#ICYMI -- In Case You Missed It ... Sometimes the best stories don't get the attention we think they deserve. Here are our staff picks for articles this week they really want you to know about..
USA Swimming Facing Sex Abuse Lawsuits
(ATR) Six women have filed lawsuits against USA Swimming for sexual abuse by coaches in the 1980s.
The women say the national governing body for the sport failed to pursue action against the coaches.
California attorney Robert Allard filed the lawsuits under a new California law creating a three-year window for victims' claims that have expired under the statute of limitations.
“USA Swimming must clean house and get rid of the coaches and executives that created this culture that condones sexual abuse by coaches and that still exists today,” said plaintiff Suzette Moran during a press conference on Thursday.
In the lawsuits, the women allege USA Swimming was aware of the coaches’ actions but permitted them to continue coaching minors.
Andrew King, a youth coach; Mitchell Ivey, two-time Olympic medalist; and Everett Uchiyama, a former national team director have been named in the lawsuit.
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Don Porter, 90, Brought Softball to Olympics
(ATR) Don Porter will be remembered as the gentle driving force who brought softball to the Olympic Games.
Porter died at his home in Oklahoma City June 7.
Don Porter speaks to reporters following the vote by the IOC at the 2005 Session in Singapore where softball and baseball were cut from the Olympic program. (ATR)
As president of the International Softball Federation for 26 years, he led the campaign that succeeded in winning a spot for women’s softball on the program of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
After its debut the sport was played in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. But in 2002, the IOC came close to dropping softball and for the next three years, Porter and his colleagues at the ISF found themselves in a struggle to keep the Olympics status.
The limited field of contenders for medals from the US, Canada, Japan and Australia was one of the concerns of the IOC. Porter believed that anti-US sentiment was also at play. Softball along with baseball, were both chopped from the Olympic program in 2005. The Beijing Olympics would be the final round for both sports, although both are set for a one time return in Tokyo.
Charlie Battle was the first director of sports for the Atlanta Olympics who remembers Porter for his determination on behalf of women softball.
“Don was a truly great guy and a tireless advocate for his sport. I am glad that we were able to reward his efforts by including softball in the Atlanta Olympic Games,” Battle says.
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Collectibles and Corona
(ATR) Collectors still clamor for Tokyo 2020 Olympic memorabilia despite the one-year postponement of the Games.
Miraitowa plush toy (eBay)
Everything from kimonos to drums to lacquer boxes and kitchen knives bear the Tokyo 2020 logo and are available on eBay and other forums. Buyers, sellers and traders who invested in thousands of Tokyo pins were relieved that organizers decided to keep the 2020 branding instead of changing to 2021. Plush mascots of every shape and size are also popular as many people collect both Miraitowa, the Olympic figure, and Someity, representing the Paralympics.
In Japan, the Olympic stores have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but are expected to re-open soon.
For collectors, the most coveted item is a used Tokyo Olympic torch. The lucky people who acquired them during the abbreviated Greek torch relay in March could cash in if the journey of the Olympic flame does not resume in Japan next year. About 10,000 torches were produced.
“There is a very small market that has already begun,” Stathis Douramakos, an Olympic auctioneer and dealer in Greece, tells Around the Rings
. “It is an expensive market. Anyone who has a Tokyo torch in their hands, they know how few there are so they keep the prices very high.”
Douramakos said a couple of torch bearers in Greece sold their torches for several thousand dollars apiece, but the frenzy will die down if the relay continues as planned next year. Then he estimates price will drop to $1,500 or $2,000.
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