Oleg might have surgeries in January

Coach Gennady Sartynsky:

Oleg will likely have surgeries on his leg and shoulder in January.

He’ll probably miss the whole next season. He definitely won’t be able to train for half a year and then we’ll see how he’s getting back in shape.

He tore a ligament in his leg, this had bothered Oleg even before Rio, but it was tolerable. He’s torn his shoulder already this season and it needs to be repaired.

We’ve just done an MRI and realized that a surgery is inevitable. …


He wants to finish the Bundesliga season first.

Aly Raisman: I am a victim of sexual abuse

We all need thank Aly and her parents for having the courage to speak out on 60 Minutes. Gymnasts look up to Aly for leadership. More gymnasts will be empowered to speak out when they feel uncomfortable in the presence of a groomer. Coaches and parents will be more cautious in future.

I’m disappointed that USA Gymnastics did not have a spokesperson interviewed in this feature.

… We were told he is the best doctor. He’s the United States Olympic doctor and the USA Gymnastics doctor, and we were very lucky we were able to see him. …

About 165,000 athletes and 3,400 gyms are members of USA Gymnastics. Raisman is calling for major changes in personnel, training, and education to keep athletes safe. …

USA Gymnastics has a long-standing policy that adults should “avoid being alone with a minor.” Despite that policy, Raisman says she was alone with Dr. Nassar. He treated her and other athletes in their hotel rooms during competitions abroad. …

It got even harder in the summer of 2015 — a year before the Rio Games — when an investigator hired by USA Gymnastics paid Raisman a visit. A coach had raised concerns about Dr. Nassar’s treatment of athletes. Raisman says she was caught off guard when the investigator asked her about it. …

After she returned from Rio, she says she spoke with FBI agents who had opened an investigation of Larry Nassar. …

Watch it on 60 Minutes – full interview (14 min)

There are two additional Overtime features via that link.

Aly Raisman accuses Nassar

A second member of the Fierce Five squad that won gold at the London Olympics has said she, too, was sexually abused by USA Gymnastics’ longtime team physician.

Aly Raisman confirmed the abuse in an interview with 60 Minutes, which is to air Sunday night. The three-time gold medalist and captain of the 2012 and 2016 Olympic teams also describes it in her book, Fierce, being released next week. …

Nassar pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges in July, and he faces 22 to 27 years in prison when he’s sentenced on Dec. 7 …

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman says she was abused by USA Gymnastics doctor

Click PLAY or watch her on Twitter.

I survived Montreal Worlds

One of the most popular memes from Worlds 2017.

via GymNerds Montreal

The number of meet-ending injuries was shocking.

But was the number of injuries at 2017 Worlds more than usual? I’m not sure. I recall some very bad Worlds.

FIG tracks those numbers. In the past I’ve seen the FIG Worlds medical report. It won’t be published for some weeks, I expect.

But I’ve not seen that report released publicly for many years. I’ve requested a copy from one of the FIG Medical Commission.

This year meet ending injuries were suffered by some of the highest profile gymnasts: Kohei Uchimura (ankle on Vault in competition), Ragan Smith (ankle in training), Larisa Iordache (Achilles on Floor in training), Vanessa Ferrari (Achilles on Floor in competition).

Social media is the main source of competition information for many people. Injuries were very quickly communicated from those in the arena. More so  than in the past.  Five major injuries occurred in one subdivision of MAG preliminaries. That set off the gymternet alarm. Ready to quit  the sport, I had to take a long walk to calm down.

In the cases of  Vanessa and Larisa Achilles rupture was predictable. Both arrived in Montreal knowing there was a chance it could happen. I can’t blame the venue. The same thing happened to Alicia Sacramone at Worlds Tokyo 2011.

Those who jumped on the Montreal broke the gymnasts meme reminded me of the old similarly wrong over-simplification: Marta broke the girls.

Gymnastics is a very dangerous sport. It’s most dangerous when athletes used to landing on mats in the pit have to try to stick a Vault on competition mats. It’s Russian rouletteAudrys Nin Reyes was a favourite to medal on Vault. He was injured on landing just like Kohei.

Kyle Shewfelt had 2 serious injuries over 3 Olympics. One landing on competition Floor. The other landing a competition Vault. (Kyle said Kohei’s injury looked similar to his on Vault.)

If you worry about the health of your favourite gymnast, worry most when they compete Floor and Vault. They are much, much safer training in their own Gym.

Was lighting in the training Gyms or competition Gym a factor?

Possibly. But not a big factor I don’t expect.

Was insufficient practice time in the competition Gym a factor?

Yes. In my opinion.

That facility sat empty much of the time before the start of competition. Why not offer a second podium training? Why not allow more time / gymnast? FIG could easily correct this for Doha.

Podium training was bungled too for some gymnasts. Petrounias, for example. Lack of chalk and timing errors are the fault of the organizing committee. Not FIG.

Did the gymnasts have enough time on the new Gymnova equipment? 

No, in some cases. The U.S. men had not used the Gymnova vault horse before arrival in Montreal. Donnell Whittenburg, one of the favourites, said he couldn’t get used to it in time.

On the other hand, some nations planned to get time on the Worlds equipment. China spent a week training on Gymnova in Alberta before arriving Montreal, for example. Smart. Japan and Brazil trained at INS Montreal before the official Worlds training gyms opened.

Russia said gymnasts were not allowed to prepare WAG Bars for their teammates. That’s a big safety concern, in my opinion. FIG should reevaluate that rule immediately.

But were the Montreal Worlds cursed?

Was the venue too old and flawed?

No. It was a far better than average World Championships. I congratulate FIG, the Worlds organizing committee and all those volunteers for getting 99% of things right.

If you disagree, please leave a comment.

related – Spotlight Gymnastics – The flip side of the medal – Montreal 2017

Montreal 2017 Coaching Symposium

In conjunction with World Championships 2017 an excellent acrobatic sports symposium was hosted October 5-8th.

I wish coach education was a part of Worlds every year.

Merci beaucoup Guy Lavoie, principle organizer.

CA Guy Lavoie

Three streams to choose from: Sport Science & Health, Technical workshops and Gymnastics for All. 

Over coming weeks, I’ll be posting notes from the sessions I attended.

click for larger version


Vanessa Ferrari – Achilles

Vanessa had some kind of Achilles surgery in 2016.

Looks like it snapped completely on her second tumbling pass during the very last routine of the Women’s World Championships 2017.

Lari Iordache also tore her Achilles at this meet.

Fans are wishing both superstars to recover better than new.

heartbroken for Larisa

It looks like she snapped an Achilles while warming up Floor first apparatus.

Image actually shot by @CBCScottRussell.

This sport is very, very dangerous. 😥