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)

beware the “cult” of Gymnastics

Over and over again people keep asking how Larry Nassar got away with what he did for so long.

Many elite gymnasts are irrationally dedicated.  They are literally brainwashed.

Recall Goldman’s dilemma? Athletes were asked if they were willing to die in 5 years for sporting success NOW. Many said yes.

1992 Olympian Wendy Bruce Martin (who never worked with Nassar) reflects back on what she was willing to do for Olympic qualification:

I was willing to give anything to gymnastics and I was willing to give everything. …

As long as I could perform my skills, I was willing to ignore the advice from my Doctor. When my Doctors told me to take time off of gymnastics to heal, I didn’t. …

There wasn’t much I wouldn’t do to make the Olympics. When I needed to lose a little weight, I took the cheap and easy way out. Bulimia was my little secret. I was Bulimic for about a year and a half before the Olympics. …

The Cult Culture of Gymnastics

Parents and coaches need be aware that dedication can be psychosis. Mental health is as important as physical health.

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.)

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.

Baku World Cup preliminaries

When I clicked over to the LIVE stream I first thought I was watching a Gala performance. The lighting is cool … but is it safe?

Results so far. Schedule of the competition.

WAG Vault
1. Chusovitina, Okasana UZB 14.383
2. Little, Emily AUS 14.033
3. Nekrasova, Marina 13.733

full results

Bars
1. Varinska, Diana UKR 13.366
2. Wang, Cenu CHN 13.100
3. Brown, Georgia-Rose AUS 13.00

full results

MAG Floor
1. Agarzayev, Murad AZE 14.266
2. Kuzmickas, Tomas LTU 14.066
3. Remkes, Christopher AUS 14.033

full results

Rings
1. Petrounias,Eleftherios GRE 15.333
2. Takeda, Kazuyuki JPN 14.833
3. Konstantinidis, Konstantinos GRE 14.733

full results

P Bars
1. Liu, Rongbing CHN 15.066
2. He, Youxiau CHN 14.600
3. Takeda, Kazuyuki JPN 14.433

full results

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