High drama on the shores of the Black Sea, or how Marius Vizer saved the triple jump, by David Owen, Insidethegamesbiz

I have several things to say about David Owen’s brilliant and timely piece from the Sports Accord. First, I am so happy that Mr. Owens was there, secondly, I enjoy his commentaries about the internecine battles in sports, and thirdly, how can one not just admire, but worship a man who uses George Orwell’s definition of “serious sport” as “war without the shooting”?  


Yohan Diniz setting 50k RW World record at 2015 Euros, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Another point, one must read www.insidethegames.biz if one is to keep abreast of the global sports drama.  That soap opera that is global sport is coming to a crescendo. The battle for the minds and hearts of the next generation of sports actives and fans, at the same time one has to note the bloody battle for media time and media dollars that federations daily fight with professional sports, and finally, the steering of the ship Olympic movement through mine field and self serving waters of various vassals of modern sport all heads for a, shall we say Titanic moment?

What will the proverbial iceberg be? 

Will the so called keepers of the castle of Olympic sport ever understand that while the hearts and minds of sports fans may want an Olympics, that responsible governments and sponsors need to find ways to share the Olympic movement among several nations? Do they realize, that perhaps, in such arrangements, the true value of the Olympics, that of bringing nearly 300 odd nations of the world to peaceful words and actions for 18 days, could actually become a reality? 

Christian Taylor, Triple Jump gold medalist, London 2012, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The facts suggest that there was shooting going on in Sochi. Mr. Vizer was taking the pre emptive strike notion, something not used in Russia back in 1905, if my history does not fail me now. Vizer was taking a clear shot at Mr. Bach and he not only came up short, but he gave several Federations a chance to gain some mindshare and protection, if one may be so bold. 

It has been quite easy for many media groups to take shots at track & field for some time. Athletics does tend to shoot itself in the foot, and sometimes higher with our recent self indulgent moves. 

The recent Kenyan drug crisis, I believe needs to be read, however, as one where those who deeply care about the sport are trying to clean it up at the same time. The IAAF recently asked for Rita Jeptoo’s two year ban to be doubled, due to “aggravated circumstances”-I concur. 

And then, only days later, the IAAF not only leaves Mr. Vizer opening tirade, but removes itself as part of the Sports Accord. Perhaps, Mr. Diack has a book on Otto von Bismarck by his bedside table? Bismarck was noted to have said, ” One does not have to be a socialist to support social security?”

Diack knows a good move when he sees it, and if he does not, his advisors sure did. Marius Vizer took his shot, and while there may be damage to the IOC, the benefits to the IAAF, as seen by this athletic partisan are tremendous.

Now, the IOC sees, once again, that the IAAF is a keen supporter while also be a critical observer of all things Olympic. That second part is important as well, dear and kind readers. 

Mo Farah, Galen Rupp make history in the 10,000 meters, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The truth is, the true enemy of athletics are those inside our sport. Those on the outside only can hurt us when we weaken our entire sport with internecine fighting, fail to see the absolute blood letting that is happening with doping, and don’t invite all ideas to the proverbial table of athletics to find ways to entice and cajole the sporting public into finding stories within our sport that resonate with them. 

Also, the IAAF surely realizes that the pure theatre of the opportunity that Mr. Vizer has given our sport could not be wasted. Somewhere in heaven, Mr. Machiavelli is sitting with Mr. Metternich, and noting that Mr. Diack just pulled a Nebiolo. Actually his second in several weeks. The first will be called Eugene 2021. 

I for one, am happy that he did. 

David Owen: High drama on the shores of the Black Sea, or how Marius Vizer saved the triple jump

David Owen: High drama on the shores of the Black Sea, or how Marius Vizer saved the triple jump

There is no doubt who is ahead in the early stages of the grudge match between two black belts of global sports that those of us who travelled to the shores of the Black Sea have been gawping at this week with a mixture of bemusement and rapt anticipation.

But International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and his “cardinals of sport”, to use their opponent, SportAccord boss, Marius Vizer’s resonant analogy, have scored at best a waza-ari and not a contest-ending ippon.

Even if the aggressive Vizer is forced to back down after his bruising Monday (April 20) morning assault that tore sleepy delegates away from their Blackberries, even if he were obliged to step down, it is already clear that the victory would, in all probability, not be cost-free for the sporting time-lords of Lausanne.

For all that those who witnessed it were impressed by the lawyerly assurance of Bach’s ad-libbed response, what really swung day one of this gripping trial of strength in the IOC’s favour was the fast-growing list of signatures of International Sports Federation (IF) leaders appended to a swiftly-drafted statement of support for Bach and his Agenda 2020 reform programme.

To read this brilliant and timely piece by Mr. Owen in its original form, please go to this link: http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1026909/high-drama-on-the-shores-of-the-black-sea-or-how-marius-vizer-saved-the-triple-jump

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