LOUISVILLE SWIMMERS STRIVE FOR THE OLYMPICS
Louisville swimmers are making a splash out in Nebraska at the USA Olympic Trials.
Action begins today at 11 a.m. in four events: the 200M IM, 50M Freestyle, 200 M Breaststroke and 1500M Freestyle .They are doing the qualifying in "waves" (appropriate for swimming I'd say) where the top two finishers in Wave I events qualify for Wave II events. Those second events are the ones that get yo in the Olympics. Wave I is June 4-7 and Wave II June 13-20.
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled for Friday July 23rd to Sunday August 8th. There is growing concern, however, in Japan about hosting the event emanating from the people of Japan. With a fourth wave of COVID 19 sweeping the island, up to 80% of the Japanese residents are in favor of cancelling or postponing the events.
It ultimately, though, is not up to the Japanese political leaders. The decision comes from the IOF, the International Olympic Federation. That's how the IOC makes money. And, the Japanese would take a hige financial bath if the events wouldn't transpire -- with all the investments that have been made for the Summer Olympics.
Japan also lags behind the USA and many other nations in getting their residents vaccinated. The athletes, obviously, will mostly be vaccinated...but attendance (which is what the advertisers and marketers want to see). could suffer because of the slow "shots" rate. And volunteers, so important to an event like this, are walking away from their original offer to help and assist.
What makes the Olympics, though?
It is the athletes. If they don't show, because of pandemic concerns, national policies or just the ever-increasing trend of the Japanese not wanting them and travelers to the nation...it's the old issue of, "How do you have a competition if you have no competitors?"
Nevertheless, the trails go on. Cardinals we can keep an eye on today include:
-- Diana Dunn (200IM IM)
-- Aidan Kreiley (200M Breaststroke)
If you'd like to watch, go to: https://www.usaswimming.org/utility/landing-pages/streaming
You can find results here: https://www.omegatiming.com/2021/us-olympic-team-trials-wave-i-live-results
Best of luck to all competitors, especially our Cardinals !
AN EVEN PLATFORM
I've had a lot of fun following this year's WCWS NCAA Softball Tournament, but it's time to toss a changeup in here and make some changes. Changes in how long the event goes on in Oklahoma City. And, it's not about shortening the event.
The NCAA needs to lengthen the event. Trying to cram the event in half the time-frame afforded the men's College World Series is stupid, archaic and must change. Let's look at the beleaguered Florida State Seminoles. The Noles played until 2:20 A.M. Sunday morning, finally defeating Oklahoma State 4-2. Yes, rain delays played havoc with the schedule, but some Noles players did not get to bed until after 4 a.m. Sunday morning after necessary treatment (like ice baths and such), then had to get up for 9:30 a.m. COVID testing and then head to the ballpark to play Alabama, in a elimination game for the Tallahassee school, sitting through yet another weather delay.
Incredibly, the Noles knocked off Alabama 2-0 to force a second elimination game. It was scheduled to be possibly be played last night, along with elimination match for tournament darlings James Madison against Oklahoma. Fortunately those games were moved to today because of continuing rain in the area and the start time is 4 p.m. for Dukes vs. Sooners and Noles vs. Tide around 7 p.m.
Today's action will give us a FINAL FOUR slate of schools, but the strain and stress on the participants is something that could have been avoided with a little prudent planning. Yes, many teams did play four games over a three day weekend during the regular season, but someone like James Madison has had to play four games in five days after going through a grueling regional playoff schedule just to reach the WCWS in Oklahoma City.
I know this doesn't relate to Louisville Softball, but, let's say the Cards qualify for the WCWS next year. I would bet that Holly Aprile wouldn't want to subject her student-athletes to this ridiculous cramming of contests to accommodate broadcasting or the NCAA's wishes. the thrill of getting there has to be incredibly huge, but the stay is akin to one of those non-stop dancing marathons from the 50's or 60's (or a Friday afternoon trying to negotiate I-65 South out of Louisville or any other major city).
It is too much, too fast for these student-athletes. Trying to crowd this schedule of games, eliminations, advancement a and a Final Four in half the allotted time afford the NCAA DI Baseball Tournament is something the coaches, administration and event planners need to storm the NCAA offices over and demand equal time frames and spacing. How can you be at your best when your whole routine, schedule, sleep patterns and nourishment are tossed aside like a sandwich wrapper?
Of course, being the NCAA, it'll probably take them several years to come to any type of decision, and then a couple more years to enact it. Yes, surely the fans suffer here but, that's small beer compared to what the teams have to go through.
Even it up and equal it up NCAA. these women deserve much better than what your giving them.
HAve a meaningful Monday,