The Tualatin Hills Swim Club today concludes its Thunderbolt Junior International Championships, which for the previous 14 years was officially called the Paul Bergen meet — after one of the sport’s most notorious child rapists.
Concussion Inc. and Portland’s Oregonian reported that the name change was just recently made. USA Swimming told the newspaper that the rebranding resulted from a summer 2012 suggestion by board president Bruce Stratton.
The Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District, the public agency whose aquatic center is the club’s headquarters, still must answer for its role. Yesterday we sent the following questions to district general manager Doug Menke and members of the board of directors: Joe Blowers, Bob Scott, Larry Pelatt, John Griffiths, and Jerry Jones, Jr.
* USA Swimming says it notified the club of public allegations against Bergen in the summer of 2012. (Those allegations were actually well known, even nationally televised, more than two years earlier.) Why, then, did last year’s Junior International event proceed to be still named for Bergen?
* When did THPRD become aware of the tainted association with the Bergen name? What, if anything, did you do with the information, whenever you received it, and when did you do those things?
* USA Swimming’s and Tualatin Hills Swim Club’s statements have been noticeably lacking in any expression of concern or support for victims of sexual abuse. Is the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District similarly silent on this issue, or do you have a statement distinguishing THPRD’s position from that of those parties?