Around the Gymternet: Buckle your safety belts

Luisa Blanco of WOGA at Gymnix

“She fell on a wolf turn on the beam, which is just, you know, a political statement about wolf turns, I think.” -Spencer about Maile O’Keefe’s “American Cup” performance on Gymcastic

Comp news

International Gymnix: Check out our coverage, but watch Giorgia Villa’s bar routine first.

British champs: Results are here. Since life isn’t fair, Becky Downie withdrew from the competition.

World Cups: The list of participants for the Stuttgart Team Challenge (March 16-18) has been released. Dutch gymnast Tisha Volleman has replaced compatriot Naomi Visser.

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s Alice Kinsella will replace Claudia Fragapane, who withdrew due to injury, at the March 21-22 Birmingham World Cup.

What’s happening

The feds: U.S. lawmakers announced on Thursday that they will expand their investigation of how Larry Nassar’s abuse was handled by orgs like Michigan State University and the U.S. Olympic Committee, sending a second round of questions to both.

The fund: USA Gymnastics announced on Wednesday that they are now accepting applications for its Athlete Assistance Fund, which is being administered by a third party. USAG also announced on Monday that they will be publishing a list of suspended USAG members.

The FIG: The International Gymnastics Federation has set new guidelines aimed at combating sexual abuse in the sport. The org also set up an independent ethics foundation.

The survivors: Survivor Jacob Moore appeared on the Today show, saying he hopes Nassar “rots in hell.” He appeared along with former gymnast Jeanette Antolin and swimmer Ariana Kukors.

Our Lady of the Double Arabian Aly Raisman has partnered with Darkness to Light—a charity aimed at preventing child sexual abuse—to launch her #FliptheSwitch campaign, which teaches people how to protect children from sexual abuse using a free online course.

She also teamed up with Aerie to create her Survivor swimsuit, with proceeds benefiting Darkness to Light. Meanwhile, Simone Biles spoke at a fundraiser benefiting the Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children.\

Also happening:

  • Paul Hamm, Nastia Liukin, and [2000 all-around gold medalist] Andreea Raducan will be inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
  • Four Indianapolis Star journalists will be honored for their investigation of Nassar at the Newseum’s Free Expression Awards in Washington, D.C. in April.
  • A California coach was sentenced to three years and eight months for sexually abusing a gymnast.

The state of Michigan

The feds: Survivor Amanda Thomashow asked the U.S. Department of Education on Friday to reopen MSU’s 2014 Title IX investigation into her allegations against Larry Nassar.

The college: MSU’s Board of Trustees has hired its own law firm to represent it in legal matters regarding the Nassar case.

A lawsuit was filed on Monday against MSU on behalf of 15-year-old survivor Emma Ann Miller. This is the 15th lawsuit to be filed against MSU in the Nassar case.

The law: Survivors are spearheading an effort to make changes to Michigan laws requiring coaches, athletic trainers, and others to report abuse to authorities.

Meanwhile, 15 of Michigan’s public universities asked the legislature on Monday to delay the voting on bills that would extend the time survivors have to report abuse.

The fund: Some survivors say the process of getting reimbursed for therapy from the school’s Healing Assistance Fund has been relatively easy, but they’re not ready to forgive MSU.

Required reading

  • The story of how Larry Nassar eluded justice for so long (IndyStar).
  • It’s time to fix abuse in sports for good (Outside).
  • Watch this video of Aly Raisman saying amazing things while posing in underwear (Elle).
  • The Balance Beam Situation breaks down the 2018 American Cup for you, one snarky screencap at a time.
  • Iceland’s Tinna Óðinsdóttir hopes coming forward with her sexual abuse story will lead to change (International Gymnast).
  • After speaking out as early as 2000, Jamie Dantzscher is finally being listened to (San Francisco Chronicle).

Star status

Sticks and stones: China’s Mao Yi had surgery on her femur, which she broke last week at the American Cup. She’s expected to start training in four to six weeks. In other news, she loves this gymnast you may have heard of her name’s Mustafina.

Hawaiian shirt alert: Great Britain’s Charlie Fellows announced that she would retire following the British Champs.

The comeback: Russia’s Elena Eremina has started rehab after her February back surgery. Her coach says she might start fully training in six months.

Wut: Milad Karimi says he had to wait over an hour for an ambulance after fracturing his arm at the Melbourne World Cup.

Remember this? Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams is seeking $11.38 million in damages from the country’s governing body. This is in response to Williams being replaced by Marisa Dick at the 2016 Olympic Test Event. (Psst…Here’s a recap of that clusterbleep.)

NCAA corner

We’re going streaking: Here are recaps of recent meets.

Senior night: It was a tearful weekend for the NCAA. Miss Val paid tribute to Peng Peng Lee, Ebee Price earned a perfect 10 on her final floor routine at home, and good luck to the seniors who are being thrust forth into the cruel adulting world.

The makeover: Utah has started a fundraiser for an upgrade to their training facility after being approached by strangers at their local shopping mall. The head coaches hope to start construction in 2020.

Job stability: John Court is officially Arizona’s head coach.

Fail/Just a tad racist: The Pac-12 tweeted a photo with Kyla Bryant identified as Elizabeth Price, and people were (rightfully) upset.

BAMF: UC Davis senior Alexis Brown takes a knee during the national anthem at comps and if anyone has a problem with that you can just email me directly.

Show me your ways: Mags Got Swags Nichols is now vlogging, which will hopefully give us some insight into how she does it all.

Better late than never: The media has picked up on fantasy gym as a conceptual entity.

Ugly: LSU’s Ruby Harrold and McKenna Kelley are friendship goals, though I guess that depends on your reading here.

Because you asked…

What is even the deal with Shayla Worley?

Staying social

Duh: Google honored Aly Raisman on International Women’s Day, and Hillary Clinton gave a shout out to Rachael Denhollander.

Better never than this late: The rest of the world has just now picked up on Morgan Hurd and her glasses.

Same, Margz: Norah Flatley and Laurie Hernandez have been friends for 10 years, and Margzetta Frazier wants in.

Legend, meet legend: Svetlana Boguinskaia met Simone Biles at WCC.

PSA: We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming with an official dispatch to Mary Lou Retton: Your Twitter account has been hacked.

Shout out: Rebecca Bross thanked Valeri Liukin and WOGA for helping her achieve her gymnastics goals.

The Biles II: A very talented man recreated Simone’s 2015 floor routine, complete with her signature butt bounce.

Class reunion: MSU gymnasts from the late 90’s-early aughts era were on what looks like a cruise together?

Another fail: Apparently Nastia Liukin competed at five Olympics.

Need to know

Introducing Emma Spence, the up-and-coming Canadian junior from Dynamo Gymnastics.

Last words

I wrote another thing for Teen Vogue. Again, eager to hear thoughts from the ‘net.

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3 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: Buckle your safety belts

  1. Did you mean for the bullet discussing Hamm, Liukin and Raducan being inducted into the Hall of Fame to be in the section about Nassar?


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