Beyond The Lane Lines: Warrior Games Headed To Canton

Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’  With each edition, we collect personal stories, little-known facts, and general items of interest from around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.

#1 Czech Freediver Breaks Ice-Swimming Record

Czech freediver David Fencl swam 80.9 meters (265 feet) under a foot of ice last month, setting a world record for the activity in the process. Spanning 1 minute and 35 seconds, Fencl accomplished the feat at a lake in Lahost located in northern Czech Republic.

Post-accomplishment, 38-year-old Vencl said, “It was faster than I expected — I felt great I knew for sure that I will swim the 80 meters but, of course, that weight of the moment was the only thing that was tiring me down a little bit.”

#2 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Coach Kills Himself

John Geddert, former U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team coach charged with 24 felonies in connection with the abuse of young gymnasts, killed himself at the end of February.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said at the time, “My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life. This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved.

“It is alleged that John Geddert used force, fraud, and coercion against the young athletes that came to him for gymnastics training, for financial benefit to him,” Nessel said. “The victims suffer from disordered eating including bulimia and anorexia, suicide attempts and self-harm, excessive physical conditioning, repeatedly being forced to perform even when injured, extreme emotional abuse and physical abuse including sexual assault.” (CNN)
#3 Katyusha Russian Folk Song Prohibited at Olympic Games
The Russian news agency TASS reported that the famed folk song “Katyusha” – for whom the feared World War II-era Soviet rocket-launcher system was named – will not be allowed to be used as a substitute Russian anthem in Tokyo.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport declared the song unsuitable, saying, The CAS panel considers that ‘any anthem linked to Russia’ extends to any song associated with, or with links to, Russia, which would include Katyusha.
In an agreement with the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee announced on Friday their guidelines for Russia to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. This was in response to the December ruling from CAS, which you can read more about here.
#4 Sportscaster Dick Stockton Retires
After 55 years in the television industry, sportscaster Dick Stockton announced his retirement at the age of 78. Stockton is credited with having called more major U.S. pro sports games for television than anyone in history.nStockton began at CBS in the late 1960s before covering NBA and MLB games for Turner Sports. He has worked for Fox Sports since 1994.
While at CBS, he hosted the Pan American Games in San Juan in 1979 and covered swimming and diving at the Games in Edmonton and Caracas. Stockton also broadcast the World Swimming and Diving Championships in Ecuador.

“Working alongside former players and coaches, many of whom are still in the Fox rotation, has been a particular joy,” Stockton said in announcing the move. “But I feel there is a time to call it a day and allow the many younger broadcasters the chance to develop their careers, just as I had the opportunity years ago. I have nothing but indelible memories of being part of the sports landscape for over seven decades and will now sit back and watch the future of sports broadcasting unfold.” (

#5 Klingenberg Takes on German Swimming Federation Role

Former national water polo player Dirk Klingenberg has been appointed as Interim Sports Director of the German Swimming Federation (DSV). The Olympian is taking over for Thomas Kurschilgen, the former Sports Director who was let go on February 22nd due to alleged knowledge of swimmer abuse by German open water national coach Stefan Lerz.

As we reported, an email a swimmer wrote to Kurschilgen in March 2019 described an alleged sexual assault incident in detail, as well as naming other swimmers who were also harassed by Lurz. Kurschilgen reportedly did not follow-up on this letter.

#6 Department of Defense Warrior Games Headed to Canton

The U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce announced this week that Canton, Ohio’s Pro Football Hall of Fame is set to host the Department of Defense Warrior Games in 2023.

The annual event, first held in 2010, celebrates the resiliency and dedication of wounded, ill, and injured active duty and veteran U.S. military service members. Hundreds of elite-athletes, including those from international allied nations, will compete in adaptive sporting events such as wheelchair basketball, cycling, indoor rowing, and wheelchair rugby among others during the games.

The DoD Warrior Games serve as a way to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded warriors by providing them exposure to adaptive sports. Participation in the Warrior Games represents the culmination of a service member’s involvement in an adaptive sports program and demonstrates the incredible potential of wounded warriors through competitive sports.

David Baker, Pro Football Hall of Fame president and chief executive officer, said, “Those who participate understand the Warrior Games honor not only heroes in competition but also all heroes who have fought and sacrificed on behalf of the safety and freedom for us and our families.”

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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