Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Happenings at USAT, other stuff

Okay, two posts in 24 hours, but there is much to talk about and some happenings at USAT that are truly significant. While it would appear that some really eye opening things have happened at USAT since the arrival of the new executive director, I think the announcement made yesterday that Libby Burrell, National Teams Director, falls into the category of major. While many in the age group world probably don't get what Libby did, simply put and without going in to complete detail of all her duties, she was responsible for putting the best possible athletes in the Olympic competition arena. She was in charge when the first Olympic medal was won by Susan Williams, in the past Olympics. Libby has also authored the very complete, comprehensive, and professional strategic plan for the National teams program. This plan was highly regarded in the sport and gained complete endorsement from the USAT Board(even though I am sure most didn't really read it as they should have). She was very well respected at ITU and the USOC, so this has got to have them scratching their heads. A very classy post can be found on slowtwitch.com by Libby, as to the reasons for her resignation and what led her to resign. In my close dealings with Libby, during my interim executive director days at USAT, I found her to be very professional and met her challenges head on. There were many days during my 6 months on the job that she and I conferred quite frequently during the day, always coming away with a logical explanation or solution to answer the challenges of that day. She was one of my favorite staff members and as I use to tell her, "it was nice having a grown up to talk to, every once in a while." She is leaving a program, in better condition than when she arrived, that did produce the first medal for the sport and has a pipeline of very capable athletes and coaches to carry it forward to more medals and that elusive Gold. I always felt that since Libby was an Ironman(woman) she also had a good feel for the age group athlete. She will be missed but she will also be doing what she feels is right in her heart, and will be returning to "home."

Humor: "The guy who was the former chef at the White House has written a tell-all book. For example, he says Dick Cheney, Vice President, his favorite dish is something called chicken Gitmo--it's chicken bound and gagged over rice."--David Letterman or "John Kerry is positioning himself for another run at the White House in 2008. Kerry said this campaign will be much better than the last one. He says this time he's gonna take three positions on each issue."--Jay Leno

Dr. Weil on "You(And Your Brain) are what you eat."--Foods that go directly to your head--Omega 3 fatty acids, gathered oily fish, like salmon, sardins, mackerel, herring, bluefish and black cod. This is the best source of food for the brain, but Dr. Weil suggests that we keep an eye out for turmeric, the yellow spice that is a major ingredient in American mustard and Indian curries. Of course there is always the fruits and vegetables recommendation for your diet. The pigments that account for the varied colors of vegetable and fruits have antioxidant properties that offer significant protectin against cancer and other chronic diseases, as well as protection from a range of environmental toxins, including pesticides.

Next on my list, "The Hidden Secrets of the Creative Mind."--interesting stuff. But got to go do some swimming.



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