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July 5, 2004

Was 2004 Olympic Torch Relay Runner 1973 Deaflympics Silver Medalist?

From: DEAFSPORTLAWSUIT - Jul 5, 2004


Summary of the Story

*2004 Olympic Torch Relay and Deaf Runner

*Newspaper Story With Inaccurate Facts

*Did Dr. Scoggins Win  Medal in Swimming?

*3,500 Deaf Athletes From 125 Countries ?

*CISS Anarchist Does It Again

*The Sandra Baldwin Resignation-Type Case

In the last several weeks and these days the world media has a great deal been following the 2004 Olympic Torch Relay event held in many different cities of the universe. This event is dedicated to the XXVIIIth Olympic Summer Games which are due to open this coming August 13th in Athens, Greece.

It was recently learned through the CISS e-News Magazine website  under the headline USA DEAF SPORTS FEDERATION PRESIDENT SCOGGINS SELECTED TO RUN THE TORCH RELAY that there was a deaf person who had the honor to carry the 2004 Olympic Torch  on June 17, 2004.

For this special ocassion, a story titled DEAFLYMPICS STAR CHOSEN TO RUN WITH GAMES TORCH was was published in advance of the anticipated June 17th event, that is, on May 14, 2004 by an author Byron Crawford of the Louisville, Kentucky, USA-based The Courier-Journal newspaper.

While choosing Dr. Bobbie Beth Scoggins as a deaf runner for the global 2004 Olympic Torch Relay has been viewed as  a very great and enlightening news for our deaf world  community as well as superb publicity in the matter of deaf awareness, I must, however, express my reservations about the stories published both in the Courier-Journal and CISS e-News Magazine.

As a lifelong proponent of law, order and accurate fact reporting, I must rebut four different items related to the publication of the stories:

1. Dr. Scoggins never won a silver medal in swimming at the 1973 Deaflympic Games as the stories in both  publications incorrectly and untruthfully indicate. Instead, Dr. Scoggins, by using her then maiden surname of Bridges, competed at the Deaflympic Games in 1973 as a member of the USA team in which she placed 10th out of 11 competitors in the preliminary heat of the women's 400 free style event.

2. The Courier-Journal also falsely reported the statement such as,

"Deaflympics involves some 3,500 athletes from 125 countries."

Where and how did the Courier-Journal reporter Byron Crawford obtain such exaggerated and concocted statistics like "some 3,500 athletes from about 125 countries"?

The facts, however, are these: according to the CISS website data, currently there are only 83 officially-recognized countries as nation-members of the CISS.  The last Deaflympic Summer Games held in Rome, Italy, in 2001, according to the Italian Games Organizing Committee report source, attracted less than 1,800 deaf athletes, which was the largest-ever attendance number in the Games' history.

3. The Courier-Journal also gave a misleading headline such as,


What kind of "a Deaflympics Star" Dr. Scoggins was?

We do already know that she, as a swimmer, performed poorly at the 1973 Deaflympic Games held in Malmo, Sweden. At the 1977 Games, which took place in Bucharest, Romania, the women's USA team won a silver medal in volleyball, in which Dr. Scoggins was its substitute player.

4. Once again, the organization of the CISS led by Dr. Ammons, its so-called interim CISS President and reputed administrator-anarchist, has embarrasingly failed to do its work in a diligent and responsible manner.

Without checking out and verifying the certain facts of the above-mentioned Courier-Journal story in advance, Dr. Ammons, also a key person in charge of the CISS e-News Magazine, has irresponsibly allowed to re-publish a May 14, 2004 Courier-Journal story on her June 28, 2004-released  worldwide CISS e-News Magazine website issue.

Thus, for how long will that female CISS administrator-anarchist continue to perform her improper, unprofessional and irresponsible work on behalf of the international deaf sports, including her continued inept editing of the widely-read e-News Magazine?

In retrospect, do recall the unusual international sports scandal occurred in the late of May, 2002, with a hearing and non-deaf lady and sports administrator named Sandra ( "Sandy") Baldwin.

Miss Badwin, the then President of the USA Olympic Committee ( USOC )  and IOC Member, was caught by a journalist by doing an improper thing: in her resume she lied about her academic credentials.

What action did Miss Baldwin  single-handedly take upon when she was caught for such a lying?

She swiftly ( and sobbingly ) chose to resign from  her important positions in the IOC and USOC.

She did so graciously, voluntarily and without a fight or defense!

In our deaf world history, was there ever any leader or administrator, who, by committing the acts of lying or improperty, resigned from a public office - international or national - the way Miss Sandra Baldwin  courageously  and unselfishly did in  2002, was not there?

Sportingly Yours,

Rafael Pinkhasov Pinchas

( Also, please see a related story titled "Frankfort Woman To Carry Olympic Torch", which was posted by Deaf Today on its June 2, 2004 ).