My takeaways in advance of responses:
GymCastic founder Jessica O’Beirne is the conscience of the gymternet. I look to her first on all these issues.
Jessica, Mary Lee Tracy and Miss Val are all outspoken, brave individuals. I appreciate all three and often link to things they post.
I love the title – Truth & Reconciliation. Recall when Mandela brought that concept to South Africa? I was skeptical. But it did work.
Obviously MLT is not 100% evil. Miss Val is not 100% good. Both survived the dark ages of USA Gymnastics (Bella, Nunno era) and both improved over the years since. The last time I saw a scale in a Gym was 2002. I refused to use it. We’d figured out it was a bad idea in the early 1980s.
Gymnastics coaches today are more ethical than ever. The few BAD ones under greater scrutiny from parents and colleagues. More and more are being caught and put on the list.
MLT did try to apologize. Multiple times. It wasn’t as heartfelt as I would have liked. Though she might have done a good job in the USAG position, that opportunity is gone. She isn’t the right person for the job.
NCAA (despite the many injuries) is the best training environment in the world. Medical staff makes final decisions on return to play. Coaches do not have much power on those calls. All other programs should look to American College Gymnastics when trying to improve their training programs.
Hopefully we’ll all learn from the embarrassing incident where USAG hired MLT … then fired her days later. That’s a #FAIL. Exactly how NOT to run a NSGB.
It was revealing to hear how uneducated both Miss Val and MLT felt when they started. As always the best plan to improve coaching is …
Educate, Educate, Educate, Legislate.
Alyssa was a 2000 Olympic alternate who was coached by both MLT and Miss Val.
“I never stopped talking about these things,” she says, “It’s just that people are listening now. I’ve been talking about all of these things for years.”