Friday, January 4, 2013

The Not-So-Wonderful Side of Team Novo Nordisk/TT1 - Responding to Comments

The goal of my post yesterday was to bring information to light, not to get people to agree or disagree with me.

With that being said, I think it is important to address a few issues and questions that came up yesterday when people commented.

  • There were some people that said they didn't know a diabetic team existed, and thought it was a neat idea, a point that I completely agree with.
  • Some people agreed with me in questioning what Team Novo Nordisk constitutes as an elite runner (all of these comments came from non-diabetics). 
  • Some people made recommendations, the most common one being that they should take the word "elite" off of their runner page. 
  • Even though I do not support the team, I still support the people I personally know on the various teams.  

The post was published at 12:05 PM.  At 1:40, I got a comment from one of their directors.  

I feel like this warrants some comments from me.  
  • My frustrations are not stemmed from not getting selected.  They stem from the misuse of the word "elite" on the runner page in regard to the athletes on the team.  They also stem from your lack of communication.  
  • I stated the facts yesterday.  If you feel like the facts are accusations, then maybe you should figure out why you feel like that.  If you have data to prove I am wrong, I am more than happy to correct it.  
  • I feel like if you are calling yourself elite, then you need to defend your athletes.  Sure, some of them are great runners - three of them, in my mind.  Others would barely be considered "middle of the pack" runners.  Don't say you are a group of elite athletes when it is not accurate, which you know (see below).  It is like false advertising.  Unfortunately, many people believe what they read and would assume you are telling the truth, when it is not true.   
  • I'm curious as to who the two 2:15 marathon runners are?  That time is equivalent to a top 20 performance at Chicago and top 10 at Boston this year.  It appears as though about half of the men are sub-3:00:00 marathoners, yet 2:15 is far different than a 2:40 or 2:50-something time.  Some have never run a marathon before, and others are yet to run in the low 3's.  
  • I understand that you are trying to inspire others to take a more active approach to living with the condition.  Change your statements so that is what they say.  You have one truly elite runner on your team, who races for a different brand.  
The most interesting comment from your entire response was:

You are admitting that not everyone is fast.  See my bullet point number three above.

I challenge Team Novo Nordisk to do the following:

  1. Remove the word elite from your running page team, as it does not apply.

2.  Change the first sentence so it is accurate, in addition to getting rid of the word elite.  As I mentioned yesterday, there are only 21 members listed on your site, not 22.  

3.  Make the process to get on any of your teams - running, triathlon, women's cycling, cross, and development - the same.  After reviewing the running application, I think you could easily adapt it to encompass all of the other sports.

4.  Effectively communicate with others in a timely, respectful manner.  I'm sure my emails are not the only ones that don't get answered.  Not effectively communicating with others makes the organization look bad, which is not something it wants (or so I imagine).

5.  If you are really trying to inspire everyone, you might want to look at the gender imbalance on your team.
  • On the running team, 2 out of 21 are female (9%).
  • On the Mtb & Cross team, 1 out of 10 is female (10%).
  • On the Team Type 2 team, 0 are female (0%).
  • On the Triathlon team, 5 out of 11 are female (45%)
  • On the women's cycling team, 15 are female (100%).
  • On the development team, 0 are female (0%).
  • On the Pro Cycling team, 0 are female (0%).
The overall percentage of female athletes on all teams combined is 23/98, or 23%.  More than 23% of the diabetic population is comprised of women.  

I hope to the team will make some changes, as what they are currently doing is stating false information on their website.  I want nothing more than to find a cure for diabetes, and think it is important to motivate others to be active if they have diabetes.  I feel like those who know me know that diabetes does not impact what I want to do, or what I will achieve.  If you have any challenges for me, I'm more than happy to hear them, as nothing motivates me more than a good challenge.  

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