Rachael Denhollander on USAG

Guardian: It’s been more than three years now since you came forward and this movement started. How do you feel about everything USA Gymnastics has done since?

Rachael Denhollander: Disappointed. They have completely refused any shred of transparency and accountability.

They have refused to identify even one thing that went wrong. They have refused to identify even one coach that was abusive or one abusive situation, to point to something and say, hey, we shouldn’t have allowed that.

And if you cannot even acknowledge the problem, you cannot fix the problem. …

Rachael Denhollander: ‘When you speak out against your own community, you lose everything’

Anti-Doping in Trampoline Sports

The Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) are delighted to announce that the effective education programme on clean and fair sport was delivered to more than 1500 elite-level senior to junior athletes and their support personnel at both international tournaments in Tokyo, Japan; 34th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships, on 26-27 November and the 27th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics Age Groupe Competitions on 3-4 December 2019.

Play True Japan

In addition, more than 60 athletes, representing a wide range of nations, met to discuss proposed changes to the competition format for individual Trampoline and scoring changes for Double Mini and Tumbling.

Alexis Vasquez on mental health as a College athlete

Alexis Vasquez is a fantastic gymnast on one of the fastest improving teams in the NCAA.

I was in the audience when her team defeated both Florida and Oregon State University last season. Alexis was Regional co-Champion on beam. A fantastic performance.

Yet unbeknownst to almost everyone was the fact that Alexis was suffering mental health issues.

She’s decided to share her story in an essay and interview. Click over to Denver Pioneers to see that.

Russia will appeal the Olympic ban

Russia has been kicked out of international events for four years, with no official team, officials, flag or anthem allowed at Olympics, Paralympics and World Championships. It is a ban on a Russian identity at these events. Nor can they host.

Russia, meanwhile, is set to appeal via the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas), and has portrayed the sanction as excessive, unfair and politically motivated.

BBC

Putin loves sport. There’s overwhelming evidence of top-down government sponsored doping in Russia, though not in the Gymnastics sports.

Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial.

Around the Rings

The WADA Executive Committee unanimously endorsed the ban. I think it should and will stick.

Gym Owner probation – failing to report abuse

In Missouri.

Piper J. Hoemann, 47, pleaded guilty to failure to report child abuse. As owner of the now-closed Kids in Motion, Hoemann was considered a mandated reporter by the state. …

Authorities allege that Hoemann knew of the accusation against a former trainer who allegedly touched three juveniles under their shorts … yet she failed to contact police.

Hoemann was given two years unsupervised bench probation as part of the suspended imposition sentence (S.I.S.) on the charge. …

Former Gym Owner Is Given Probation — For Failing to Report Abuse

an Olympics love story

Bronze medal-winning Olympian Adam Rippon has a new memoir. In it he recounts his feud with famously homophobic Vice President Mike Pence who lead the U.S. Olympic delegation to South Korea.

Here’s one of the best of his life stories.

Click PLAY or watch it on Twitter.

Andreea Răducan documentary – The Golden Girl

HEY – IOC.

Give Răducan a Gold medal for the AA at the 2000 Olympics. We’ve always considered her the deserving winner.

Shot in 2015 and 2016, the documentary The Golden Girl centres on Romanian gymnast Andreea Răducan, who won the all-around gold medal at the 2000 Olympics, only to be forced a day later to renounce her title and her medal following a controversial doping test. …

We meet Răducan, now a retired gymnast and a successful businesswoman, in 2015, as she starts to investigate the possibility of convincing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to give her back her medal. …

cineuropa

Click PLAY or watch a highly dramatic trailer on YouTube.

Sam Oldham’s story

Former Team GB gymnast Sam Oldham is gunning for one last shot at Olympic glory – this is his story

… Oldham is out of Team GB and hasn’t competed at major championships in several years, yet he remains focused on making a surge for a place in the squad for Tokyo. …

“On paper, right now I’m in the worst possible place I’ve been in. I’m 26, not in the GB squad right now, my funding got dropped, I’m actually living with my grandparents. …

Sam Oldham on Team GB Olympic glory and frustrations, his battle with depression and the road to Tokyo 2020

Sam Oldham, GBR 2010

improving World Championships

Most people agree on these points:

  • Worlds should be shorter
  • Worlds should be less expensive
  • Worlds should not showcase dangerous skills from gymnasts not at the expected level of competition
  • Smaller, poorer nations should have a chance to compete against China
In 2019 we had medalists from Croatia, Ireland and Philippines, for example. We don’t want to reduce the chances of a future Carlos ‘Caloy’ Yulo having a chance to rise to medal contender.

 

I’m OK with lower level gymnasts competing Worlds so long as their routines are not dangerous. Recall Sri Lanka’s appearance at Worlds 2003? The audience loved them. Their routines were very basic.

 

In 2019 Milka Gehani just might qualify for the Tokyo Olympics through the tripartite rule. Worlds 2003 was a step on the long road to Tokyo.

 

Click PLAY or watch her Beam on YouTube.

To shorten Worlds I’d first cut the Team competition. It would be decided through the qualification round.

IOC and FIG have broad missions. Handing medals to the best of the best is one objective amongst many. Developing sport in Sri Lanka is another.

PROPOSAL – Elite Worlds 

In Canada we have always had two major competitions each year:

  1. Nationals (regional representation, regional development, etc.)
  2. Elite Canada

At Elite Canada only the best of the best qualify. We might have 12 gymnasts from Ontario and only 1 from Nova Scotia, for example.

I’d love to see an FIG sponsored Elite Worlds. Cash prizes. 15 American gymnasts competing Floor, for example.