I've been saving this one since the Olympics. During the Olympics, I read a feature on the front of the "Personal Journal" section in the Wall Street Journal about a Stanford track and field alum by the name of Claire Thielke.
The article has the following title online:
Once an Olympic Hopeful, Always Staying Fit
Claire Thielke was a sprinter training for the 2012 Olympics when medical problems changed her plans; today she is putting the fun back into her workout
The article starts with the following two sentences.
Being a big track fan, I thought it was a bit weird as I'd never heard of a Claire Thielke from Stanford. I started googling around and found our her name was originally Claire Cormier but she got married.
the WSJ wrote:
After years of structured training as a professional runner with Olympic dreams, Claire Thielke is taking a slightly more laid-back approach to fitness.
A runner at Stanford University from 2004 to 2009, Ms. Thielke joined the USA Track and Field pro circuit after graduation, concentrating on the 400-meter and 800-meter races. By 2012, at age 25, she was training for the U.S. Olympic Team trials in the 800-meter, hoping to compete in the 2012 London Games.
I looked her up on all-athletics.com and tilastapaja.org. The fastest time recorded for her is 56.57 for 400 and 2:08.02 for 800. She was 6th at at the Pac 10 meet in 2009.
They list no 800 results for her in 2010 and I see a 2:08.51 in 2011. Nothing in 2012.
Given those accomplishments, how in God's name can the reporter write that she 'joined the pro circuit after graduation?" Is this just awful reporting? Or is exaggeration/lying by Thielke?
How can the 4th paragraph be as follows?
There is zero chance that someone with a 2:08 pb heading into an Olympic year is going to make the US Olympic team. So cancer didn't keep her out of the Games - a lack of ability did.
the WSJ's Jen Murphy wrote:
"(Cancer) treatment kept her away from the qualifying events and the Games, but by November 2012 she was back on the track. â€œThe plan was to take a season to build up my base and get back to the circuit,â€ Ms. Thielke recalls. â€œBut it became clear that my ability to handle the exertion of long sprints had changed.â€
The text of the article does says she was training for the Trials but the title says she was training for the Olympics. I mean maybe she was training for the Trials as she was a TX HS state champ and the B standard was 2:05.90 but the article makes it sound like she was on the cusp of the Games when in reality she wasn't going to make the Trials.
Does anyone know what time it took to even get into the Trials in 2012? I know this year it took a sub 2:03. What did it take in 2012?
What are your thoughts?