interview – Alicia & Chellsie

The jobs are challenging. But for some reason I’m optimistic this weird U.S. women’s gymnastics leadership team: Alicia, strategic lead, and Chellsie, technical lead, and Dan Baker, developmental lead — is going to be a success.

My first reaction was that neither Chellsie nor Alicia are going to take any crap — from anyone. Both can speak truth to power.

You can listen to both interviewed on GymCastic.

Baker, Memmel, Sacramone USAG

Though making decisions by committee is never easy, I’m still happy with these hires.

I don’t know Dan Baker. But everyone feels confident that Chellsie and Alicia will speak truth to power. I recall when Alicia was the only National Team member with the guts to question Marta. #respect

Baker’s broad focus will be on the Hopes, TOPS, and junior developmental program as well as talent identification. …

(Chellsie) provides the technical and coaching oversight of the High Performance Program and serves as the resident expert for training, competition and performance. Memmel will direct training and skill development at National Team camps and clinics and will travel to clubs around the country to help facilitate streamlined implementation of the program’s high performance strategy …

(Alicia) oversees strategic planning and guides the overall direction of the high performance program. Quinn will focus on the program as a whole and the overarching strategy for the National Team while also making the holistic development of individual athletes, physically and mentally, a top priority. …

No more Open Team World Championships

Hardy Fink is supposed to be retired. Yet he just got back from a major FIG course in South Africa.

In a recent article Hardy notes that the mid- quadrennial Artistic World Championships have gone from open access to being restricted to 24 MAG and 24 WAG teams.

… There are massive restrictions for the all-around as well. Eighty, in addition to the 329 team and AA listed spots, are specialist spots (8 per apparatus) from the World Cup circuit. …

These new Technical Regulations eliminate about 100 individual participants for 2022 and 2023 …

So, what can be predicted to be the unintended consequences? Instead of 60 or more federations pursuing team gymnastics, perhaps only 30 will continue to bother. Without local media interest and without a true world team and AA ranking, many will receive even less government funding. …

Safe Sport: Critical issues and practices

Julie Stevens, Editor

Centre for Sport Capacity, Brock University
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

This is an Open-Access book, free for all.

Browse the book online HERE.

Overall, it’s the most complete summary I’ve seen so far on how athletes can be better protected.

  1. Introduction
  2. An Athlete View of Safe Sport in Canada
  3. History, Governance and Human Rights Perspectives about Safe Sport
  4. Legal Considerations and Safe Sport
  5. Organizational Action and Safe Sport
  6. Coaches and Safe Sport
  7. Officials and Safe Sport
  8. Safe Sport and Calls for Action

It includes a number of videos. Click PLAY or watch a sample on YouTube.


I appreciate that the report does not focus exclusively on maltreatment.

True Sport Principles:

  1. Go For It: Rise to the challenge – always strive for excellence. Be persistent and discover how good you can be;
  2. Play Fair: Understand, respect, and follow the rules. Play with integrity – competition is only meaningful when it is fair;
  3. Respect Others: Show respect for everyone involved in creating your sporting experience, both on and off the field of play. Win with dignity and lose with grace;
  4. Keep It Fun: Find the joy in sport and share it with others. Remember what you love about sport and why you play;
  5. Stay Healthy: Always respect and care for your mind and body. Advocate for the health and safety of yourself and those around you;
  6. Include Everyone: Recognize and celebrate strength in diversity. Invite and welcome others into sport;
  7. Give Back: Say thanks and show gratitude. Encourage your sport group to make a difference in the community.

An abridged French version of Safe Sport: Critical issues and practices has been made available and can be accessed here.

Stevens, J. (Ed.) 2022. Safe Sport: Critical issues and practices. Ecampus Ontario. Licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0.

top sports teams have 1 Head Coach

USA Gymnastics seems to want to hire a coaching team rather than one person.

Can anyone recall a successful sport using this model?

I dunno. 🤔

I do know that John Wooden won 10 NCAA titles in 12 years. And he made all the hard decisions personally.

Tony Retrosi on USA Coordinator search

Right now U.S. Elite Coaching Association Chairman Tony Retrosi is working with the Swiss National team as they build a more positive culture.

But Tony weighed in on the current search for the next women’s National Team Coordinator:

As a coach, I do not coach the same way today as I did 30 years ago or even 5 years ago. I will not coach the same way in 5 years as I do today. We learn, we make path corrections and move forward. What is completely acceptable today will be frowned upon in just a few short years. Like a hair cut or a suit, Today I look cool.  In a few years, Oh my god, what was I thinking?! 

The USA is searching for a new National Team Coordinator. Reality is that there are not a lot of qualified individuals.  For the record, I do not feel I am qualified or interested.

Going down the list of my rules here are my thoughts.  …


Andrey Rodionenko on 2024


There’s no need for commentary, our victories in Tokyo are deserved. I don’t want to overstate or understate them in any way. What’s done is done. …


… You could say that they spent too much energy in the team competition, but it’s not an excuse.

After all, the Japanese and Chinese gymnasts fought and had great results in the fight for gold medals and other medals both in the all-around and event finals. And this lack of capacity in our case requires meticulous analysis and separate approaches in each specific case. …


… there will be a new competition format there.

While in Tokyo, the format was 4-4-3 (four people on the team, four on the competition floor, three scores count), the format of the next Games and, by the way, of the World Championships as well is 5-4-3 (five people on the team, four on the competition floor and three best scores count).

That is, the additional team spot gives an opportunity to have two all-arounders and three event specialists. Or three all-arounders and two event specialists …