The Week That Was: William & Mary to Cut Swimming & Diving, Tokyo 2021 Will Go On

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Photo Courtesy: Jim Agnew, College of William&Mary

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The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The College of William & Mary became the sixth Division I school this off-season to cut swimming and diving which will be effective at the conclusion of the 2021 school year. The Tribe won six straight CAA conference titles on the men’s side while the women last won in 2017.

As the coronavirus remains at large in most of the world, questions have circulated around the status of the Olympic Games in Tokyo that are 320 days away. But the IOC Vice President has insisted the Games will go on with or without the virus present.

Read below the five biggest stories in The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The Week That Was #1: William & Mary to Cut Swimming & Diving

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Photo Courtesy: Jim Agnew College of William & Mary

By Andy Ross

William & Mary University made the decision to cut men’s and women’s swimming & diving, among five other sports, after the 2020-21 academic year, the school announced in a letter on Thursday. The school will also be cutting Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics; Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field; and Women’s Volleyball.

“So many of us who work in intercollegiate athletics do so with a singular purpose: to impact the lives of our student-athletes,” Athletic Director Samantha K. Huge said in a statement. “On most every other day, we are working tirelessly to enhance their experience at William & Mary, and that is why today is so difficult to know that our decision — while necessary — is devastating for our students.

“As a department, we simply can no longer continue on an unsustainable financial trajectory. We will do everything that we can for the impacted student-athletes and coaches, and I sincerely hope they are able to participate in one final season of competition. Today is a sad day for all of us who love William & Mary.”

The university pledged to honor all current athletic scholarships of those affected through their scheduled graduation at William & Mary, according to the release. Those wishing to transfer will have the full support of the university.

Impacted coaches will be able to complete their current appointments.

118 student-athletes and 13 coaches have been affected by the decision as the school is estimating it will save $3.66 million.

#2: Tokyo 2021 to go On With or Without COVID, Says IOC VP

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The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Pool – Photo Courtesy: Tokyo2020

By Liz Byrnes, Europe Correspondent

International Olympic Committee vice-president John Coates insists the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead next year “with or without COVID”.

The Games were pushed back a year because of the pandemic and there has been much speculation and debate as to whether the rescheduled Games will go ahead.

Coates heads the IOC’s Co-ordination Commission for the Tokyo Games and he is adamant they will start on 23 July 2021.

The Australian Olympic Committee president spoke to news agency AFP in a telephone interview and said:

“It will take place with or without COVID. The Games will start on July 23 next year.

“The Games were going to be, their theme, the Reconstruction Games after the devastation of the (2011) tsunami. Now these will be the Games that conquered COVID, the light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Week That Was #3: Missouri Valley Conference to Hold Championships in Mid-April

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Photo Courtesy: Southern Illinois Swimming & Diving

By Andy Ross

The Missouri Valley Conference will hold its swimming and diving championships in mid-April of 2021 due to the ongoing complications brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference confirmed to Swimming World. The championships dates have not been finalized but the meet will be held in Carbondale, Illinois on the campus of Southern Illinois after spending the last two seasons in Columbia, Missouri.

According to the conference, swimming & diving will not be the only championships to be changed.

The Missouri Valley has traditionally hosted the championships in February but with an already delayed season, the coaches favored pushing the meet back to April.

#4: Torri Huske Blasts 57.4 100 Fly in LCM Time Trial

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Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

By Dan D’Addona

It wasn’t a big meet, but it was a big performance for Torri Huske.

The US Open champion in the 100 butterfly in December put together a stunning swim in the event at the 2020 Arlington Aquatic Club Summer Long Course Splash & Dash, which started before 7 a.m.

Huske, who recently committed to Stanford, set a personal record in the 100 butterfly, touching the wall in 57.43. Her previous best was 57.48. Heading into an Olympic year, this was a big step.

“It almost didn’t feel like I was racing. The environment was really weird because it was with two teammates,” Huske told Swimming World. “I feel like I didn’t have the snap in the race, but I was able to go a best time because I am so much stronger. I feel like the biggest difference between me now and me in December is that I’m a lot stronger now. During quarantine, I focused a lot more on strength training because I didn’t have a pool for a while. I think this is promising for next year.”

The Week That Was #5: 1956 Olympic Champion Bill Yorzyk Passes Away

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Photo Courtesy: ISHOF Archives

By John Lohn

The sport of swimming lost a giant on Wednesday when William “Bill” Yorzyk, the first Olympic champion in the dolphin-kick version of the butterfly, died at 87. A 1971 inductee into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Yorzyk was born on May 29, 1933, but he did not travel the typical path of an internationally acclaimed swimmer, as he was a late entry to the sport.

According to his ISHOF biography, Yorzyk was a beginner when he enrolled at Springfield College as a 16-year-old. However, that delayed introduction to the competitive scene hardly deterred Yorzyk on his march to the Hall of Fame. Under the guidance of coach Charles “Red” Silvia, Yorzyk showed great potential and developed on a yearly basis. By his junior year of college, he was an All-American, and bigger accomplishments were to come.

With the breaststroke and butterfly split for the first time at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Yorzyk etched his name in history by capturing the 200 butterfly Down Under. Yorzyk covered his four laps in a world-record time of 2:19.3, which supplied a convincing triumph over Japan’s Takashi Ishimoto (2:23.8) and Hungary’s Gyorgy Tumpek (2:23.9). He was the only male gold medalist for the United States.

By capturing gold in the 200 butterfly, Yorzyk jumpstarted a spectacular tradition in the event for the United States. He has been joined as an Olympic champion in the discipline by legends such as Mike TroyCarl RobieMark SpitzMike BrunerMel StewartTom Malchow and Michael Phelps.

The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

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1 comment

  1. Dick Beaver

    Another one Duffy Dillon, and Seattle Pacific and Alaska Anchorage both dumped gymnastics.

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