Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The other end

Like SB I get a little annoyed about amateur athletes bitching about hardship. Especially those who are Masters or lifetime sub elite athletes. It’s a hobby guys. If it’s too dear quit or cut some corners on equipment. Take the money saved and put it in your kid’s college fund.

There has been little hullabaloo in Rhody about our newest Olympian. Elizabeth Beisel from North Kingstown has made the Olympic swimming team at 15 years old. That’s right, she is 37% as old as Dara Torres.

The local news is full of the 14-year-old LaSalle girl golfer Juliet Vongphoumy who won the boy’s championship (from the ladies’ tees) this year. As of yesterday she was tied for 91st 14 stokes off the pace after the first round of the RI Amateur. She is playing from the men’s tees this tournament.

Both girls are superb at their sport. But which is a bigger achievement. Making an Olympic team or being 9 over par on a local RI course? I wonder which young woman will have greater long term success in sport and in life?

Swimming will have to give way at some point to age and lack of high quality of competition. A young golfer, if good enough, can continue as a pro for ages or be fried by 20 like Michelle Wei or Ty Tryon.

Where is Conrad LeBas? What happened to John DiPippo? Why do so many fantastic junior cyclists disappear once they hit seniors? Is it better to be a Type A , driven, middle-aged weekend warrior or a washed up junior phenom? What are we trying to get out of sport? Who is driving the junior and what is haunting the Master?

Enjoy it. It you are not going to make a living out of it remember where you stand and what you hope to get out of sport.


gewilli said...

bitching about getting invited to worlds with nothing more than "you can go and represent your country if you pay your way because we are only giving money to 1/2 the team we want to go"
and bitching about a $35 entry fee for a race that only has $800 in prize money are very different...

or maybe not to you and old grumpy pants

solobreak said...

So Gewilli, when you renewed your USA Cycling license, I presume you checked off the elite athlete support box and made a generous donation?

Or maybe you realized this is a very big, rich country, and deserving athletes will always find the support they need one way or another, because many able donors who might not be willing to give to the federation will instead open up their pocketbooks and give directly to the athlete they wish to support.

Or maybe everyone who works to further amateur sport in the US is "stupid, retarded, incompetent, evil, unfair" as you say, and they're out to get everyone who is your friend, because after all, you are a victim.

Il Bruce said...

My guess is that if you qualify for an elite world championships in an Olympic event you will get some support.

I see a lot of support for skiing, swimming, etc. How muchsupport do you reckon a Modern Pentathlete or 10metre air rifle shooter gets.

It's up to the federation. If your membership supports the elite level then you get support. Olympic cycling is a pro sport now. Do you want to foot the bill for them? It's still wrongly or not about the McCokelympics.

gewilli said...

why you turn it all about me? I think you are just projecting your own selfish proclivities on me...

I guess the world is all perfect in your eyes and that junior riders who qualify for worlds as a discretionary pick should be treated differently than one who is automatically picked, in that sending a team is a two stage process.

I guess there isn't room for those who see an injustice out there to speak up. Honey or Vinegar, problems or issues left alone or ignored do not go away.

Being quiet about (read Ignoring) stuff does wonders that kind of issue...

rock the boat

it may not do much good but it sure identifies who's uncomfortable and easily pissed off...

Il Bruce said...

IF they are discressionary they are not auto qualifiers. They have not met the same criteria as teh first choice athletes.

Is it better that they not be offered a spot at all?