Portland’s Oregonian: ‘Tualatin Hills Swim Club removes Paul Bergen’s name from meet following abuse allegations’

Published December 13th, 2013, Uncategorized

by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce

 

The Oregonian, the state’s biggest newspaper, has picked up Concussion Inc.’s story of the rebranding of the Paul Bergen Junior International swim meet in Beaverton — which for the previous 14 years was named for one of the sport’s most despicable, and despicably covered up, child rapists.

The article is certain to fuel national probes of sexual abuse by coaches and of the athlete-endangering denial of their crimes by top officials at USA Swimming, the sport’s U.S. Olympic Committee national governing body. That fight is now joined by leading members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, by the Government Accountability Office, and by two California offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Perhaps the most significant consequence of the reckoning of Bergen is that it brings into the picture Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon’s 1st District, a committee colleague of California’s George Miller, the panel’s ranking Democrat.

See http://www.oregonlive.com/beaverton/index.ssf/2013/12/tualatin_hills_swim_club_remov.html.

Reporter Tyson Alger’s story is not terrifically well put together, and it misstates Bonamici’s role (calling her a member of the GAO rather than the House committee). But the implications are crystal-clear: swimming officials at both the local and national levels are once again fooling no one with their crazily concocted and ever-shifting timelines, and their empty protestations of an adjudication process they control and rig completely in service of their own financial and public relations interests.

The Oregonian quotes Bonamici saying, “I am deeply concerned about reports of child sexual abuse by athletic coaches, particularly in public and private swim clubs.” Here is the complete statement the Congresswoman gave us late Wednesday:

“I am deeply concerned about reports of child sexual abuse by athletic coaches, particularly in public and private swim clubs.  House Education and Workforce Ranking Member George Miller has asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate and report on the prevalence of abuse among student athletes and how those abuse cases are reported, investigated, and resolved.  I applaud Ranking Member Miller for his longstanding leadership on this issue and, as a member of the Education and Workforce Committee, join him in his efforts to protect our student athletes from child predators.  Sports play a pivotal role in the lives of our nation’s youth, and the relationship of a trusted coach and mentor can have a tremendously positive influence in our communities.  We must ensure that all our children, especially our student athletes, are able to engage in sports and extramural activities in a safe environment.”

The statements in the Portland newspaper article by Bergen, the Tualatin Hills club, and USA Swimming add up to yet another poor-taste joke on America’s parents and children. You’d think these people at least would go to the trouble of keeping their own lies straight. Today’s version is that Colorado Springs headquarters told Oregon of Deena Deardurff Schmidt’s allegations against Bergen in the summer of 2012.  Not only is this news to the rest of us, but it is nonsensical with respect to both ends of the timeline. Deardurff Schmidt went public in the spring of 2010. Tualatin Hills retained the name of the Paul Bergen meet last year, after USA Swimming board president Bruce Stratton is purported to have told everyone there was a problem. The local club also published in its slick, Nike-underwritten magazine a photo of Bergen at the event and a caption about this exciting “celebrity sighting.”

There’s more, much more, to come on Bergen’s sexual offenses against underage swimmers in several states. And there’s more on other Bergens, other victims, and the shame of what has happened in amateur sports, under a 35-year-old federal statute in desperate need of overhaul.

At this point, we don’t think there is any stopping Congressman Miller, Congresswoman Bonamici, and their colleagues in the mission of draining the deep and poisonous swamp that is the USA Swimming of executive director Chuck Wielgus.

 

FURTHER READING:

 

Video of 2008 Paul Bergen Interview — He of the Paul Bergen-NOT Oregon Meet This Weekend, While Congress Investigates USA Swimming Coach Sex Abuse and Cover-Up

Published December 12th, 2013

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Remembering Paul Bergen, the Rapist Master of Tualatin Hills (For Whom the Thunderbolt Junior International Swim Meet Is Most Definitely NOT Named)

Published December 12th, 2013
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Under Mounting Pressure, USA Swimming Tries to Explain Oregon’s 15th Annual ‘Ex’-Paul Bergen Junior International Championships

Published December 10th, 2013
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Oregon’s Paul Bergen Swim Meet, Named For a Hall of Fame Rapist Coach, Is a Week Out. Will the Consciences of Congress and the Public Be Stirred?

Published December 6th, 2013
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On Eve of Paul Bergen Junior Internationals in Portland, Olympic Gold Medalist Deena Deardurff Schmidt Begins Going Public With More Details of Bergen’s Heinous Sexual Abuse

Published December 1st, 2013
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With Legendary Coaches Falling, Government Investigators of Sports Sex Abuse Are in a Race to the Wall With USA Swimming’s Own ‘Independent Review’

Published November 25th, 2013
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On Deck After USA Swimming’s Mitch Ivey Ban: Paul Bergen, Jack Nelson, Murray Stephens. First on the Starting Blocks: Still-Active Bergen.

Published November 24th, 2013
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United States Masters Swimming: Where Old Perverts Make Soft Landings

Published July 16th, 2013
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Swimming Hall of Fame Chief: ‘Substantial or Compelling Evidence’ of Inductee’s Sex Abuse Would Force It to ‘Consider All Options’

Published June 20th, 2013
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USA Swimming’s Excuses on Rapist Coaching Legend Paul Bergen: (1) ‘Not a Law Enforcement Authority’; (2) ‘No Control Over Hall of Fame’

Published June 19th, 2013
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SEX ABUSE VICTIM DEENA DEARDURFF SCHMIDT CALLS OUT USA SWIMMING CEO CHUCK WIELGUS FOR YEARS OF INACTION ON HALL OF FAME COACH PAUL BERGEN

Published June 14th, 2013
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Swimming Hall of Fame Gets WaPo to Clarify That Rick Curl Is Not an Inductee – But Won’t Comment on Why Paul Bergen and Murray Stephens Still Are

Published June 14th, 2013
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Michael Phelps’ Coach, Bob Bowman, Talks About His Mentor, Rapist International Swimming Hall of Famer Paul Bergen

Published June 6th, 2013
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What USA Swimming CEO Chuck Wielgus Said Publicly About Rapist International Swimming Hall of Fame Coach Paul Bergen

Published June 6th, 2013
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What Rapist International Swimming Hall of Fame Coach Paul Bergen Is Up to These Days

Published June 6th, 2013
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Re-Introducing Rapist Hall of Fame Swim Coach Paul Bergen — By Comparison, Newly Convicted Rapist Coach Rick Curl Is Small Potatoes

Published June 6th, 2013
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But Have We Really Seen the Last of Banned Molester Swim Coach Ad’m Dusenbury?

Published March 15th, 2013
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