Re: "Report Cards, Swimming," March 27, 2003,
We as a team felt it was necessary to respond to the report card given to all varsity Dinos teams by your newspaper. In particular, we feel that the grade of a B given to the swim team by Karoline Czerski was wholly unrepresentative of our season. We will not stoop to the level of the Gauntlet by slandering our fellow varsity teams, but we will provide students on this campus with the actual facts.
The most notable accomplishment of our team this year was winning the Canada West Championship, for both men and women, for the first time since 1996/97. Ms. Czerski acknowledged this much at least. We also brought home both silver medals at the CIS championships, a feat Ms. Czerski seems to regard as inexcusable, but also a feat matched this year only by the Dinos wrestling teams.
Notably absent from our report card, however, were the following tidbits of information: We had six First-Team All-Canadians and six Second-Team All-Canadians; Erin Gammel set two CIS records and teamed up with three other girls for a CIS record relay; and three Dino swimmers qualified for the World University Games this summer in Korea, in addition to Gammel being pre-qualified for the world championships. With respect to our fellow varsity athletes, no other team on campus can match this record.
It should also be noted that, had it not been for a team devasted by the flu and a key injury immediately before the CIS championships, our women at least likely would have been national champions.
The swim team is the most successful team in University of Calgary history. (Argue if you like, then come look at the chamionship banners hanging at the pool.) Perhaps this means we are held to a higher standard, and perhaps that is rightly so. What is unquestionably wrong is failing to recognize and support excellence when it consistently exists on your own campus. That is a fundamental failing of the Gauntlet.
Add to this equation Ms. Czerski's entirely unprofesisonal remark that, should we not like our grade, "well, tough shit." If this is the level of journalistic integrity that the Gauntlet holds itself to, then frankly we don't hold your opinion in very high regard. The student body in general, however, deserves to hear actual facts reported to them, which was the purpose of this letter.