And Now a Word from Swimming World Magazine

Swimming World Magazine, USA Swimming’s mouth piece, has this to say about tonight’s 20/20 episode on their website.

I’m in one of those arguing kinds of moods.

From Swimming World:

During the past 10 years, 36 out of 36,000 member-coaches of USA Swimming, or .1 percent, have been reported and banned for life from USA Swimming – a punishment that USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus calls its death penalty. These numbers are according to Wielgus.

Does banning someone once he’s already been incarcerated really count?

One big bone of contention, apparently, is 20/20’s comparison of USA Swimming with the Catholic Church.

“I think there is a huge distinction between USA Swimming and the Catholic Church that has been missed so far [in reporting],” Wielgus told Swimming World. “That distinction is that USA Swimming has never done anything to try to hide or shield coaches who have conducted themselves inappropriately. To the contrary, we have asked that coaches be reported. When they are reported, we immediately turn that information over to our legal counsel and seek to banish these coaches from the sport. That’s not what the catholic priests have done. They have hidden, transferred and protected [sexual offenders].”

So, I guess that parents are supposed to feel better that USA Swimming is nothing like the Catholic Church. Oh, okay. But  I just want someone to directly react to my “lost” complaint to Pacific Swimming. Since they apparently have such open channels, it doesn’t make sense that it was “lost.” Even the board member who told it me it was lost put “lost” into quotation marks. What the. 

And now that same board member, the only one who even remembers the complaint, is saying that it’s not what I’m saying it’s about, that it was only about excessive yardage and yelling. 

Okay, now why would that be. He was so supportive of me of going to the police when Andy King was arrested. Now he’s saying my complaint was about something else?

Don’t you find that, I don’t know, weird?

It’s like this: you either apologize for your organization losing the complaint, or we know it’s a cover up. If you deny that I sent it, if you deny what it was about, it’s a cover up.

Or maybe USA Swimming isn’t covering anything up, but you might want to talk to Pacific Swimming, because apparently, they didn’t get the memo.

My word. Who am I. I’m not a coach, I’m not a parent, I swim three times a week, I participate in masters open water swims. I love swimming. It’s the best sport in the world. I don’t want kids to quit swimming. I don’t want kids to be abused. 

Couldn’t someone say, “Katie Kelly, we are sorry, from the bottoms of our hearts, that we failed to act upon your complaint, and that we lost it. In the future, such complaints will be referred to the highest channels and treated with the upmost respect. We have learned from this mistake.”

If you can’t say that, well, then maybe you could say a couple of Hail Marys.


About katiekelly

I grew up in a parking lot.
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3 Responses to And Now a Word from Swimming World Magazine

  1. Else Meek says:

    I’m dropping in at the end of this discussion, working my way backwards, so I don’t have the complete information of the “story” yet, although I certainly have the gist of it. That said, I might be missing a crucial detail here, so forgive me if I am, but I can’t help but comment on this section of the above quote:

    “..we have asked that coaches be reported. When they are reported, we immediately turn that information over to our legal counsel…”

    Um, call me crazy but if an organization truly wanted to be proactive and protective, wouldn’t your first contact be law enforcement….not your attorney??!!

  2. Dave B says:

    So I watched the 20/20 report, and was pretty disappointed in USA Swimming. I don’t know if there was an organized cover-up, but I could definitely buy apathy, lack of desire to solve the problem, and ignorance (of what to do, not whether or not something was happening). I really don’t like that Andy King was coaching at my old club when there was likely ample evidence around by that time to show that he should not have been around kids. Thanks for doing your part to bring this to light.

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