Later today, I will record a podcast with Eva Rodansky. You may remember her as the former national level speedskater that Sarah and I talked to weeks ago.
Eva was at the most recent Senate hearing where leaders from USA Weightlifting, U.S. Figure Skating, USA Swimming, and USA Bobsled and Skeleton. Those of us advocating for change have put a lot of hope in the hearings, but there is a growing divide between the rhetorical bluster of those attending and what actually happens.
Most notably, an emerging strategy for Tim Hinchey is to either forget or be willfully ignorant of some of the most egregious cases USA Swimming has fumbled in the past. Hinchey claimed to not know who Paul Bergen is. His messaging seems to be quite straightforward:
Hinchey has put USA Swimming’s hopes in Safe Sport, don’t admit or even recognize mistakes that were made before his tenure.
He’s been largely successful and unchallenged in that matter, something Rodansky and I will discuss. Rodansky’s experience of being a “squeaky wheel” within speed skating has earned her somewhat of a pariah status within the sport.
Just yesterday I found myself marked a bully for the audacity to criticize a massive organization. Not sure it’s bullying when all David can do is launch a few pebbles at Goliath’s shins, but ok.
Likewise, if swimming were in a healthy spot I think criticisms of its ongoing lack of leadership might actually be welcome. But the leadership structure is so insecure that to admit even minor mistakes is too much to bear.
So what can be done, if anything, to bridge that divide? We’ll talk about that and more. Submit your questions (podcast records at 1:00 EST) and you may just get an answer on the pod!