The knee-jerk reaction is to find one small group of overlords to blame. But when knowledgeable folks like those at Daily Relay chime in, you get a different reaction:
So what will be the response to the lowest medal total since 2003? Not much probably. Outside of the relays, there is no centralized control in American track and field. The majority of the athletes have their own coach and training system, independent of the national team. As a result, the governing body gets too much credit when the medal total is high and too much blame when it is low. There won’t be any massive changes because of this performance because there really are no changes to make.
I feel like I have to offer a disclaimer when I respond to unfair criticism of USA Track and Field because one of their execs is a friend of mine. Then again, she’s a friend of mine because we worked together, and I found her to be a good, honest co-worker who’s smart as hell.
I had been thinking of doing a full examination of what went wrong for the USA in Beijing, but Daily Relay did it better than I could. I bow to their expertise …