Around the Gymternet: Bow before your queens


“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.

NCAA corner

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.

Okay, but what really happened? Blue man happened. Triceratops hair made a comeback. Suzane Yoculan Leebern is the shoe winner. Team UCLA took a tumble. KJ disappeared.

The boys, too: Oklahoma’s men took their fourth title in a row.

Senior goodbyes: Natalie Brown, Elizabeth PriceAJ Jackson, and the senior Gators are all sad to go. Plus, Ebee got a nice send off award.

Russian Championships

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.

What’s happening

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.

Required reading

  • 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).

Star status

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.

Staying social

All wet: Nastia Liukin follower Matt Lombardi finished the Boston Marathon amid a downpour, and she’s very proud of him. Speaking of, Shawn Johnson plans to run next year’s marathon with her hubby.

Because you asked

Who are all the grandmas in gymnastics? Could Alaska move up in the rankings soon?

Last words

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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15 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: Bow before your queens

  1. Anyone watch the Dateline episode? I think the Karolyi’s could’ve been a little more humble. They might not have known about the abuse, but c’mon, it was on there property. Apologize and take some responsibility


    • I am not in any way defending them, but there are active lawsuits, right? I bet every question was run through lawyers. Which is maybe also why parts of Alys story was cut.


    • McKayla Maroney made a very valid point in saying that Martha controlled everything, oversaw everything they did, didn’t let them do little things yet did nothing to prevent Nassar from going into their cabins at night or monitoring his behavior. I personally think that Martha either knew, or suspected, but chose to turn a blind eye, knowing that if she did anything she would crumble the organization she created. She has displayed for decades that medals are more important to her than the gymnasts that win them.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Aly and McKayla have every right to share every part of their experience, but they both seem to think that it’s a really big deal that Geddert heard them describing Nassar’s abuse in a car one time, and that’s just not the case. All that he overheard is that his techniques involved digital penetration — many people knew that. Many PARENTS knew. Some were even IN THE ROOM when it happened. He made Youtube videos of it, for goodness sake. The problem is that neither the gymnasts nor the parents nor the coaches nor the staff were trained to recognize that as abuse.

    We’ve learned many damning things about John Geddert in the past few months. This isn’t one of them.


    • Geddert had EVERY responsibility to follow through with their questions and what seems to be unease about what happened to them. Any decent coach….actually…any decent human being would have had further conversation with them or at least alerted the parents that the girls were confused/ unsure about the procedures that Nassar used. By DOING NOTHING he is just as much at fault.
      Obviously something was not right with Aly and McKayla about the situation or they would not have been discussing it. Geddert is scum of the Earth, not quite understanding why you feel the need to defend him and blame the victims.


      • How is that victim blaming??? I think point is that once you say “geddertt should have known because he heard that convo” you really have to say that every since coach and parent who knew that he digitally penetrated girls should have known. It’s about thinking carefully about who we blame and why we blame them.

        Geddertt should probably go to jail for other things he did. But the point is that Maggie’s coach is a literal hero for realizing that something was wrong— because so many people knew the exact same thing and didn’t realize, and we don’t want to blame all of them for Nassars crimes.


        • No, you missed my point which was that Geddert should have recognized that the girls were having difficulty understanding what had happened, the OP said that everyone knew about Nassar’s treatments and so it wasn’t a big deal.

          Having that mentality is the problem.

          Aly and McKayla stated they were uneasy about the treatments and were discussing it with each other and Geddert heard them discussing it and did nothing.

          Geddert should have alerted someone that the girls were concerned. Their parents first a foremost.

          He choose to ignore the conversation which is exactly why he should take blame for it.

          Reread my post, I never said anything about Gedder “should have known…” I stated that he should have sought out help for the girls who were obviously confused/ distraught over Nassar’s treatments.


        • Also you applaud Sarah Jantzi and call her a hero for doing exactly the opposite of what Geddert did.

          Sarah overheard a conversation between Maggie and Simone where clearly they were upset or did not understand Nassar’s treatments. She then reported it to Rhonda Faehn.

          Geddert was in the same situation as Jantzi, he overheard the conversation between Aly and McKayla, where they state they were upset about Nassar’s treatments. He did not report it to anyone, he ignored it.

          Geddert and Nassar were buddies, so it is most likely that Geddert chose to ignore the conversation because he knew Nassar personally, and because Nassar had a good reputation up to that point. Geddert should be blamed for not advocating for the gymnasts however, as it doesn;t take a brain surgeon to understand that if a teenager is upset about a situation or confused about a situation, that it is in the child’s best interest to seek clarification or assistance for said child. However, Geddert doesn’t really match the understanding and compassionate persona does he?


  3. i’m very confused … Because even if vaginal penetrations could be a treatment, it should have been in balance with the pervert effects of such a treatment : how vaginal penetrations could psychologically affect teenagers. Why did nobody (parents, coach, and so on) consider the pervers effects of what could eventually been believed to be real treatment (and of course, we now know it was in no way real treatment but perversity) ?


    • We are taught at a very young age to trust doctors. Doctors are supposed to have the expertise and knowledge in their field of medicine. They have lot of eduction and training, so it is hard to question a doctor, especially one that has a great reputation.

      I am sure that there was also a fear that if they did not seek Nassar’s treatment or questioned it , that there could be repercussions for the gymnast’s future with USAG.


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