Canadian Relay Egos - What Should be Done?

Gilbert to Macro Man: lose the attitude or else

By STEVE BUFFERY – Toronto Sun

The Summer Olympics are 11 months away, but Canadian relay coach Glenroy Gilbert is throwing the gauntlet down.

At the recent world track and field championships in Paris, Gilbert kicked Canada’s top sprinter, Nicolas Macrozonaris, off the 4x100 metre relay team for refusing to “fulfill the squad’s training obligations” and for generally being a pain in the rear end.

Macrozonaris, who ran a national-best 10.03 seconds May 3, wanted to run the glorified anchor leg in Paris. Gilbert, a member of Canada’s great relay teams of last decade, refused to guarantee any particular position.

And Gilbert isn’t backing down.

Even though the coach admits that having the Macro Man on the Athens Olympic team next year would enhance the squad’s medal chances, he will not bow down to prima donna acts. If that means leaving Macrozonaris, 23, off the 2004 Olympic team, so be it.

“Let the pieces fall where they may,” Gilbert said. “Obviously we want the best guys on the team, and we need a guy like Nic. But we need him to be a complete part of the team.”

Gilbert said he expects an attitude adjustment from Macrozonaris next year if he wants back on the relay team. In a surprising twist to the Macrozonaris saga, the sprinter’s personal coach, Daniel St. Hilaire, told the Toronto Sun this week he expects the sprinter to make a greater commitment to attend camps. If he doesn’t, St. Hilaire said he will walk.

“If I have no choice, I will,” St. Hilaire said.

Despite a history of clashing with the powers in Canadian track, St. Hilaire insisted this time he had nothing to do with Macrozonaris’ me-first act.

“I was very mad about it. Look, I’m Glenroy’s buddy and I told Nic that he has to accept the fact the Glenroy is the boss and it will be up to him to assess the best spot for everybody on the relay team,” St. Hilaire said. "I told Nic: ‘Let’s forget about our egos.’ "

Bruny Surin, Macrozonaris’ agent, said the fundamental problem in Paris was a lack of communication.

“He was willing to run the anchor or No. 2 spot,” Surin said. “If they had just sat down and talked to him, it would have worked out.”

Gilbert said he is willing to let bygones be bygones but insisted that it’s the other guys on the team, including No. 2 sprinter Pierre Browne, who deserve better.

“Nic has a bit of a job in front of him in terms of mending fences,” Gilbert said.

“Look, he’s a good kid,” St. Hilaire said. “But everyone around him is telling him that he’s the best, and the kid believes he’s the best.”

I support Glenroy. First, Nic is not as good as he thinks he is. Once he has made a world Chapmionship final or Olympic final, he can act like he is “all that.” Nic is a good kid though, a nice and easy going honest kid, that needs some coaching on how to present himself to the media and his sponsors. I am pretty sure Glenroy is sick and tired of primadonnas after having to deal with them year after year. I hope this does not have any ill effect on Nick. Some personalities cannot take all the negativity. Donovan went downhill after the stuff hit the fan, and Donovan had a strong personality. Nic is just a young kid.

Can we poach Glenroy and get him a job at Athletics Australia? :slight_smile:

I was going to say. Sack all the sprinters from ever country except Australia.

Australia is than almost guaranteed a spot in the finals.

Is team bigger than the individual or is the individual bigger than the sport.

Looking from the outside it appears relay coaches want control of the athletes and not let there personal coaches coach them. Have seen guys do 2 hours of relay work - fairly high intensity. The day before a comp. They then get beaten by the local team.

Maybe we should start a thread entitled: Coach ego’s ?