Protecting Gymnasts

Vinnie Silber has been following the Larry Nassar scandal closely. Here is some good advice on how we move forward.

Parents and coaches need to become better educated on the warnings signs of sexual abuse.

Parents, coaches, and gym owners need to fully understand their roles in protecting gymnasts from predators.

Another thing we need try to do is change the mindset of some parents, athletes, and coaches that “winning at no cost” is not the only option. …

Op Ed – Learn and Grow

Doctor Oz – Abuse Allegations

Originally aired on 3/20/2017

ESPN investigative reporter John Barr discusses the rise of USA Gymnastics, the national team coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi, and the national team physician Dr. Lawrence Nassar, and the abuse allegations against all three parties.

GUESTS: John Barr , Dominique Moceanu , Jamie Dantzscher , Jeanette Antolin , Jessica Howard , John Manly

Watch the full episode online free.

(via Mike Canales)

Steve Butcher on the Sex Abuse scandal

Through his work in the gymnastics community, Butcher said he’s known Dr. Larry Nasser for about 25 years. Nasser, who treated some of the most famous Olympic gymnasts in recent history, is facing 23 sexual abuse charges, and has been accused by more than 80 girls and women that he sexually abused them during treatments.  …

“I know them personally. I know them, I know their coaches, I’ve known their families, their husbands and kids now,” he told WBIR 10News. “It’s not just shocking, it’s devastating. I feel like it’s a weight on my heart when they tell me what they’ve endured.”  …

“Everybody is putting more safety precautions up. The gyms here in Knoxville are really cautious, background checking their staff and doing everything they can to protect their young athletes.”

Butcher said it’s important, too, for parents to look out for their kids and make sure they are working with coaches who no only make them a better athlete, but a better person. …

“My personal effort is going to be in the future to do anything we can worldwide, not just in the U.S., to develop programs where athletes feel more reassured if they come forward about a abuse case, but to advise the parents and athletes to prevent them. That’s my mission,” …

‘Shocking, heartbreaking’: Olympic gymnastics judge says sexual abuse scandal can lead to change

I’m certain there is more abuse in totalitarian States than in Democracies. 😦

Steve Penny resigned. What next?

“Hallelujah!!” said former U.S. national team member Doe Yamashiro, who in a 2011 Orange County Register investigation said she was sexually abused by Peters.

“I think it’s an important first step, but we’re not going to get a different type of leadership developing until we really change the nuts and bolts of the sport’s culture in general. This is really a long term re-haul that is going to take a lot of effort and education, education of the public and the sponsorship, the gymnasts, coaches and parents.” …

“We don’t see this as the end of the scandal or the end of the need for USA Gymnastics to enact reforms,” said Manly,who represents more than 70 of Nassar’s alleged victims. “This is just the end of the beginning. It wasn’t just Steve Penny that looked the other way when children were being sexually abused. There were a lot of other longtime board members who looked the other way when this was happening and they need to go to.”

In particular, Manly singled out Parilla, who has served on the USA Gymnastics board of directors since 1999 and has been chairman since 2015. …

“They have yet to even say ‘I’m sorry’ to their victims,” Manly said. “Even the Catholic bishops did that.” …

SCOTT M. REID – Critics say Steve Penny’s resignation not enough in wake of sex abuse allegations involving USA Gymnastics

UPDATEJessica O’Beirne of @GymCastic has been following this issue closely. She details many possible next steps on the GymCastic #244: Russian Nationals & Gymnix 2017 audiocast. (Posted just before Penny’s resignation.)

USA Hockey Women’s team threatens boycott

The members of the U.S. women’s national hockey team dropped a bombshell on Wednesday when they announced they will boycott the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship unless “significant progress has been made on the year-long negotiations with USA Hockey over fair wages and equitable support.” …

The USWNT has won the gold medal in six of the last eight world championships….

Due to discrimination by USA Hockey, women’s team boycotts world championship

Right now, the women only get $6,000 every four years from USA Hockey.

Steve Penny resigned

As expected.

Paul Parilla, USA Gymnastics Board of Directors chairman:

“The Board believes this change in leadership will help USA Gymnastics face its current challenges and implement solutions to move the organization forward in promoting a safe environment for its athletes at all levels. …”

NOW the USAG must take action. They’ve been far too slow. Mostly talk.

Steve Penny is no more than 1% to blame. His resignation — so far — changes nothing.

Cracking Down on Abuse in U.S. Gymnastics

Jessica Howard was U.S. national champion in rhythmic gymnastics from 1999 to 2001, a finalist at the 1999 World Championships, and a member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. 

Later she was on the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors.

In the NY Times Jessica writes of how she was abused by Larry Nassar. And what the USAG needs to do to protect their members in future.

Cracking Down on Abuse in U.S. Gymnastics

Anastasiya Grishina’s money problems

Anastasiya was a super talented gymnast who had many problems during her career.

You may have heard a rumour that she’s currently homeless. Not quite.

While it seems crazy to many Western people that Grishina at 21 is married and has a 8-month baby, it’s actually also a pretty normal age in Russia to get married and have kids.

Another comment: when the article talks about Grishina being “on the streets” or “thrown off to the street” it doesn’t mean she’s literally homeless. It’s an expression in Russian that means someone lost the place they used to live in or they were thrown away from home, but it doesn’t mean that they now don’t have any place to live. It’s sort of a poetic exaggeration. She actually rents an apartment. It’s not an ideal situation and rents are sky high in Moscow, but she’s not living on the streets, so don’t worry about that. …

Click through for details – Luba (Israeli Gym Nerd) – Grishina’s story

(via Gymternet)

Tony Retrosi on USA Gymnastics

The best post I’ve seen yet on the Dr. Larry Nassar scandal:

With the information we currently have – I too want to make some one pay. This must be someone’s fault. Someone should have done something 20 years ago. The reality is that no one I knew suspected anything. If we had, we would have reported it. …

read more – USA Gymnastics – It’s about being a professional.

Why did USAG keep Nassar so long? Why didn’t someone in the organization flag his illegal behaviour sooner? Why don’t they react more quickly.

But to blame one person — CEO Steve Penny — is simplistic and shortsighted. He’s no more than 1% to blame. What about all the other coaches, officials, administrators, medical staff and judges?

There are dozens of changes that need be implemented at the family, club, State, Region and National level. There is no quick fix.