2015 was a crazy year. I started it in the hospital at the end of January having had an aneurism and losing my speech – literally unable to talk. I ended it a few days ago in the hospital having my thyroid removed.
In between, to the chagrin of many, I’ve taught myself how to speak again; rebooted myself professionally and personally; and watched one of the most interesting track seasons in recent memory. Track, like me, seemed to be getting rid of its illnesses in 2015 – or at least they most certainly came to the surface and begged to be dealt with!
Drugs, corruption, misperceptions, finger pointing, name calling, accusations all seemed to be as common as meets, competition, records, excellence and titles. The season ended with another championship meet in the books; a new leader at the helm; a slew of awards; and more questions than answers. Questions about what’s really been happening all these many years, as well as questions about what lies ahead.
My personal silence these past several months has not been for lack of opinion, but more from a path of health. This sport needs to HEAL. It needs to FIX it’s issues and move forward! Fixation on complaining about what’s happened in the past will not change it. Implementing policies, procedures and inserting individuals in places to oversee that the sport is run with INTEGRITY is the ONLY thing necessary at this point!
I am going to trust/pretend that that is the goal and comment accordingly as 2016 proceeds on the Road to Rio. Hopefully Lord Coe and others will do what’s right and the ONLY thing I’ll get to talk about in 2016 is the excitement on the track! That would be a wonderful thing!
What did I think of the end of 2015? I thought that Christian Taylor was the top male athlete of the year. Yes, Bolt held off the challenge of Gatlin – twice. And yes, Eaton broke the WR – his own WR. Taylor, however was outstanding ALL SEASON. He had to fight the challenge all season of another man competing at a awesome level. Had to maintain that level himself to constantly rebuff the challenge, then shine and become champion while performing what would have been a WR under almost any other circumstance in history. His SEASON of excellence, punctuated by his championship performance was simply the best in my opinion – no disregard to the others. Everyone got the accolades they deserved at Worlds for their performances. Taylor should have received the award for his "season’s" work. Just my opinion.
As for the women, bow down to Ginzebe! All season, dominant. A breath away from 3:49 – and watching that race I just knew she was going to do it. I’ve waited decades to see Ma’s Army challenged and she took ’em down.
My three most replayed races on YouTube from the World Championships – Men’s 100 final, Men’s 400 final, Women’s 200 final. Bolt and Schippers ran through the line like champions – Gatlin smh. The 400 FINALLY gave us the race Lee Evans and Ron Freeman showed us was possible in 1968. I’ve waited 40 years for that race!
My biggest disappointment – the IAAF allowing its live stream of Worlds to be blocked here in the United States! It’s STILL blocked. Ridiculous. My biggest fear for 2016 – that NBC is going to continue to deny Americans the access to the Olympics that members of every other country in the world will openly have! Knowledge flows around the world, stop pretending that because you present us from streaming that we know nothing. All you do is piss us off. And someday we’ll figure out how to get back at you. How about you just give us the best product you’re capable of instead of focusing on what you think you can deny us! You’ve become a network of negativity and we despise you – we watch only because we have no choice, THAT is not marketing!
On that note, welcome to 2016. It’s going to be a year of transition for this sport in many ways. I think there will be much changing of the guard. I’m looking forward to it. My personal goal is to do this once a week. The rebuilding of the sport and the build up to Rio should be epic – and intend to watch and give my two cents on both.
P.S. – My first two cents, let me coach the relays for Rio, I’m tired of watching the embarrassment…..