Where Your Dreams Become Reality
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Subject: RE: Flojo's 10.49
These meters are triggered when the starting gun goes off in a standard straightaway race. At that point the wind meter takes a wind reading for a specific amount of time while the race is running(IE: during a 100Meter race, the gauge I use reads for 10 consecutive seconds) and then creates an average which is displayed as your 0.0, 1.0 etc. When used in the 200 meters, the gauge is started manually when the first runner exits the turn and it resumes(automatically as preselected in the timing program)the same system as in the straightaway races.
For the jumps, the official triggers the gauge when the jumper starts his/her approach. The gauge is again, preprogrammed for a specific time(3-7 seconds.
As a footnote, I have witnessed many many times that my wind gauge registered 0.0 for a race, even on some "gusty" days. One or two gusts will not necessarily trigger over +2.0 because it is an average over the 10 second interval.
That being said, based on the massive P.R's in that race by women who were running a HEAT race and FloJo destroying them, I have little confidence that the race was legal. I respect the opinion of the observer that e-mailed his assessments of the race conditions "directly across" from the wind-gauge, but find it odd that the wind conditions would be on the mind of a spectator at a race of that magnitude. What I mean is, when there is a wind-gauge present and there is a huge race taking place, my natural inclination is to watch the participants prepare to race, listen to the announcer and my senses are not typically on the wind, knowing that the wind-gauge will take care of that. Similar to not timing the 100m final with your stopwatch when you know the Finishlynx system is going to give you an immediate result, rendering manual timing senseless. Hope that makes sense.
As far as Flo Jo and doping: I honestly believe that the reason there were so many U.S. drug cheats that were protected and even had there positive tests thrown out(systematically in my opinion) was a response to the East German and Soviet government sponsored doping machines. We had just come off of hosting the Olympics in '84 with the Eastern Block boycott and had tremendous success in T & F in particular, which gave the modern American spectator an unrealistic expectation of U.S. T & F success for the '88 games that would include the Eastern Block and those very same athletes that were doped to the gills. The doping had never been so blatant as it was in the 80's for the ENTIRE sport, especially the women, and by no means was just an Eastern Block and U.S. issue. The fact of the matter is that in order to be competitive in those years, you HAD to be a doper.
I believe Flo Jo was a doper, just as I believe virtually every elite sprinter(Top 5-10 all-time)are dopers/doping as well. Everyone was outraged at how Ben Johnson could be so doped to the gills, yet many of the same people believe a human being is capable of running .2-.3 faster on natural ability as Bolt managed to do last summer. I don't believe Flo Jo was a bad person for doping during that era, and don't even believe that the current dopers are bad people. If their only talent is T & F and their only way to make a living in that sport is to do what everyone else is doing in order to make a living, then I have some compassion for their dilemmas. My problem is with the systematic an unabashed lies for years and years by athletes like Flo Jo and Jones in order to make money even after their careers were over.
Our sport is broken! If we could wave a wand and get rid of all the cheats, nobody would want to watch the fastest women in the world run 11.05 and the men run 9.97 anymore. The sport of track and field wants to see records, and the only way that will continue to happen is if our sport's athletes(in the sprints)continue to find new drugs.
I love our sport and have been coaching High School for 16 years. I enjoy the challenge of coaching athletes that are clean and actually get better based on learning how to better train and take care of their bodies. I believe in large part, that our high schoolers are almost all clean and that is the only reason the sport remains worth participating in for me.
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