Around the Gymternet: My monster is gone.

survivors

“Now that the world has been transfixed by our case, we must make sure not even one more young woman is preyed upon as I was.”

Rachael Denhollander in The New York Times

The ultimatum

Like flies: After the US Olympic Committee threatened decertification if all USA Gymnastics board members did not resign by January 31, USAG has confirmed that it will comply. The USOC, which said in their statement that “USAG’s culture needs a fundamental rebuilding,” also stipulated that USAG must cooperate with the their independent investigation.

Aly Raisman responded to the statement, saying she’s pleased that an independent investigation will occur, but asking for assurance that the investigation will be completely independent and that the findings will be made public.

Feds step in: A House committee will investigate how USA Gymnastics, along with USA Swimming, USA Taekwondo, and Michigan State, have handled sexual abuse complaints. Two senators have asked USAG, USOC, and MSU for more information on how they failed to stop Nassar, and another senator has called for a congressional investigation into USAG and USOC.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has announced that a vote will be held this week on the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act, in response to public pressure.

Ghost town: The Ranch has officially closed after 35 years in operation. The former training facility is still under investigation in Walker County, TX for crimes occurring on the site.

The deal with MSU

Special treatment: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced on Saturday that he has appointed a special prosecutor to provide a top-down investigation of MSU’s handling of sexual abuse cases.

A bigger problem: ESPN’s Outside the Lines investigation found that MSU’s problem goes far beyond Larry Nassar, and found a “pattern of widespread denial, inaction and information suppression,” particularly in the school’s basketball and football programs.

Feds step in: On Thursday, Lansing lawmakers called for legislation to prevent ignoring sexual abuse complaints, and Michigan Senator Gary Peters called for Congress to get involved and for MSU to commission an independent investigation. State lawmakers also want MSU’s records regarding Nassar, and the governor might take action against the MSU board.

There’s more:

  • Mark Hollis, MSU’s athletic director, resigned on Friday.
  • NCAA president Mark Emmert was alerted to 37 reports of sexual assault at MSU in 2010. Emmert has defended himself, saying the cases referenced were already being investigated.
  • MSU’s board members apologized to survivors, saying “we failed you.”
  • Findings from the 2014 investigation of Larry Nassar were not shared with survivor Amanda Thomashow, who reported the assault. 
  • MSU students wore teal to the school’s basketball game on Friday, and hundreds rallied on campus, to support survivors. Also see: the Rock

What’s next for Nassar: He will be sentenced in Eaton County on Wednesday, and more than 150 civil suits have been filed against him and the orgs he worked for.

Required reading

  • The Gymternet editor-in-chief Lauren Hopkins’ reactions to Nassar’s sentencing.
  • Charles Pierce says Nassar’s enablers need to go down with him. He’s right, but maybe don’t say gymnastics isn’t a sport (Sports Illustrated).
  • Gina Scaramella says the lesson here is clear: Listen to survivors (Boston Globe).
  • Lauren Green says orgs’ reactions to the Nassar case have all been too little, too late (Sports Illustrated).
  • Will Hobson outlines the many times Nassar could (and should) have been stopped (The Washington Post).

NCAA corner

Your mom goes to college: Here are recaps of the weekend’s meets.

Spotted in teal: Hamline, Minnesota, Arizona, Utah, this fab four: We see you.

Thanks, Carol: Florida star Alex McMurtry scored two 10s in one night, on vault and beam.

Dance magic dance: Congrats to the only aunt you feel like you can talk to Miss Val on her 500th win with UCLA! Though it’s unclear how she gets anything done.

Staying social

#TimesUp: Famous people Chrissy Teigen and John Legend donated $200k to Time’s Up on behalf of US gymnasts, presumably because it’s just the right thing to do right now.

Facepalm: Dominique Moceanu and Shannon Miller had an…exchange on Twitter. Remember, kids, all that matters is who said it first.

Jamaican me confused: Danusia Francis of Jamaica is going after RTs to get a spot at the Commonwealth Games. Unclear how that works, exactly, but I’m on board.

One okay dude: Mr. Rachael Denhollander is right, as usual, and deserves a follow.

Get real: Supreme Allied Commander Aly Raisman is an Aerie Role Model, though my invitation to her underwear party was mysteriously lost in the mail.

Preach: Katelyn Ohashi wrote a poem to raise awareness of sexual assault and read it aloud, like a champ.

Defending the sport: Two-time Olympian John Orozco says our sport will not be defined by “evil org” USAG.

Need to know

The American Cup field has been announced. The competition will be held on March 3 at the grand ballroom of the Comfort Inn off highway exit 134. Sponsored by the pawn shop next door, dim lighting at the comp means every routine gets a 15.366, and the first 50 kids will get free salt packets for use on cuts and scrapes.

Last words

There’s a lot of news, and that means some things didn’t make the cut. Is there something you saw that you’re enraged didn’t make it in? Let me know.

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11 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: My monster is gone.

    • I’m trying to better understand Dominique and her statements. It’s clear that she’s passionate about this subject, but she comes across as overly aggressive at times. Sometimes I hear her and am on board, and other times I shake my head and wonder. Other thoughts on this and specifically her exchange with Shannon?

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      • I honestly haven’t really been following Domi’s social media, so I don’t know much about what she’s been saying – but what I have seen is that she’s maybe seeing abuse where there isn’t any because her own experience was so bad? Like, from all accounts I’ve heard including Shannon’s own, Nunno’s approach as a coach worked for Shannon really well and she didn’t really have a negative experience with him? (I also know that Shannon’s parents/family were very good about keeping her grounded, making sure she got a good education, focusing on eating healthy over the number on the scale, etc, so that was probably very helpful.) I mean, if Shannon says ‘I totally support all survivors but I never experienced any of this myself’, that should be enough for anyone, and it seems like Domi just can’t take that at face value… and I saw someone (I think it was Lauren) say that maybe she’s more focused on what she sees as her ‘vindication’ than on actually helping survivors?

        All I know for sure is that we should believe a) that Shannon supports survivors and b) we should listen to what Shannon has to say about her own experience because nobody else can define what that was like for her, and from everything I’ve seen Shannon’s elite experience personally wasn’t abusive.

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        • I may be misinterpreting the exchange, but I think what Dominique is afraid of is that Shannon isn’t taking other people’s stories seriously because her own experiences were so positive. Abusive people are often selective about who they abuse and people they treat nicely will often refuse to believe that person is abusive, and they may even defend the abuser and blame the victim or refuse to take the victim seriously. It could be there are underground stories about Nunno that Miller refuses to take seriously because she didn’t personally have a problem with him. The general public probably does not have enough information to take sides here and probably shouldn’t.

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      • Not to that I should psychoanalyze someone I’ve never met, but I’m going to anyway. After reading her book, I’m convince Dom has never been able to fully transition into adulthood. She never really had a anyone to help her transition or mature (because her parents and parent figures were AWFUL), so once she was out on her own, there was never the natural progression from the head-strong “I’m always right” teen into an adult that can navigate the nuances of complicated issues. She just kind of got stuck there. On top of it, her husband is a surgeon, who have a reputation of being very “I’m always right” (and – no shade at Mike – but that is how he comes off on Twitter) because, well, you have to have that kind of confidence and control when you hold someone’s life in your hands. And while I’m sure Mike is an excellent husband and father, I think he may reinforce some of those tendencies in Dom.
        Also, I think about how often in her life Dom wasn’t believed – the horrible things the press said about her when she was getting emancipated, all the people that refused to help her, even the people that said her books was an “attention grab” and that she made it up. At certain points in her life, her survival depended on needing people to equivalent believe her, no matter what the cost. If the court hadn’t believed her and hadn’t emancipated her, who knows what would have happened. It didn’t matter who got hurt, she needed OUT.
        Now does this make this kind of twitter-tirade behavior ok? No, and I’m not trying to defend her. She was pretty sh*tty to Lauren when that whole thing happened. But I guess, with Dom, I’m inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt – she really is a victims advocate that means well, but sometimes her execution of it is AWFUL and unfortunately does far more harm than good

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      • If you look at the comments on her original tweet, someone emailed her a year ago alleging that Nunnos was abusive (in the “you’re too fat, you suck at life” kind of way). Idk if she was the only person, but that seemed to be the basis for her tweet…that Shannon will speak up against sexual assault but won’t say anything about that. And Dominique spoke out about the karolyis ages ago and most people defended them or didn’t say anything at all, so now for all of this to come out and all these people to openly support the gymnasts who are speaking out, I could imagine why she’d feel some sort of way about it. Doesn’t mean she’s right in her approach. I just can see why she’d maybe be a little salty

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  1. Speaking as someone who was homeschooled in an abusive environment, I have never seen anything wrong with Dominique Moceanu’s behavior and I am truly confused and distressed that anyone does. It is truly scary that so few people are able to empathize with or respect someone who comes from radically different life experiences than what they personally come from. Dominique Moceanu and Shannon Miller are, like everyone, products of what they were taught, and if Shannon Miller knows how to behave in a way that prompts a positive response from others, it’s because she was taught to behave that way in a normal family, not because she is an inherently superior human being. Dominique deserves to be liked and respected by others every bit as much as does Shannon (and she probably needs those things more than does Shannon).

    If you’re a normal person and you’re siding with Shannon Miller, that’s like watching an interaction between a foreigner and someone from your own country and siding with the person from your own country because they behave according to the social standards of your culture, and being judgmental of the foreigner because of their inability to meet standards of behavior they were never actually taught. In other words, you are being mind-numbingly insensitive to other people’s lives and experiences, and judging them by how much they share in common with yourself. I mean, Dominique spent most of her childhood cut off from a normal life and she probably never learned to meet standards of behavior that are “just obvious” to people who grew up in normal families and take that experience for granted. Please people, try to understand someone else for once.

    It’s because of people like the commenters of this blog that I have spent most of my adult life living as a hermit. I would love to be able to present myself like the Shannon Millers of the world so that other people wouldn’t find my behavior “off-putting” or whatever, but I don’t know how to do that. I am so sick of seeing people who’ve had good lives getting sympathy like Shannon Miller, and I am so sick of seeing people who think and act like me and who have similar life experiences being denigrated by the general public like Moceanu. I am 100% behind Dominique Moceanu, and I’m guessing anyone who’s critical of her is too small-minded and ignorant to even attempt understanding life experiences that are different from their own.

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    • I find you’re argument confusing and here is why – let’s say this hypothetical argument between a citizen and a foreigner is about whether people who are openly gay should be thrown in jail. The foreigner was raised in a society where homosexuality is a crime so he argues for it, while the citizen of your country, where gay marriage is legal, argues that it is a civil rights violation to incarcerate them. I’m going to side with the citizen of my own country, not because of my upbringing, but because they are correct – it is a human rights violation. It’s not that I don’t respect the foreigner’s upbringing, it’s that his belief actively hurts people.
      Everyone deserves empathy and understanding. They deserve to be given a (kind) explanation of why their behavior is hurtful, The opportunity to learn from their mistakes, apologize, and grow. It sounds like the people around you haven’t given you that opportunity, and for that I am truly sorry. If Dom had apologized for her behavior and people were still coming down on her, I would feel differently. But someone’s upbringing does not give them a pass to treat people poorly without consequences. The line between “we don’t agree but I respect your opinion” an needignto stand up to someone because that differing opinion is hurtful is admittedly fuzzy, but it is there and has been crossed.

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    • I also just followed above the link and it appears that tweet is different from the one I saw/responses to. The one I saw Dom specifically said to Shannon that “you were abuse by Nuno” which is far more problematic than its current version.

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