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Why are the parents of Olympic athletes so broke?

Gabby Douglas, Ryan Lochte: Why Families of America’s Olympics Athletes Are Broke - The Daily Beast
Parents of gymnasts, for one, can expect to fork over upward of $1,000 a month to training facilities to get their child in Olympic shape. Travel costs force that total to skyrocket. Leotards and warm-up suits can run $300 to $500 for a complete set. There are entry fees for each meet and competition. When a gymnast is chosen for the U.S. national team and begins traveling internationally, USA Gymnastics begins picking up the cost of training and travel for the gymnast and his or her coach, but any family member who jet-sets with them does so on his or her own dime. Of course, only gymnasts training at what’s called the “elite” level rack up that kind of bill. Then again, the most promising athletes begin training at that level when they’re 12 or 13 years old, says Karla Grimes, the general manager at the Gage Center training facility in Missouri. That means six years, at least, of 30-hour gym days and, at Gage, $600-a-month training costs. Eye-popping expenses are par for the course for nearly every Olympic sport. Membership costs at an elite swim club can run $1,500 to $3,000 annually, says Tom Himes, who coached a young Michael Phelps at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club. Equipment can cost $500 each year. Those slick Speedo Fastskin3 swim trunks Phelps wears? They retail for $395.

August 06, 2012

Those who sell hatred also sell death

Fred Clark lays the deaths of the folks from yesterday's Sikh temple shooting at the feet of Fox News. Those who sell hatred also sell death
Families gathered on a Sunday morning for worship and fellowship. And then a man arrived with a gun and an overflow of hate and he killed six people. Six people he did not know. Six people who were doing nothing other than gathering with their families and their community for worship and fellowship on a Sunday morning. A few more details about the murderer have begun trickling out. He — mass killings like this are, almost exclusively, a thing done by men — was killed at the scene by a local police officer, so we will not hear him attempt to explain his motive for this crime during his trial. But the crime itself tells us something about that motive. This man did not kill for money, or for jealousy or personal revenge. So why, then, did he choose to kill? And, more urgently, why did he choose to kill these particular people — these friendly, faithful people whom he had never met? Somehow, it seems, he had become convinced that these people, these peaceful families, were his enemies. He had no basis for deciding this because it was, in fact, not true. These people were not his enemies. Nor were they the enemies of anyone else. And yet, somehow, this man got it in his head that they were — he somehow came to believe that they were an enemy, a threat, a menace to be countered with sudden, lethal violence. And we all know that “somehow” is not a mystery. That somehow is a multi-billion dollar industry. The leading figures of that industry are respected, powerful, wealthy people who have grown rich and famous through an infotainment empire that pours gasoline with one hand while shooting sparks with the other — all while denying responsibility or culpability or any association at all with the fires that “somehow” keep erupting. This warped, cruel shooter was a customer of theirs. He bought what they were selling. He believed what they were preaching. He pointed his gun exactly where they were pointing, pointed it at the people they are always pointing at — at immigrants, at religious minorities, at people with darker skin.