Around the Gymternet: Put it on ice

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“If we were that successful while we were being molested, wouldn’t we have been more successful if we had the right doctor that actually helped heal our injuries, that didn’t traumatize us? If we had people around us that genuinely wanted to help us?” -Aly Raisman on CNN.

The state of Michigan

Geddert under fire: Authorities in Eaton County are investigating recent complaints against Twistars and 2012 Olympic coach John Geddert. This comes as survivors like Lindsey Lemke have spoken out about Geddert, accusing him of abuse and of enabling Larry Nassar.

On Thursday, Aly Raisman told CNN that Geddert (let’s be clear on that) may have known about Nassar’s abuse as early as 2011.

Due date: Interim Michigan State University president John Engler released a memo on Monday to all MSU employees requesting that they save any and all documents related to the Nassar case. MSU met the Friday deadline to turn in over 45,000 pages of documents to the Attorney General.

Hirings and Firings: Engler is taking steps to fire William Strampel, Nassar’s former boss. Strampel stepped down in December due to medical reasons, but remains on the faculty.

Radiology Department Chair Suresh Mukherji has also been suspended for not cooperating with the ongoing investigations of MSU, and Bill Beekman has been hired as the interim athletic director. Beekman says he is committed to “build[ing] a culture of accountability.”

More survivors: MSU police have received over 60 new complaints against Larry Nassar since his first sentencing began in January, but no new charges have been filed at this time.

The law: A number of bills have been proposed in Michigan to prevent future abuse, including by requiring coaches and other school authorities to report it.

The orgs

Olympic fail: The US Olympic Committee Board of Directors Chairman Larry Probst said on Friday that “the Olympic system in the United States failed” abused athletes.

Probst defended USOC CEO Scott Blackmun, though, amid calls for his resignation, and stated that no decision would be made regarding Blackmun until after the independent investigation had been completed.

Silenced no more: Aly Raisman told CNN that she’s skeptical that the USOC’s independent investigation will go far enough. She also said she felt silenced and even threatened by USA Gymnastics and investigator Fran Sepler. The Nichols family also says they were “quieted and shushed.”

USAG action: USAG established an athlete assistance fund to “provide financial means and guidance” for survivors of Nassar’s abuse.

FIG action: The International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) released a statement listing its actions in response to athlete abuse, including establishing “an independent body to which any abuse case can be reported.”

The feds

In the House: The House Oversight Committee announced on Thursday that it would investigate Nassar’s abuse, requesting documentation from USAG, the USOC, and MSU.

And the Senate: Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Joni Ernst said Wednesday that they would form a committee to investigate the orgs’ failures to stop Nassar.

Goodbye forever: Nassar has been moved to a high-security federal prison in Tuscon, Arizona, where he will serve his federal sentence of 60 years.

Required reading

  • Like so many of us, Jessica O’Beirne of Gymcastic fame was fooled by Larry Nassar, but she has ideas on how we can prevent this from happening again (Los Angeles Times).
  • The Indianapolis Star sums up allegations made against Valeri Liukin and WOGA.
  • USA Today’s Nancy Armour says the USOC needs to take responsibility for how it’s handled abuse, in gymnastics and elsewhere.
  • Children’s book illustrator Sarah Dvojack drew each and every survivor who testified at Nassar’s Ingham County hearing (CNN).
  • Why USAG’s new fund to help survivors isn’t close to enough (Deadspin).
  • Read this powerful letter by a survivor’s mother who was in the room while Nassar abused her daughter (The Indianapolis Star).
  • Why USOC CEO Scott Blackmun needs to go (The New York Times).

NCAA corner

Meet the co-eds: Here are recaps of the weekend’s meets.

Double take: If you haven’t seen Ebee’s gorgeous DTY, you haven’t lived.

Her turn: UCLA senior JaNay Honest was awarded a scholarship after competing for her first three years as a walk-on.

Because you asked…

What’s up with Bailie Key? Why did Valeri resign, and what will happen next? Lauren answers those questions and more, though I still haven’t seen an answer to my marriage proposal.

Staying social

Touring for a cause: Laurie Hernandez went to Puerto Rico and ran a 5K. Meanwhile, I’m watching figure skating and trying to stave off bloating.

New addition: Simone Biles has a dog named Lilo. Do you like his outfit? If not he’ll be very pupset 14/10 would pet and compliment.

Best and brightest: King Kohei Uchimura is a “damned gymnastics idiot,” I guess? His words.

Gotta get that D: Ombre princess Riley McCusker is working on upgrades on beam, and if that layout is downgraded I will FREAK.

All sewed up: John Orozco got shoulder surgery but I can’t watch. I’m watching. I wish I hadn’t watched.

Teal pride: If you happen to be in MSU’s comms department, be sure to pick up a ribbon and thank a survivor.

Need to know

  • Aliya “What, like it’s hard?” Mustafina performed exhibition routines on bars and beam at Palais des Gym 2018. True to form, she did not do an acro series.
  • Amy Tinkler is the champion of all of England. Hail!
  • Junior national champ Maile O’Keefe is the USA’s wildcard candidate for the decidedly sponsorless American Cup.
  • Olympians Sam Mikulak and Alex Nadour, and world bronze medalist Yul Moldauer will headline the Winter “just the dudes” Cup this year.
  • The field for the Birmingham Cup has been announced, and it includes Margzetta Frazier.
  • Brooklyn Moors won the all-around at Elite Canada, edging out Ana Padurariu, who unfortunately hurt her foot and will no longer be competing at Stuttgart. She’s been replaced by Rose Woo.
  • Some American gymnasts might actually go to Jesolo this year, because who the hell needs a governing bod anyway.
  • Read this interview with Oleg Verniaiev at your own risk.

Last words

During the Winter Olympics, I’m the four-year fan. Apparently you can skate to Coldplay now? 

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7 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: Put it on ice

  1. I regret not buying tickets for Birmingham now (only shit ones left and I’ve committed to other stuff). It just seems slightly ridiculous to buy tickets for an event when you have NO IDEA who will be there. It’s not like Euros or Worlds where you’re pretty much guaranteed to see the top gymnasts from every country (unless they’re injured or something). With the World Cup events you can either get your favourites or a ton of people you’ve never heard of. I don’t see why they sell tickets so far in advance of announcing who is going to appear. It’s bad enough that the tickets for this year’s Euros went on sale so ridiculously early. I’m not going to commit to an event 18 freaking months before it happens, especially when the tickets are that expensive. It’s still six months away and most of the tickets are long gone. Rant over.

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    • I can see tickets (although they are right up in the rafters) but damned if I can find a hotel anywhere nearby. Looks like I’ll be watching from home. At least I can pause, slow down and rewind I guess.

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  2. That Jesolo tidbit is such a tease! Who plans to go? According to the FIG’s directives for the event, definitive registration ends Feb. 28 and nominative registration ends March 20. So maybe we won’t know until the end of February?

    Also, too bad USAG failed to make their no-teams-2018 announcement until February 4 as the Gymnix definitive and nominative registrations closed December 1 and February 1, respectively (because why make a decision that would be helpful to gymnasts).

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