“My tears have not come out yet. I said they’re still dancing and having a party in
my eyeballs.” —Peng Peng Lee. Ain’t no party like an eyeball party.
What happened? Uh, nationals happened. UCLA took their first title since 2010, upsetting Oklahoma by .037 points. Peng Peng Lee got 10s on bars and beam, the latter nabbing UCLA the victory.
At semifinals, Maggie Nichols took the all-around title, with MyKayla Skinner in second once again. Ebee got a 10 on bars. Nebraska upset Alabama to make it into the Super Six.
The boys, too: Oklahoma’s men took their fourth title in a row.
What happened? Uh, Musty happened. Aliya Mustafina returned to competition at the weekend’s Russian champs, casually placing fourth in the all-around with a 55.432 on day one. Viktoria Komova placed third in her second appearance since her comeback, and Angelina Melnikova took gold in every event but vault.
McKayla spoke out: McKayla Maroney spoke at The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children charity luncheon, in her first public comments on Nassar’s abuse since coming forward. Maroney blasted USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and Michigan State University for failing to protect athletes. She says she now questions whether her gymnastics career was worth it, and that she’s taking things “day by day.”
Maroney later said on Dateline that Nassar’s abuse began on the first day she met him, and that he abused her hundreds of times. She also says she spoke about the abuse in front of John Geddert in 2011.
The Karolyis also spoke for the first time since the scandal broke, denying any knowledge of Nassar’s abuse. Aly Raisman is not happy with the episode, saying there was no “scrutiny” of USAG’s higher-ups and that part of her interview was omitted. Watch it here and read the Wall Street Journal’s devastating look at how Nassar’s abuse affected Maroney.
Jordyn filed suit: Jordyn Wieber filed a lawsuit against MSU, USAG, and the USOC over Nassar’s abuse on Tuesday. The lawsuit alleges that USAG purged medical records of survivors in order to conceal Nassar’s abuse.
She testified, too: Members of the Senate Commerce Committee heard testimony from survivors Jordyn Wieber and Jamie Dantzscher on Wednesday. Wieber told the panel that Nassar began abusing her when she was 14. She and Dantzscher criticized national governing bodies for not doing enough to protect them, and senators admitted that the athletes “were let down.”
USOC said “faster, please”: Also on Wednesday, USOC chairman Larry Probst urged the U.S. Center for SafeSport to work faster to address abuse. He also said the board of directors is working on short and long term plans to protect athletes.
USAG settled: USAG settled the Georgia lawsuit alleging that the org failed to protect a gymnast from coach William McCabe’s abuse. The suit is what led to The Indianapolis Star’s initial investigation into abuse in gymnastics.
- Former gymnast Marcia Frederick rejected a confidentiality agreement. Former coach Richard Carlson’s attorney proposed that Carlson would confess to having sex with Frederick as a teenager and accept a ban from the sport if Frederick did not go public. Frederick said, “I rejected it immediately.”
- USAG released a statement on Tuesday saying that the org “will not endorse, agree, enforce, propose or otherwise support the use of” non-disclosure agreements.
- Time chose Rachael Denhollander as one of their most influential people of 2018. They then begrudgingly chose 99 others to make it an even hundred. In addition, Forbes chose “The Gymnasts and Their Allies” as one of The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders of 2018.
The state of Michigan
Next time maybe just don’t: Carol Viventi—special counsel to Interim University President John Engler—wrote in an email last weekend that survivor Kaylee Lorincz’s claims that Engler offered her a quarter million dollars to settle her lawsuit against MSU were “fake news.” She later apologized, saying “I’m sorry my words added to their pain.”
Rachael Denhollander responded to Viventi’s “absurd attempt at an apology,” calling it “disgusting.”
- A Michigan state House committee began hearings on 17 Nassar-inspired pieces of legislation designed to prevent future abuse on Tuesday.
- Seven more women filed a lawsuit against USAG and MSU on Wednesday, alleging that Nassar abused them.
- A little less conversation, a little more action is needed in response to the biggest abuse case in U.S. Olympic history (USA Today).
- The decline of participation in men’s gymnastics in the U.S. (Iowa State Daily).
- How Cirque de Soleil turns gymnasts into artists (Deadspin).
- MSU must be held accountable for “rape culture” (Detroit Free Press), and the board of trustees needs to resign (Lansing State Journal). MSU is moving backwards (ThinkProgress).
Back: More Biles footage is here. Can you say TTY?
This again: Ellie Downie will be having a second surgery on her ankle.
Movin’ on up: Margzetta Frazier’s training a laid out full in connected to a split jump.
Because you asked
Who are all the grandmas in gymnastics? Could Alaska move up in the rankings soon?
Yours truly was at all three comps this weekend in St. Louis. Back at work this morning and I feel like I’ve been hit with a baseball bat.
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