Dear John:The boycott is more about the 'opening ceremonies' and NOT about the Olympics, thankfully.
I am a STRONG believer in positive visualization. I KNOW that the Olympics will be GREAT.
Since China is a totalitarian government, any protests will not be seen. The American government and the USOC will not allow our team to go into an unsafe situation. The pollution will be handled by the Chinese government, totalitarian. The nutrition will be monitored by the USOC. Our team will not focus on the cheaters, only on our own great performances.
The only time that my positive attitude has ever let me down was the 1980 Olympic boycott. On second thought, my attitude didn't let me down, Jimmy Carter did.
My only concern about the current "Doom and Gloom" press coverage (boycott, pollution, Tibet, human rights, steroids, new swimsuits) is the possibility that our less savvy coaches and athletes might believe what they hear from the media as fact. This will cause them unnecessary stress in what is already an inherently stressful situation.
The biggest gift that The American Swimming Coaches Association can make toward our Olympic effort is to KEEP THE CHATTER POSITIVE. It is infectious and believable!
Thanks for your help in passing this forward John.
National Team Head Coach
Candidate Obama said that he does NOT favor any boycott.
The pollution is what it is. Rather, the pollution is what it will be. Beijing is a large city in a huge country with billions of people. It is spotless in some areas. It is dirty in others. The air quality at the Olympics will be equal for all as everyone sucks oxygen from the same environment.
I have good faith that the air quality will be good as I have seen how the air quality after the May 7th, weeklong holiday changes. When the factories shut for vacations -- the air clears. They will shut down the factories in that region for that month.
The LZR Racer swim suit from Speedo is another matter. It might be buzz that is okay. Our swimmers and coaches can have some control on that front. That discussion should occur, with research, with vision, with the intensity of the 'doom and gloom media' to bring resolution and solutions for the sport for both short and long-term.
Tibet. Dafur. The best we can do is pray and ponder. Become aware. That is the best approach. Be smarter. Be open minded. Think again. Don't trust the sources of propaganda. Those are deep concerns and need deep understandings. Care. Seek insights as you are able. This is a time to 'study' as time permits.
Steriods -- humm. Stay clean. Eat well. Don't be ignorant there either. Nor should it be our position to be finger pointing.