Rants

Free the Gibraltar Five! Malaga LOC says they can’t wear colors or fly their flag

Don’t tell David Pain about this. He’ll flash on his time fighting to get South Africans into 1975 Toronto worlds. This time, at least, a host country isn’t excluding a national contingent. Gibraltar has one of the smallest teams at Malaga worlds, but its treatment is making the biggest stink. The British territory’s M40 Liam Byrne (400/800), M40 Charles Savignon (10K/half-marathon), W45 Allison Edwards (10K/half-marathon), M45 Maurice Turnock (5000) and M65 Horace Bossano (10K) may not be medal favorites. But they have become pawns in some crazy Spanish politics. Media outlets, IAAF bigwig Seb Coe and others are calling out…


Wonder of wonders: WMA wallops Malaga LOC for not having Wi-Fi at stadiums

Until Tuesday, you could count on World Masters Athletics to sing its own version of “Home on the Range” — where never is heard a discouraging word. Now, for the first time, our governing body is showing fangs. With the blessing of lame-duck Prez Stan Perkins, the WMA homepage is criticizing the host of a world meet before it even starts. WMA roared: “It has now been confirmed that there will be no wi-fi coverage available for the athletes, officials or anyone else attending the various athletics stadiums and venues in the upcoming WMA Track and Field Athletics Championships in…


Usatfmasters.org — our official portal — being redesigned with WordPress modernity

Jeff Brower, our USATF masters webmaster and records czar, is working hard behind the scenes to freshen up our official website. It hasn’t been publicly unveiled (until now), but its WordPress theme (aka design) is adapted by masters media maestro (aka MMM) Sandy Lee Triolo “in collaboration with Jovette Jolicoeur,” says the site, which can be seen here. The old design — full of ancient HTML affectations and overly busy graphically — doesn’t do justice to our hip vibe. WordPress also allows Jeff (and anyone else with the password) to easily update a page. The old site required coding chops….


W60 gender scientist Joanna Harper leaves Fox News doofus in rhetorical dust

W60 distancer Joanna Harper ran rings around two Fox News hosts Monday, leaving Tucker Carlson and Mark Steyn stumped in separate segments. Instead of playing the role of punching bag, Joanna (a transgender athlete and IOC consultant on gender issues) defeated her male interrogators with some masters jiu jitsu. She disarmed them by taking their sides and proving herself reasonable and rational. Outsports headlined the exchange: “Trans athlete leaves Tucker Carlson speechless, sets Fox News record.” I detailed Joanna’s story in 2010 and again in 2015. The post three years ago was occasioned by an amazing piece Joanna wrote for…


USATF CEO picking site of 2021 open nationals (aka IAAF world trials)?

Every year, our USATF Masters Committee votes at the annual meeting to award indoor and outdoor nationals several years in the future. Sometimes only one city bids, so it’s a slam dunk. But not once has a USATF masters chair gone around the committee and delegates and awarded the meet on his own say-so. So what do we make of the latest news — which I reported on Times of San Diego — that USATF CEO Max Siegel summarily handed 2021 open nationals (and IAAF Eugene world trials) to Mt. SAC? According to a memo I quote, Max claims USATF…


WMA posts survey, opens Pandora’s box of giving athletes a voice

Dang! World Masters Athletics went and done it! On Tuesday it posted a survey! Perhaps its first. The 25 questions are basically demographic and commercial — aimed at learning about attendance at WMA world and regional meets, indoors and out. You get a hint of marketing, since one question asks what athletic brands you wear. We’re asked for suggestions on how to improve the experience. Good for WMA. But now a precedent is set (asking our thoughts), and there’s no way back to the days of pretending athletes/officials have no views. I don’t know who will be privy to results,…