“Where have we ended up?! To break the great nation of Russia?! No, they won’t be able to. This country – RUSSIA in all capital letters – has the army, nuclear power, and great people!”
– Svetlana Khorkina, keeping it real as per usual.
Nassar gets 60 years: Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, now 54, will spend the rest of his life in jail on federal child porn charges. He pleaded guilty to these charges, including to owning more than 37,000 images, back in July, and was sentenced on Thursday.
What happens now? Nassar still faces an additional 25 to 40 years in prison for sexual abuse charges in two Michigan counties. More than 120 survivors will have the opportunity to speak at his sentencing on January 12.
USAG takes the low road: Meanwhile, negotiations have failed in lawsuits filed against USA Gymnastics and MSU over Nassar’s abuse. This means the case may go to trial. USAG has also filed a motion to have the civil case dropped, claiming they are not responsible for Nassar’s conduct.
Survivors lock arms: Five survivors spoke in a press conference after Nassar’s sentencing, including superwoman Rachael Denhollander, who says that “the justice feels incomplete” without USAG and MSU taking responsibility for their roles in Nassar’s abuse.
- McKayla Maroney and her mom’s heartbreaking letter to the federal judge, encouraging her to give Nassar the full sentence. Erin Maroney urged the judge to not “fail my child like so many other institutions who were supposed to protect her.”
- Aly Raisman’s powerful guest article in The Players’ Tribune, “This is Survival,” including the letter she’d intended to read in court before a judge ruled that no survivors would be permitted to speak. She also urged the judge to give Nassar the full 60-year sentence.
Russia out of 2018 Games
Winter is canceled: For Russia, at least. The International Olympic Committee has suspended the Russian Olympic Committee over its state-sponsored doping program. This means athletes will not be able to compete for Russia at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Some will, however, have the opportunity to compete under a neutral flag.
But what about Tokyo 2020? It’s too soon to tell, says USA Today sportswriter Nancy Armour in an email: “Much depends on whether Russia acknowledges the doping program, which it has yet to do.”
Russian gymnasts say #no: Queen bee Svetlana Khorkina is outraged. Many other Russian gymnasts have shared their thoughts on social, and the amazing Liubov Baladzhaeva has kindly compiled translations of their posts for us non-Russian speakers on her site, Gymnovosti.
IT IS WRITTEN: Code update
Mad skills, bro: The FIG’s November newsletter stipulates that women are now allowed to submit new skills to the code of points at most FIG Group 1-4 competitions. This is a break from previous years, when women could only do so at worlds or the Olympics, or the Youth Olympic Games.
Slow down. What are Groups 1-4? Good question. Groups 1-3 include your standard large international competitions: the Olympics, worlds, world cups, continental championships and games (like Euros).
Group 4 includes any other international FIG-sanctioned competitions. A gymnast can have a skill named at any Group 1-3 comp, but in order to have a skill named at a Group 4 competition, an FIG rep must be present.
Say my name, say my name: In addition, if two gymnasts perform the same new skill at the same competition, the skill will be named for both. In the past, doubly-performed new skills (think: Yaostafina or Schimm) have officially been given the Jane Doe. This year, though, the Ricna half will be called the Darwael-Fenton, since both Nina Derwael and Georgia-Mae Fenton performed it at worlds.
Anything else? Glad you asked. Five new skills have been added to the code. Also, at worlds, “Some of the judges, depending of the position, had the light shining directly into their eyes for the entire competition.” Do with that information what you will.
Snaps: Thanks to Papa Liukin for keeping tabs on the FIG’s goings-on for the rest of us.
Super senior: The NCAA has approved Toni-Ann Williams for a 5th year of eligibility at Cal. The first gymnast to compete for Jamaica at the Olympics, Williams tore her Achilles in February and missed the 2017 season. Now, she’ll make up for lost time in 2018 and 2019.
Required reading: Our intro to the elites that will be learning the fine art of face tattoos this season. Meanwhile, preseason intra-squads and exhibitions are officially happening. It has begun.
Because you asked…
Come here often? Laurie Hernandez posted an Instagram video of herself getting upside down at Premier Gymnastics in New Jersey.
Gimme an S: Simone Biles traded her grips for pom poms (sorry) at Sunday’s game after being named an honorary Houston Texans cheerleader.
The Komeback Kid: A documentary about Viktoria Komova’s comeback, complete with English subtitles, is making the rounds. In it, the narrator implies that the .033 points between Jordyn Wieber and Komova at 2011 worlds was a deliberate show of bias towards the American team. You do you, Russia.
First lady? 13-year-old Chiaki Hatakeda completed(ish) a quad, a first for women, at the 2017 Japan All Team Championships. Light a candle for her ankles, now.
Need to know
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