“Golden” – USA Elite documentary

The final episode in the 6-part series arrives July 21st.

It airs on PeacockTV.com. Free for those who appear to be in the USA and who have a U.S. zip code.


The best recent documentary I can recall.

A real time look at changing Elite culture. For the better, I’d say.

Simply having Camp open to the video crew is a credit to Tom Forster and USAG. This is the kind of transparency we’ve always wanted.

I LOVE seeing regular training rather than only Instagram highlights. It’s mostly a grind. Golden shows that accurately.

I love seeing family life. Konnor’s problems, for example, and her family’s support.

I love seeing OTHER issues in their lives. Morgan’s social activism, for example.

Golden is not perfect.

Episode 3 should have explained to viewers the logic of selecting Gabby Douglas for Rio. It’s what I would have recommended. Instead, editors made it look like McKayla was personally unselected.

I was pleased they showed how misses are COMMON in training. But did we need to see DOZENS of Bar release misses? Also, I felt too many REALLY bad falls were included. Some of those could have been edited better or left out entirely.

“Golden: The Journey of USA’s Elite Gymnasts” follows Rio gold medalist Laurie Hernandez, 2017 World all-around champion Morgan Hurd, 2019 World Championships team members Sunisa Lee and MyKayla Skinner and first-year senior gymnast Konnor McClain.

The series, with hour-long episodes, follows the gymnasts over a five-month period as they train to vie for four Olympic spots …


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Konnor McClain on Golden

In the most recent episode of Golden (Peacock subscription), Konnor talks about why she made the sudden move from the club where she’d trained since age-3 to WOGA.

Click PLAY or watch a clip on Twitter.

Oklahoma Gym Club – 47 COVID cases

23 gymnasts, three staff members, and 21 of their household contacts.

The median age for infected people was 14, and the outbreak affected people aged 5 to 58.

Thankfully, investigators didn’t find any secondary spread among Oklahoma gymnasts participating at the out-of-state meets. …

How the Delta Variant Tore Through an Undervaxxed Gymnastics Center

Gymnastics Clubs have had very low risk of COVID outbreak, overall.

Discipline. Compliance. A need to protect kids.

On the other hand, Oklahoma has had comparatively low rates of vaccination. 13 people from the Club who came down with the virus who were eligible.

Even now fewer than half of Oklahoma citizens have had one dose. They don’t have herd protection with those numbers.

Read the research document.

Elvira Saadi suspended by Gymnastics Canada

Prominent Canadian gymnastics coach Elvira Saadi has been suspended by Gymnastics Canada since late 2020, pending an investigation into abuse allegations, the sport’s national federation confirmed to TSN. …

Gymnastics Canada expects the results of a third-party investigation of Saadi within the next month …

Canadian gymnastics coach suspended after abuse allegations

Brooklyn Moors is being coached by Dennis Vachon at the Olympics.

Riley McCusker on Arizona Sunrays

Recall Riley injured her ankle at the U.S. Classic. On competition Vault landing mats, where so many major injuries happen.

… I want to thank Brian from the bottom of my heart for showing me what it was like to be treated with kindness and respect everyday.

Because of this I will never let anyone treat or abuse me the way I was for years, he has helped me become a whole person.

He is also an incredible coach and before I hurt my ankle at classics I was doing things on floor and vault that I never thought possible for me.

My main motivation for this last year and a half while training with Brian Carey was to show all of the little gymnasts and athletes out there that you can still become the best athlete that you can be in a healthy environment. …

I didn’t have a vote. But my pick for the +one U.S. Olympic team would have been Riley. She hit 5/6 Bars routines this season and would have been a favourite for the Bars final, if not the podium.

If you want a deep dive into WHY the USA didn’t pick Riley as an alternate, listen to the June 30th GymCastic episode – Olympic Trials Party and Postmortem.

Tom Elder on coaching ETHICS

Ethics in coaching is critical for all our clubs and organizations.

Many Federations are under investigation at the moment, for example.

Our goal is keeping everyone safe, while bringing the most benefits to the greatest number of participants. Fairness. Equal opportunity. And more.

Tom Elder is assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bioethics scholar.

Click PLAY or watch some highlights of Tom’s interview on YouTube. (16min)

Watch the entire interview. (79min)

Gymnastics Australia report

An independent review into gymnastics in Australia says the sport has enabled a culture of physical, emotional and sexual abuse which many participants have described as “toxic”.

The report, carried out by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), made 12 recommendations …

… the report explored power imbalances between athletes and coaches, body-shaming and bullying, and a culture which it said helped “create an environment where abuse and mistreatment can thrive”.

In response, Gymnastics Australia said it “unreservedly apologises …”

Gymnastics Australia report reveals ‘significant cultural challenges’, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse

related – Gymnasts Kirsty-Leigh Brown, Emily Little, and Mary-Anne Monckton are speaking out about their experiences as young professional athletes and the ‘toxic’ culture in gymnastics

club SafeSport recommendations

From the UK’s leading children’s charity:

  • a welfare or child protection officer who you can contact with any concerns
  • a clear procedure for complaints and concerns
  • written standards for good practice
  • effective consent and emergency processes
  • a safe recruitment process for staff and volunteers, including vetting
  • staff and volunteers are trained in safeguarding children
  • children and young people are suitably supervised (based on their age, ability, the activity and venue) by adults who are trained to care for them
  • the activity takes place in a safe environment – and there are separate changing areas for children and adults

Via Gymnasts for Change – How can parents and carers help safeguard gymnasts?