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

Trampoline Park injuries

Coaches of Trampoline and Gymnastics mostly can’t believe Trampoline Parks can stay open. Why aren’t they sued into bankruptcy?

Hospital visits are on the rise.

Those statistics are from a study in Paediatrics – Trampoline Park and Home Trampoline Injuries (2016)

related – Sun (U.K.) – FLIPPING DANGEROUS A shattered spine, fractured skull, iron rod in leg, broken ankles, dislocated foot, black eyes – why are trampoline parks jumping in popularity?

60 Minutes investigates USA Gymnastics sex abuse

News magazine program “60 Minutes” put the spotlight on IndyStar’s investigative reporting on sex abuse within USA Gymnastics.

Several former gymnasts came forward to tell their stories of alleged sex abuse committed by former team doctor Larry Nassar. If you missed the program, you can watch online here (in the USA). …


Click PLAY or watch USAG Board Chair Paul Parilla’s response on Twitter.

related – read FloGymnastics’ Editorial: Why Does Abuse Continue To Plague USA Gymnastics?

USAG should have done more sooner, that’s clear.

What will USA Gymnastics do next? That’s not at all clear.

Changes may be imposed on all Olympic sports in the USA — Senator seeks tougher law after USA Gymnastics’ handling of sex abuse cases

FBI has interviewed gymnasts

Multiple gymnasts from the U.S. team, including members of the gold medal-winning squads in Rio de Janeiro and London, have been interviewed in recent months by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as either patients of the doctor, Larry Nassar, or potential witnesses …

Dr. Nassar, an osteopathic physician, served as a volunteer trainer and doctor for the U.S. national team for almost 30 years …

FBI Interviews Top U.S. Gymnasts in Intensifying Sexual-Abuse Investigation

why so many NCAA Achilles tears?

REPOST with comments from Dr. Bill Sands included.

tessen_kim_uugym16… Utah’s gymnastics team was dealt its second major blow of the season when freshman Kim Tessen tore her Achilles last Saturday. Tessen had strung together a solid debut season and was coming off her best meet of the year before the injury.

Tessen’s season-ending injury follows up Sabrina Schwab’s season-ending ACL tear. …

Tessen is the fifth Red Rock to tear her Achilles in as many years. But Utah isn’t unique, as several other teams have watched athletes succumb to the same injury this season and over the years.

“I think last year we (NCAA teams) had 16 Achilles tears reported, and this year we are already at eight or nine,” said Farden. …

Utah gymnastics still focused despite second season-ending injury

Leave a comment if you have ANY idea how we might reduce the number of Achilles ruptures.

Read a thread on the topic on College Gymnastics Board.


William A Sands, PhD, FACSM:

The Achilles tendon injuries, particularly ruptures are complex. Having studied this problem for over 20 years, I believe there is a small constellation of causative factors working separately and together. However, prediction and prevention remain elusive. I have several presentations with high-speed video of athlete and spring floor interactions, but the files are quite large. I’ve presented at the USAG Congress on this very topic more than once. Seems like it always falls on deaf ears. Well, one more try…

James Linderholm alerted me to a recent discussion on Achilles tendon injuries. I saw a list of these injuries on Rick McCharles site. Below are some references to which you might want to refer when describing and discussing what is known about these injuries and some potential causative factors.

In my view, there are several potential causes, almost impossible to tease apart.

1. The wear-and-tear of long years of training is certainly a factor. Countermeasures for this include the use of ultrasound to examine the tendon and other local structures.

2. We can probably infer from a number of studies that injury incidence and rate are linked to body composition and anthropometry (ie weight and size). Countermeasures for this can include technique alterations, nutritional interventions, and reduction of training load.

3. Floroquinolones are known to cause problems with connective tissue strength and load characteristics. I will assume that most, if not all, sports medicine professionals are aware of this problem and no longer use these types of antibiotics. However, it may be worth a check to ascertain the role(s) of these medications, history of use, and so forth. The evidence, in my view, is pretty clear. Unfortunately, long-term use has not been investigated sufficiently for determination of whether historical use may cause problems. I’m not a physician, so please check with your team doctors.

4. Technique may be involved in that anecdotal discussions have indicated that athletes with low take-off impact angles may be more vulnerable. Most, but not all, Achilles tendon injuries occur during take-offs when ground reaction forces can exceed 15-22 times body weight. Work by Bruggemann and colleagues has shown that the bundles of the tendon are load differentially depending on placement of the feet, ankle and foot anatomy, and other factors.

5. The spring floor may contribute. I have made efforts for more than 20-years to study the spring floor and its relation to take-off injuries. AAI and Whitey Anson have been very generous in helping me work on this problem. There are some interesting aspects that are addressed in citations below, and on my website: Interestingly, Achilles tendon injuries have occurred on coil spring floors and foam-type floors. I believe that the natural frequency responses (rates of vibration from depression to rebound) are not consistent between the gymnast’s lower extremities and the spring floor. Unfortunately, equipment companies must follow FIG specifications and I believe these specifications, while ensuring some uniformity in design, do not take enough account of biological factors. It is also interesting to note that when T&T coaches are queried about Achilles tendon injuries – these injuries are practically unheard of. Note that the tumbling apparatuses are very different from the artistic gymnastics spring floors. On querying T&T coaches I found that only one Achilles tendon rupture was recalled, and this athlete was a former artistic gymnast and approximately 35-years old. High-speed videography of T&T tumbling surfaces has shown that the lower extremity mechanics are quite different from those used on artistic gymnastics spring floors. T&T tumbling strips are simply more forgiving than artistic gymnastics spring floors.

6. EVERYONE wants to reduce or eliminate these injuries. I hope the information below will enhance discussions that lead to countermeasures that work.

Horizontal Bar – preventing griplock

Over the years I’ve seen gridlock injuries 2 or 3 times. Never to one of my own gymnasts, happily.

Grip lock is a … injury that rarely occurs in gymnastics …

Athletic trainers and therapists should become familiar with the cubital grip positions that place gymnasts at high risk for grip lock injury and carefully observe performances
on the high bar in men’s gymnastics …

Grip lock injury may be prevented through education of gymnasts and their coaches …

Human Kinetics – Grip Lock: A Unique Mechanism of Injury in Gymnastics


Russia finally admits to doping

Russia is for the first time conceding that its officials carried out one of the biggest conspiracies in sports history: a far-reaching doping operation …

Over several days of interviews here with The New York Times, Russian officials said they no longer disputed a damning set of facts that detailed a doping program with few, if any, historical precedents.

“It was an institutional conspiracy,” Anna Antseliovich, the acting director general of Russia’s national antidoping agency, said …

Russians No Longer Dispute Olympic Doping Operation

They still claim Putin did not know.

Russia was stripped of speedskating and biathlon events it was due to host this winter. Russia had previously been denied hosting world bobsled and skeleton championships.