just for fun and don’t compete, but basically if we’re not elite we should just get out of the competition pool? Are we vain for enjoying swimming and racing? Is there something wrong with a masters swimmer wearing the same suits as the elite crowd? Do you really think we’re all out there because we have nothing better to do? I have to make time to go swimming, and I’m sure most other masters who are juggling careers and families with swimming have to do the same. If you ever spent some time around some masters swimmers you’d find them to be quite the opposite of what you’ve painted us as. It’s a group of people getting together to support each other in trying to swim as fast as they can for whatever age they may be. I’m sure our record holders take a lot of pride in the national and world records they have set but I doubt it is vanity that gets them into the pool to train.
“FINA, appears to be making it up as it goes along, under pressure from a vocal and wealthy sector of the masters movement in the US, where the governing body for masters is sponsored by the maker of suits that may no longer be used in the elite pool, and under pressure from those who refuse to give up hope that fast suits will remain a lucrative market for them. “
I agree that FINA has made a complete mess of the whole situation, but do you really think there is some kind of big money US masters swimming cabal that is silently guiding swimming towards “suits that interact directly with the central nervous system?” You realize that’s crazy talk right? USMS is a volunteer driven organization with a few employees dude, we’re not out there bullying international organizations into doing what we want. Oh and by the way… yes BlueSeventy is a sponsor, but not out only sponsor. Nike, Speedo, and TYR are also supporters of USMS. Tech suits are a lucrative market for all of them, not just B70.
I could go on and on, but here is the basic point to my little rant… Masters is a vibrant organization that has thousands of swimmers that are focused on swimming fast because they love it, not because they’re vain or have some kind of secret tech suit spreading agenda. If you really have strong feelings for the sport of swimming you wouldn’t attack an organization that provides opportunities for people to extend their love affair with swimming into their 90′s and beyond. Also don’t flame bait our community just for traffic. The article today is going to cause even more confusion and speculation around the suit issue that we don’t need.
I look forward to ignoring SwimNews in the future.