Gettin’ Out of Dodge … And Moving On

by Rant on September 15, 2008 · 4 comments

in Floyd Landis, Jeff Adams

Tough break in Beijing

Perhaps the best motto for anyone who participates in competitive sports is: Expect the unexpected. Every once in a while, things just don’t go right. Such was the case for Jeff Adams in his quarterfinals race at the Beijing Paralympic Games yesterday. Adams’ time in Beijing came to an unexpected end when he was disqualified after his heat. According to an article by Gary Kingston in The Vancouver Sun:

[Adams] was disqualified after he was ruled to have caused a crash that took out Yanfeng Cui of China and Alain Fuss of France. Canada appealed, but it was denied.

The 1,500 metres, the marquee event in wheelchair racing, was the only event Adams had entered.

“He was pretty disappointed,” said Canadian media attache Gabrielle Payette on Monday. “He said he didn’t feel he had caused the crash. He said he was pushed from behind and lost control.”

As Scott Russell described the action in a blog entry on the CBC web site:

In the men’s 1500M heats Canadian Jeff Adams got involved in a crash at the bell lap as he swerved to the outside. Two chairs capsized and Adams wavered momentarily only to charge back and claim a spot in the top four. There were expletives on the part of the French competitor who confronted Adams in the interview area after the race. Emotions ran high because so much was at stake in this gladiator’s forum.

Adams’ untimely exit from the competition is not the kind of thing that any athlete at any level wants to experience. After having worked so tirelessly to clear his name, and after having put together his own race just to qualify for the Canadian team, it’s a shame that Jeff Adams won’t be competing in the finals tomorrow.

And now for some news on the Landis front…

The ever intrepid Bonnie D. Ford managed to track Floyd Landis down and get the story about what’s going on with his much speculated on move to Momentum Sports Group’s cycling team (with a sponsor to be named later) for 2009. According to her report:

Landis confirmed reports that he is in talks with Momentum Sports Group — based in Oakland, Calif. — which owns and operates a team primarily sponsored by the Health Net insurance company.

“I’d like to be somewhere where I have a lot of say in what I do and what I don’t do,” Landis said. He added that after a lengthy period during which he let his physical condition slide, he is now riding 300 to 500 miles weekly and watching his diet.

“It feels good to be in shape — I never really understood that until I got really out of shape,” Landis said.

Well, I can certainly say what it’s like to be out of shape, having been there once or twice or more often than I’d like to admit. It feels infinitely better to be in shape.

At least part of reason that Landis’ deal hasn’t been signed yet, as Bonnie Ford reports, is because Momentum Sports Group has yet to land a title sponsor for the season. One rumored possibility of who might take over from Health Net is Smith & Nephew, the London-based company who manufactured Landis’ artificial hip. No word, however, on whether or not that part of the rumors that have been bandied about is true.

And, in commenting about the other big development in American cycling during the last week, it turns out that Floyd sounds as surprised as anyone about Lance Armstrong’s return to the sport. A possible Lance vs. Landis matchup in the Tour of California, and perhaps other races, will be very exciting to watch.

“In my experience with Lance, his main motivation when he rides is that he wants to prove something,” Landis said. “I wish him the best and I hope he gets out of it what he wants to, but I’m a little baffled as to what that might be. Maybe he just wants to race his bike.

“I think it’ll be good for the sport. It’s good to have the best bicycle racers in races. I look forward to racing against him.”

If you haven’t already seen the article, take the time to do so. Floyd sounds like he’s ready to race, and ready to move on with his life. Sounds good to me.

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tbv September 15, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Bummer for Jeff. It would be great to find some video of the incident so we can form our own conclusions. Judgment calls by officials on things like this seem to generate lots of passion by everyone involved, or with a rooting interest.

For example, “That was never pass interference!”

TBV

Rant September 16, 2008 at 7:40 am

Perhaps ParalympicSport.tv will eventually have replays available. I’ve been rather frustrated with their coverage, though. The quality of the video stream seems to be pretty good, but even when I tune in at times where live action should be happening, I wind up getting the highlights of the day’s events. Interesting stuff (I’d never heard of “goalball” before, much less seen it played), but not what they said should be on at the times they said.
Judgment calls are, perhaps, the most argued thing by sports fans. That’s what makes all those Monday morning water cooler discussions so exciting, eh?
And, “That wasn’t roughing the passer!” or “I can’t believe the refs called that a touchdown, [insert your (least)favorite player’s name here] never crossed the goal line! It was clear as day on the instant replay.” either. 😉

William Schart September 16, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Having served as an official in several sports at the high school level and lower, I can sympathize with officials everywhere. We have analyzed, debated, and even criticized the actions of LNDD, WADA, UCI, etc. in both the Landis case as well as other instances, but in each of these, those involved had plenty of time to think about their options. A sports official does not have that luxury: he must make a decision almost instantly, often not being able to see everything that happened, and during the whole time a game or event is happening, these decisions are made constantly. Sure, sometimes officials make bad calls, even the best, but sometimes what fans and announcers think is a bad call may have been actually the right one for the official to make, given what he was able to see; and this can be true, even if replay overturns the call.

Rant September 17, 2008 at 8:20 pm

William,
You make a good point. In the heat of the moment, officials have to make judgment calls that can be easily second-guessed by the fans. Bad calls are a part of just about any sport. And sometimes those calls get overruled via replays.

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