For the first time in my life, I can actually say that I have been around the world and back. I left sunny San Diego, Beijing Bound, on August 5 and since then continued my travels eastward and made stops in Belgium, Italy, Germany, Latvia and Germany all over again. My last stop in Germany was for the World Athletics Final, in which I saw the worst side of International athletics...the political side.
World Athletics Final, also known as Grand Prix Final takes the top 7 athletes on the World Athletics Tour. After 2 guys in the top 7 dropped out with injury, I was sitting a very comfortable #5, thus making me a lock for the Grand Prix Final...so I thought. After what I would consider one of the worst weekends in my life, I was notified that my manager "failed to confirm my participation" for the Grand Prix Final and as a result, 2 local guys were allowed to throw. After talking it over with my manager and several USA representatives on the IAAF council, we concluded...that I got screwed!
The IAAF went above and beyond everyones expectations on how low they can go and how bad they can "bend but not break" their own rules and I was unfortunately on the bad end of the stick. The dilemma now, go after the IAAF in legal litigation and get the prize money and possible bonuses that I would have missed on end of the year rankings...but then what? That would effectively end my athletic career. I could be the world record holder and number 1 in the world but strangely not accepted into any more Grand Prix events. So its a tricky situation, everyone knows the IAAF acted inappropriately, but everyone also knows that there isn't anything that I can do without ending my career financially.
I am now back in San Diego for a few days, just enough time to shake off the European jet-lag before I head back over to Asia to do it all over again. I leave for my last meet of the year in Daegu, Korea. This will be an awesome meet because Daegu will be hosting the 2011 World Championships. Never a better chance to get a shot at the city, stadium and maybe even the food! This will be the end of an unbelievable season for me, one I hope to be able to duplicate for several years to come. Once I return home from Korea, I will take a few days off and then begin working on my In The Arena Community Projects and begin sharing my Olympic and life experiences with the San Diego kids. I cant wait!