Madelyn Moore calls on BOA to see sense
Madelyn Moore has implored the Bermuda Olympic Association to see sense and reconsider its decision to deny herself and compatriot Jesse Washington the opportunity to fulfil their aspirations of competing at the Olympic Games.
With the start of Games just a month away, the Bermudian swimmers have been left reeling after the BOA rejected an official invitation from Fina, the world governing body, of a universality place for both herself and Washington to represent the nation in Tokyo.
The shock decision has left Moore both baffled and bewildered, as she revealed the BOA has yet to offer any indication or rationale for why the offer to accept universality places was declined.
“When we were informed of the decision, obviously I was extremely disappointed and disheartened,” said Moore. “All you want from your Olympic association is support and for them to want us to go to the Olympics, but they said no.
“I just can’t understand; it just seems such an odd decision. We had literally been offered a place at the Olympic Games and they turned down the offer.
“Knowing I would have been an Olympian, only for them to turn down the opportunity is a real slap in the face and if anything makes the whole situation worse.
“We have had no indication or official response as to why they made the decision. The only comment I have been made aware of is that they believed we ‛weren’t ready’; that appears to be the official line they’re taking.
“As far as I’m concerned, they can’t give a justified and sound reason because there is no sound reason.”
While her aspirations of representing Bermuda at the Olympics have been dealt a blow, the 21-year-old is refusing to give up, as she holds on to the small hope of the BOA reversing its decision.
Those hopes have been boosted by the overwhelming support of dignitaries from across the sport, including Dale Neuburger, Fina treasurer and Tokyo 2020 Swimming Technical Delegate, who, according to Moore, has indicated that the offer of the universality places remains — should the BOA decide to reconsider.
“As far as I’m aware, our dreams of going to the Olympics are not over just yet,” Moore added. “People at Fina, including Dale Neuburger ,are still in contact with the BOA arguing our case as to why we should be going.
“I believe they’ve indicated that the offer of our universality places are still there, so hopefully the BOA will change its mind in the coming days and hope that’s enough.
“It seems that door is not completely closed so I still have a small hope that the situation will be resolved. All I can hope is that the BOA come to its senses and overturn the decision not to accept the universality places.”
The Royal Gazette reached out to the BOA for comment yesterday morning, but had received no response by the time of going to print
Meanwhile, Moore is trying to turn her full attention on preparing to get back into the pool today in Puerto Rico, where she and Washington compete in the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation Championships. This is also an Olympic qualifier.
“I thought I would have taken the decision a lot harder than I have, but if anything it has just given me some extra motivation,” added Moore, who will be competing in 100 metres freestyle, the event she will contest in Tokyo if the BOA does an about-turn.
“Obviously, it was extremely disappointing to hear of the BOA’s decision, but mentally I’m trying to focus on the excitement of competing in this meet.
“This setback hasn’t changed how I want to perform both in Puerto Rico and other events such as the Youth Pan American Games in Colombia in November and the Short-Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi in December.
“However, I do also hope that in the coming days the BOA overturns its original decision because myself and Jesse would love to be able to also look forward to the Olympics.
“We have put so many countless hours and dedication into trying to qualify, and all people will see is that not being rewarded. We just want to be supported, that’s all, and we’re not getting that.”
Washington was not prepared to comment on the situation, when contacted by The Royal Gazette.