USAG blunders this weekend

Where to start? 

For an organization that already has little trust with membership, communication could not have been much worse at the (otherwise excellent) Men’s Winter Cup in Las Vegas.

Now Tuesday morning and I’m still not 100% sure what happened.

It seems the USA MPC had not documented their World Cup selection system in advance of Winter Cup.

Why, you might ask.

Yet USAG had to earlier put forward nominative entrees for the 4 AA World Cups either Sam or Yul were assigned to all four.

Not many — including Yul’s Mom — knew they were only nominative.

Now — after the Winter Cup — MPC is considering replacing Yul for some of his nominative assignments.

It’s a mess. More self-inflicted wounds for USA Gymnastics.

Click over to Gymnastics-Now for an update through Tuesday, February 25th.

“Be true to yourself.” – UCLA Pride Meet

Student athletes shouldn’t have to hide who they are.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse behind the scenes on Twitter.

The Pride Meet was Feb. 9th vs. #20 Arizona. 🏳️‍🌈

Break the Fall – a book review

Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli was released Feb 18th.

I finished it in less than 24 hours.

That’s surprising since I’m decidedly NOT the target audience for Young Adult / Teen romance.

This novel is heavy on Gymnastics, light on the typical YA cliché teen crushes and rivalries.

Jennifer: For me, when writing sports fiction, the sport itself is what the plot will stem from, so it’s almost impossible for me to write a book about sports that doesn’t heavily include the competition, practices and training that would be a major part of any athlete’s life.

Often we’ll see books about an athlete that’s injured or an athlete that had to give up their sport as an exploration of their identity away from the thing they love, but that’s been done so much, I’m more interested in what it takes to strive to compete at the highest levels, to try to win and what happens when you do (or don’t).  …

And the Gymnastics is well informed.

I assumed Jennifer was an ex-gymnast or coach, but she’s actually a kick-butt librarian.  Her sports were tennis and softball.

Jennifer: “… what I worked on the most was making sure the gymnasts were portrayed as realistically as possible, in and out of the gym. …”

The American National Team Director is lead away in handcuffs, accused of tampering with drug test results. Later charged with sexual assault.

When the rest of the Federation supports him, the equivalent of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee suspends the equivalent of USAG and delivers the U.S. Olympic team to a new coach only weeks before the Tokyo Olympics.

That’s a good plot device.

Jennifer loosely based the new Olympic coach on Kim Zmeskal.

She was inspired to write a Gymnastics novel after following the Nassar / USAG scandal: “… people in a position of power abusing athletes or failing to protect athletes from abuse …”

The story starts at Olympic trials 2020. Ends on the last day of Apparatus Finals in Tokyo.

If you are wondering whether your gymnasts should read this book it does have a lot of profanity. And there is discussion of sexual abuse though none of that is graphic.

The audio version is available on Scribd and Audible.


Chinese gymnasts denied Melbourne World Cup

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and the local organising committee of the Artistic Gymnastics Individual Apparatus World Cup Melbourne confirm that the Chinese team will not compete at the event which runs from 20-23 February in Melbourne, Australia.

… due to the current Australian Government’s travel restrictions relating to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Chinese delegation cannot participate …

2020 World Cup Gymnastics Melbourne | STATEMENT

This World Cup is an Olympic qualifier.

ex-MSU coach Kathie Klages convicted

A jury on Friday convicted a former Michigan State University gymnastics coach of lying to police when she denied that two teen athletes told her of sexual abuse by sports doctor Larry Nassar in 1997, nearly 20 years before he was charged.

Kathie Klages, 65, was found guilty of a felony and a misdemeanor in a Lansing courthouse where Nassar was sentenced more than two years ago. Klages faces up to four years in prison at her April 15 sentencing.

She is the second person other than Nassar to be convicted of charges related to his serial molestation of young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment. …

Recall that Klages continued to support Nassar during his investigation — even asking Michigan State gymnasts to sign cards of support.

related – In a parallel story, then assistant wrestling coach Jim  Jordan asked his team to deny the sexual abuse of male wrestlers by team doctor Richard Strauss at Ohio State University.

Stauss committed suicide in 2005 after being accused of abusing at least 177 students.


Riley McCusker training with Jade Carey

Her coach under investigation, Riley has moved to Arizona Sunrays just months before the Tokyo Olympics.

She’s planning on Florida for the 2020–21 season.

Heart this on Instagram.

Simone for #nocompetition in beauty

Olympic athletes join SK-II to declare #NOCOMPETITION in beauty

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

As the world’s sporting talents are gearing up for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, a band of top athletes have joined forces to declare a battle against beauty standards that they’ve never signed up for, led by cult-favourite beauty brand SK-II.

… Biles, along with an impressive roster of fellow Olympic athletes, including world-record holder swimmer Liu Xiang and the Japan volleyball team, have joined forces with SK-II for #nocompetition, a new global campaign created to inspire women to live by their own definitions of beauty.

Biles admits that in an image-obsessed era, ignoring the pressure to measure up isn’t always easy, not even for her. “I’ve been dealing with scrutiny my whole life. I had to go through puberty in the public eye. It’s hard and social media doesn’t make it any better, but I think the campaign will help us as women to speak up about toxic beauty standards,” …

Simone Biles Has a Message of Self-Acceptance

College gymnasts should be paid for name, image, likeness

Nancy Armour: 

“You either get to go pro or you get to go to NCAA,” said Morgan Hurd, who has retained her eligibility despite winning the world all-around title in 2017.

“There’s no in-between, you get one or the other. But football players, they get to go to NCAA and then they get to go pro, too, and get paid.” …

Katelyn Ohashi was featured on talk shows and news programs after one of her floor routines went viral in January 2019. Politicians tweeted about her. She was featured in Rolling Stone’s “Women Shaping the Future” issue, and asked to do op-eds.

She didn’t get a dime from any of it. …

Opinion: Allow gymnasts, like football players, to cash in on name, image, likeness

Arizona at UCLA Pride Meet

# 5 UCLA to host its Pride Meet on Sunday afternoon Feb. 9th vs. #20 Arizona. 🏳️‍🌈

Great cause. But this promotion video is more hilarious than inspiring. 😀

Click PLAY or watch it on Twitter.