Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The CNN Comments Thread about the NYC Triathlon. GGGGRRRR!!!

Tragedy struck the NYC Triathlon this past weekend with two deaths in the swim. Yes, TWO deaths. I think it is horrible and I am VERY saddened for the families who lost the loved ones.

The swim was rough. This is the best video I could find of the swim:

The video is misleading. Look at the larger swells. From the camera's perspective, they look small. From the perspective of the surface, boy do they mess with your stroke and ESPECIALLY your breathing!

We as triathletes think we are superhuman who can sustain anything. Fortunately those of us who are comparable swimmers never think about a rough swim as something being deadly. It reminds me from my post yesterday about one of the quotes from my 85 year old step grandfather:

"Congratulations! - Jon - And let's not do that again any time soon. It distresses family noticeably."

I guess we never think about what our non triathlete family and friends are thinking while we are out there with 3000 of our newest and closest friends getting the ever living shit kicked out of us for 1 hour+. Think they are worried? YES!

But at least they "get it". They know our addiction is healthy and long term is beneficial.

And then I read the comments section of the CNN article on the two deaths.

Oh boy.....

I find most of the comments quite Ironic. I found Many MANY "Darwinism" comments posted. Here is a sampling of the best ones:

"Funny.  People trying to prove they're super-human and dying like humans.  We should offer Darwin Awards to these types. "

"2 dead just for fun! How stupid have people become!"

"Who competes in a triathlon in record heat? Isn't that simply Darwin calling you home?"

"There are other sports that are not so cruel to the body.  Common sense, folks!"

"this is exactly why i dont exercise"

"The human body is just not meant to be pushed that hard"

So would you guess that those people who are posting these comments are couch surfing jockeys? Inactive people? Wouldn't logic say that they will probably live a shorter life than we, active people who are doing our best to eat healthy (well, most of the time!) and keep our bodies in tip top shape?

Some guy made my argument for me:

"The probabilities are that the couch potatoes will have a shorter life than the triathletes"

Like the comments from my 85 year old step grandfather, his awesome quote that he wrote rings EVEN louder now.:

"his quest for whatever one quests after under such tortuous requirements of endurance." 

I am PROUD to be an endurance athlete!


  1. I get really stabby at comments like those. That's why you dont' exercise?!?! Well, I guess your premature death from heart disease and diabetes won't get the media attention that a freak accident/heart attack during an athletic competition gets.

  2. First, its real sad to hear what happen and my thoughts and prayers go out to their family.

    Life is a game of chances, we go out, we run the risk of something happening, drowning, getting hit by a car, crashing. But the couch potatoes run the risk of choking on a cheeto. Things happen and we have little control, at least we try to "control" our racing and training as much as possible.

  3. I am a firm believer when 'it is your time, it is your time' to go. There are so many freak accidents that happen to people. I'd much rather be climbing some crazy cliff or doing a "super-human" exercise when my time comes than sitting on my butt in front of the TV. Good post!

  4. I couldn't have said it better myself.

  5. I just don't understand the comments that people make when things like this happen. Its so sad that they died and my thoughts are with their families. But the public just doesn't get it and should be quiet or get off the couch to try and understand!

  6. people NEVER cease to amaze me. WOW!

    She seriously had a noodle? Damn, why didn't I bring my noodle Sunday?

    It appeared they were with the current too, but those were just small swells, we had white caps and they didn't call our swim either. I guess your point on the Superhuman aspect comes into play, know your own limits and RESPECT those limits.

    We get caught up into that sensation of accomplishing any goal we set that sometimes we don't realize whether it is safe for us or not. This being said from someone who regularly runs in 90+ degree weather. oh well haha.

  7. Aside from the human tragedy, I am very bothered by a politician riding in make some political hay out of this loss of life. From the CNN article:

    "New Yorkers signed up for a triathlon -- not a game of Russian Roulette," [Manhattan Borough president Scott]Stringer said in a press release Monday.

    "Russian Roulette?" Really?

  8. I can't take those types of comments and you know me I won't just let it sit there like that either. The beer league softball player has a better chance of living longer than me? I highly doubt that.

    Even in an interview with Macca the Dr said that he believes the body's limits is training 13 hours per week. We surpass that for sure, but let's be honest humans were not finishing Ironman events in 8 hours either but through training and discipline they are.

    These people are such fools for their comments and lumping everything together after a tragedy is just immediate response and not thinking.

    Let me get off this soapbox and walk down the hall to CNN and get on my soapbox over there.

  9. Well-said. Idiots.

  10. Such a tragedy.

    Very well said though. You are braver than I am. I've given up on reading anonymous online comments on news articles.

  11. I hate how any tragedy is sensationalized and also generalized to extreme levels. Are these people making similar comments when studies about the dangers of obesity, heart disease, etc. are published? "I'm changing my diet/life now!!" No.

  12. Those swells looked pretty big! Just by seeing so many people with their heads out of the water, I could tell it was pretty bad. So sad about those two people dying!

  13. Ignorance abounds....ridiculous!

  14. I saw this article today on ESPN.com, and was going to post up a link to it, I'll definitely reference this post if I do.

    That is too bad that 2 people died, it sounds like both deaths were related to heart attacks.

    And the lawmakers in NY seem like they are over-reacting a lot with trying to screen people as to whether they can complete a triathlon.

    And did that person really have a noodle in the water during the swim? Is that legal? Regardless of how people were swimming in the video, they seemed like they were going pretty fast.

    And comments on CNN articles are always terrible - like 70% of them on any CNN article are usually complete garbage. Those people are trolls that just want to stir up feelings instead of contributing to the conversation. On ESPN articles there are usually more good comments than bad, but people seem to love to attack people anonymously. I try to only post stuff on espn.com that I would be comfortable telling someone in person.

    And I'd rather die during a race than during normal life, at least I'd be doing something that I loved.

  15. I agree that people who poke fun of folks out there competing in endurance events while patting their beer bellies deserve their own special circle of hell.

    That said, some people in that video clearly can't swim properly. I don't care how bad the waves are...ELEMENTARY BACKSTROKE? A NOODLE???

  16. It is a sad day when two fellow triathletes die in competition. The insensitivity of the commentors is not surprising. Seems the internet makes people grow muscles.

    What worries me is what the nanny-state pussies of the country are going to try and implement to save us triathletes from ourselves. Sorry to say pussies on your blog.

  17. Very sad day when we lose two. I agree with Jeff - "the internet makes people grow muscles." You just gotta ignore and move on. Thanks for sharing and for posting the video.

  18. I once read an explanation written up by a doctor on why he thought people were suffering heart attacks in sprint distance triathlons. He believed it happened from the intensity, nerves and the shock of cold water creating stress on the heart. It makes sense because you'll see a lot more people in a sprint distance without a wetsuit than in long course. I wonder if the two people who died in NY were wearing wetsuits.

  19. Yes, I totally agree. There were some pretty rough comments on CBS.com too, something to the effect that a 64 year old is crazy to compete at anything and deserves to die. WTH, troll? That 64 yo was likely in way better shape than troll boy over there. Ridiculous. And the politicians? More ridiculous.

  20. I used to run a fairly popular milblog when I was deployed, so I always expect at least 90% of blog commentary to be full metal retard, especially when mortality is involved. You wouldn't believe the stuff people who disagree with your mission will say about you and about how they hope you die and that they're glad your friends are dead.

    But I gotta be honest, there's still way too many people racing who have no business attempting to race yet. I've only done three now, yet every one had people at least a C note overweight who were pushing the cutoff times in a sprint. I applaud their desire and motivation to train, but come on, do some actual training first. Don't show up for a marathon to celebrate running your first nonstop mile. (Seen that one, too).

    I wish triathlon was more dangerous. As in, you have to tote all your own water and the course is completely open to traffic, and hell, they don't even mark it and you have to do some damn navigating. Maybe then there wouldn't be so many Lancelots with $3,500 Fujis and death star helmets averaging a blazing 15mph. And no wet suits. Ever. Get in the water and suck it up or go back home.

    I survived three combat tours without a scratch, but then I came home and nearly bought it in a training and selection course. Ok, forgot my overall point. I think it was that we wouldn't do stuff like this if it wasn't difficult and wasn't risky. It's the whole point. There's nothing some fat troll can say about me afterward that's going to change the fact that I will still rule in death even as he sucks at life.

  21. "this is exactly why i don't exercise"

    OH MY GOD.

    so we would be safer if we all just sat in individual bubbles or rode around in motorized scooters like in Wall-E?!

  22. First, my heart goes out to the families of those that died. It is tragic.

    You know, this reminds me of when there is a death in whitewater rafting. Immediately people chime in and say it is too dangerous and that people shouldn't be doing it and whatnot. You know (at least around here) what people die of on the river? Heart attacks.

    It is tragic always.

    The reality is that people have heart attacks - not to sound crass or anything. Just that it happens, and I don't see that as a reason to not do something. I mean, planes crash - you gonna stop flying?


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