Around the Gymternet: It’s the end of an era


Sabrina Vega

“Try rooming with her.” -Olivia Dunne’s beauty is unattainable for us normals, but Morgan Hurd feels our pain.

What’s happening

Vega files suit. World gold medalist and Georgia sophomore Sabrina Vega filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and Bela and Martha Karolyi over Larry Nassar’s abuse on Tuesday. Vega says she was abused by Nassar hundreds of times, beginning when she was 12.

The Karolyis file suit, too. In somewhat of a twist, the Karolyis filed a lawsuit last month against USAG and the USOC, alleging that USAG is in violation of a lease agreement for the ranch, and that the org failed to protect them from allegations surrounding the abuse.

The lawsuit also states that the Karolyis had no knowledge of Nassar’s abuse until after the 2016 Olympics. However, attorney John Manly says that this is a lie, as Martha Karolyi stated in a 2017 sworn deposition that she learned of the abuse in or around June 2015.

The feds want answers. USAG CEO Kerry Perry, along with USOC acting CEO Susanne Lyons and other org leaders, will testify before a House subcommittee over Nassar’s abuse on May 23.

  • Brazil’s Diego Hypólito says that he endured traumatic hazing and bullying as a child at his gym. Reminder: This comes amidst allegations from 40 male gymnasts that Brazilian coach Fernando Lopes sexually abused them.
  • British Gymnastics has paid a settlement to Eddie Van Hoof, who was fired for “insubordination.”
  • Survivors Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, Tiffany Lopez, and Jeanette Antolin spoke at the United State of Women Summit on Saturday. Later, Lopez said she’s “hopeful” change will happen.
  • Gymnastics Canada President and CEO Peter Nicol is stepping down.

The state of Michigan

Graduates support survivors. Many Michigan State University graduates either boycotted commencement ceremonies or made their support for survivors known using teal ribbons and stickers. At least one student crossed interim university president John Engler’s signature off of their diploma, and some graduates dropped teal flowers at Engler’s feet instead of shaking his hand.

Thomashow wants answers. Amanda Thomashow, who filed a Title IX claim against Larry Nassar in 2014, says she was not told that she had the option to appeal the investigation’s findings. The investigation was also the only one in three years that had two different versions.

MSU replies to the NCAA. MSU has responded to the NCAA’s inquiry regarding Nassar’s abuse, saying that he abused at least 25 students but that no NCAA rules were violated.

  • MSU said “we’re working on it” after an independent review determined that the school needs to fix issues with its Title IX program.
  • The MSU provost was made aware of former dean and boss of Larry Nassar William Strampel’s “inappropriate remarks” in his 2015 performance review. Testimony from two women who say Strampel used them as “clinical models” will not be admitted for Strampel’s upcoming hearing.

Required reading

  • The NCAA’s conundrum with Michigan State and the Larry Nassar case (The Athletic).
  • Dominique Moceanu says speaking up about abuse ruined her career for nearly a decade (Deadspin).

NCAA corner

What’s up with the Bruins? They’re having a hell of a time. Danusia Francis came back for their championships celebration, and so did Sam Peszek. Jordyn Wieber taught UCLA softball coach Lisa Fernandez how to salute. Peng-Peng Lee won the Honda Award. Nia Dennis showed off her standing arabian.

Who’s graduating? Natalie Brown, AJ Jackson, Kennedy Baker, and many other seniors are sadly being sent to live out the rest of their days on the farm. Arkansas senior Braie Swann celebrated the move with an Yurchenko double back into the pit.

Who got fired? Alabama Assistant Coach Bryan Raschilla’s contract has not been renewed for the 2018-19 season. Raschilla was with the program for 22 years.

Star status

There are injuries. Germany had one of those weeks, with Elizabeth Seitz out with ab issues (though she hopes to be back by worlds) and Tabea Alt on a five-month hiatus with no clear comeback timeline.

There are upgrades. Trinity Thomas is training a half-in double layout, which judges say they’ll credit as a Biles, and since my prayers were answered, Shang Chunsong has a roundoff tuck full on beam.

And then there’s Musty. Yeah, she gets her own category. Never one to disappoint us, Aliya Mustafina says pregnancy was her vacation.

Staying social

Are you a good witch? Sunisa Lee’s epic Pac Rims beam save is making the rounds, with some speculating that Morgan Hurd used magic to keep her on. Stay tuned.

Speaking of Pac Rims…Everyone from Team USA misses each other. Look out for my young adult novel the Sisterhood of the Traveling Sparkly Mesh Leo. Oh, and Marz is their mother.

On the books. Laurie Hernandez is on the cover of an anatomy textbook, presumably because she’s the perfect human specimen.

He said yes. Simone Biles wants to marry Adam Rippon. Think her boyfriend will be okay with it?

Legends. Svetlana Boguinskaia was in Mexico with Oksana Chusovitina and Liliya Podkopaeva, and you weren’t invited to their bikini party.

Last words

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11 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: It’s the end of an era

  1. I think Braie Swann is Braie Speed’s twitter handle, unless Arkansas had two Braie’s in their graduating class!


    • What? She’s competed every single year since 2011. Not being named to the worlds team last year doesn’t mean that she’s making a comeback.


      • I believe she had announced her retirement after the last Chinese National Games/not being named to the Worlds Team… it’s definitely okay to call it a comeback.


        • She definitely did. In fact, I’m surprised there hasn’t been more fanfare about her un-retiring.


        • A comeback is different from unretiring. By that logic Nabieva has had at least ten comeback meets. A comeback is when you actually are out for a season. She’s been competing consistently since she entered the national team. This isn’t a comeback.


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