Janet Evans and Michelle Smith

Janet Evans and Michelle Smith

Post by RunnSw » Thu, 25 Jul 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
>>I saw Janet Evans being interviewed about Michelle Smith and she was

more
than a little disingenuous about "talk of her using *** being
commonplace
in the locker room". It looked as if she was pi**ed off at failing to
qualify for the final (her own fault, as admitted by a senior US coach!)
and was trying to tarnish Michelle's achievement.<<

No one wants to tarnish Michelle's achievement for the sake of jealousy or
mean-spiritedness. I think Gallup polls have proven that Ireland and the
Irish are a country and ethnic group held in almost universal esteem by
virtually all Americans.

No one is the least pi**ed off over the great swims of "foreigner" Danyon
Loader, in an event where another American hero (Dolan) was favored.

But the swimming community has been burned before.

Shirley Babashoff (a resident of my town, Huntington Beach, CA) won 11
Olympic medals--largely silver, but they should have been gold.  She made
accusations which were more than innuendo.  She was labeled a whiner and a
loser and a slanderer.  She did not become a millionaire (as you said
would be the happy destiny of Michelle Smith).  Shirley became a mail
carrier for the Huntington Beach post office.  But she was right to raise
the questions. Raising obvious questions is not slander and an innocent
swimmer has nothing to fear when questions are raised but when there is no
proof.

The circumstances of Michelle Smith's achievements are undeniably
questionable. The people most troubled by it are the people who know the
most about swimming (coaches, swimming specialty journalists, and swimmers
themselves).  The average American, who doesn't know that it is
unprecedented for a mature world class woman swimmer to have time drops in
the magnitude of Smith's drops, is not at all concerned.  But the experts
ARE concerned. The fact that she is trained by her husband, with a history
of drug controversy, only fuels perfectly understandable speculation.

There is an old saying: "Once burned, twice shy."  In this case it is many
times burned, many times shy.

It is a fact that the swimming community will no longer accept at face
value, with no questions asked, remarkable achievements under suspicious
circumstances.

This is the unfortunate burden of Michelle Smith and of future athletes
who find themselves in her situation.  It is one more burden to be faced
and to be overcome by a truly deserving champion.

Larry Weisenthal

 
 
 

Janet Evans and Michelle Smith

Post by P.S.MCWILLIA » Thu, 25 Jul 1996 04:00:00

I saw Janet Evans being interviewed about Michelle Smith and she was more
than a little disingenuous about "talk of her using *** being commonplace
in the locker room". It looked as if she was pi**ed off at failing to
qualify for the final (her own fault, as admitted by a senior US coach!)
and was trying to tarnish Michelle's achievement.
  From our angle it looks as if the whole US SWIMMING (not Olympic) establ-
ishment has it in for Michelle. Unlike the Chinese, however, she has been
tested regularly over a number of years (including "9 o'clock one morning
in my pyjamas"!) and her dramatic improvement she puts down to a training
regime embracing over 100K yards per week!
  Unfortunately she is deemed guilty by association, as her husband, who
supervises her training, tested positive in a marginal case of doping in
1994 (I think it was testosterone), which he disputes, and was banned.
  The fall from grace in the eyes of the Irish public, to whom she is now
(rightfully) as ***e, would far outweigh the acclaim she is now receiving.
   Doubtless Michelle will go on to millionaire status; does the US sporting
public, who are fair, if over enthusiastic in support of their athletes,
think she will have achieved this through doping.

PS All the talk over late entries etc. was a fudge: the organising committee
at Atlanta has admitted it was at fault. Let's hope Michelle makes it medal
no.3 tonight.

Patrick

 
 
 

Janet Evans and Michelle Smith

Post by Adam Brid » Thu, 25 Jul 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> I saw Janet Evans being interviewed about Michelle Smith and she was more
> than a little disingenuous about "talk of her using *** being commonplace
> in the locker room". It looked as if she was pi**ed off at failing to
> qualify for the final (her own fault, as admitted by a senior US coach!)
> and was trying to tarnish Michelle's achievement.
>   From our angle it looks as if the whole US SWIMMING (not Olympic) establ-
> ishment has it in for Michelle. Unlike the Chinese, however, she has been
> tested regularly over a number of years (including "9 o'clock one morning
> in my pyjamas"!) and her dramatic improvement she puts down to a training
> regime embracing over 100K yards per week!
>   Unfortunately she is deemed guilty by association, as her husband, who
> supervises her training, tested positive in a marginal case of doping in
> 1994 (I think it was testosterone), which he disputes, and was banned.
>   The fall from grace in the eyes of the Irish public, to whom she is now
> (rightfully) as ***e, would far outweigh the acclaim she is now receiving.
>    Doubtless Michelle will go on to millionaire status; does the US sporting
> public, who are fair, if over enthusiastic in support of their athletes,
> think she will have achieved this through doping.

> PS All the talk over late entries etc. was a fudge: the organising committee
> at Atlanta has admitted it was at fault. Let's hope Michelle makes it medal
> no.3 tonight.

> Patrick

I posted Richard Quick's interview in which he briefly discussed the
nature of the US protest of Michelle Smith's entry. The protest was made
before the Olympics started.  It has been my experience in meets such as
the US National Championships that protests regarding eligibility are
normal and expected.  It's only that the protest came in an even in which
Smith bumped Evans that it really became news.

Guessing from the way I watch things happen on deck, it's clear that
rumors were everywhere.  They always are.  Evans picked up on it.  She
spoke in disappointment and probably engaged tongue before brain had a
chance to filter out some of the things that were said.  I heard her
TRYING to do that in her NBC interview.

My opinion of the world press in reporting swimming stories isn't
particularly high.  Okay, it's down there with that camera that scurries
along the bottom of the pool.  They want to sell papers, view time,
whatever, and grab any rumor they can.

Smith did very well when she was pressed by NBC in her post race
interview.  (I'd have taken the mic and shoved it up . . .)  Her answers
make sense to me.  And, besides, there are the drug test results she has
passed (which surely will be a matter of record) as well as the tests she
took upon winning her medals.

In some ways, however, you're right.  It WAS all of US Swimming after
Smith because USS is the organization that needs to protest issues of
eligibility.  The Olympics set up a court of arbitration which ruled she
was entiled to swim.  I haven't heard any more complaints.  I'm still
looking for an accurate account of the story.

Fortunately I know several of the referees and one of the starters at the
Olympics so I'm hopeful I'll eventually get the "real" story from people I
trust.

Best regards and good luck to Irish swimmers -- our household was
certainly cheering her on right from the start.  Many of our area coaches
thought she has done a terrific job.  So the press presents a distorted
view of how Americans (especially those intimately involved in the sport)
view the games

Adam Bridge

 
 
 

Janet Evans and Michelle Smith

Post by Al Spo » Mon, 29 Jul 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> I saw Janet Evans being interviewed about Michelle Smith and she was more
> than a little disingenuous about "talk of her using *** being commonplace
> in the locker room". It looked as if she was pi**ed off at failing to
> qualify for the final (her own fault, as admitted by a senior US coach!)
> and was trying to tarnish Michelle's achievement.

Yeah, I've always been of the opinion that Janet Evans is pretty much full
of herself... despite the totally bizarre attempt by the media to make her
come off as being so selfless and humble.  I think that her comments were
the very essence of sour grapes.  On the other hand, I do think she's an
amazing athlete, and I have to bear in mind that my opinion of her is
based only on the media picture.  But unless there was some over-dubbing
going on, I have to hold her responsible for her comments regarding
Michelle, which were pretty much inexcuseable.  I hope Michelle has
another Olympics in her.

--

http://SportToday.org/~spohn/