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Open Letter to USA Swimming

Dear @USA Swimming-

Can't we do better? To say that your choices regarding the US Olympic Swim Coaching staff are disappointing is an understatement. Eleven coaches were chosen to represent our country in the coming Olympics, and only two of them are women? Even the women's team is to be headed by a male coach.

As you well know- women make up roughly 52% of registered competitive swimmers in this country. YMCA. USA Swimming. Masters. Age group. National. High school. Summer. Triathletes. Open Water. Women are an integral component in the growth and success of this sport.

Don't we deserve more? Since its inception- organized swimming has always been male dominated. Coaching even more so. At the club level women are generally relegated to coaching younger swimmers, and rarely given the chance to work with senior teams or to head programs. What message does this send to the girls competing in the sport? I'll tell you, it says that coaching is for men. That women just aren't as capable. It tells them that if they decide to step into the ring they will struggle to even be taken seriously. That the glass ceiling USA Swimming created and condones will make it nearly impossible for them to see coaching swimming as a serious career option.

Isn't it past time for a change? Why not start with Bob Bowman's spot? The man who sent a slew of inappropriate, sexually graphic texts and voicemails to Olympic Bronze Medalist- Caroline Burckle.

Need I remind you that the coach - athlete dynamic is a uniquely unbalanced position of power? And must I also point out that coaches are supposed to make athletes feel safe? Bob Bowman was caught on tape. Bowman should have been banned from coaching swimming, or the very least, his involvement with swimming at the national level diminished. Yet you decided to reward his predatory behavior with a coveted position. You dismissed his sexual harassment as a mere lapse in judgement because that's what boys clubs do... protect each other.

You must do better. You must reconsider. Otherwise Safe Sport is merely lip service. If the governing body of American swimming doesn't remove such coaches then how can we expect to do so at the club level? I implore you to stop overlooking the contribution women make to this sport and stop placing men who abuse our trust and our swimmers into leadership positions.


Diary Of A Swim Mom


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