Around the Gymternet: About last night


“She…she did an onodi in heels.” Emily on Nastia Liukin’s dance number. I…I don’t know what you were expecting.

The state of Michigan

MSU settled. Michigan State University reached a $500 million settlement with 332 survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse on Tuesday night. Of the $500 million, $425 million will be distributed among current claimants, while $75 million will be set aside for future claimants.

It’s unclear as of yet what the process will be for distributing payments, and concerns abound over how the university will pay for the settlement.

As part of the settlement, survivors agreed to stop pushing for two Michigan bills that would remove governmental immunity in sexual abuse cases. However, survivors will still continue to push for other reforms, and Michigan lawmakers say the settlement won’t end ongoing debate over legislation created to prevent sexual abuse.

Survivors responded. Rachael Denhollander, Lindsey Lemke, Kaylee Lorincz, and Morgan McCaul have all responded to the settlement, along with Amanda Thomashow, Larissa Boyce, Jeanette Antolin, Kyle Stephens, and the Nichols family. Many say the fight is far from over.

  • Take a moment to get to know Erin Held, the MSU policewoman who seized the trash containing Nassar’s hard drives. She and others from the department received the Meritorious Service Award on Wednesday.
  • Former MSU dean and Nassar’s former boss William Strampel might lose his medical license.

What else happened

Let’s start from the beginning. This month’s national team training camp began on Tuesday in Tennessee. On Thursday night, several national team members posted on social media that USA Gymnastics women’s program director Rhonda Faehn was being asked to resign, and that they disagreed with the decision.

Later, many of these posts were deleted, and on Friday USAG confirmed that Faehn was no longer with the program. NBC reported that Faehn was at camp on Thursday when she was told to return to Indianapolis, and that the gymnasts requested that practice be canceled. USAG’s director for safe sport has also been laid off, along with content director Scott Bregman.

USAG President Kerry Perry released a statement on Monday “apologizing for the disruption and confusion” at camp and announcing Faehn’s replacement.

Here’s some context. Rhonda Faehn has been under fire for not immediately reporting abuse allegations to police in 2015. This development comes just days before Faehn was expected to testify before the Senate, though now the hearing will happen next month instead. Perry will speak to the House, though, on Wednesday.

Not everyone agrees. Kennedy Baker and survivor Lindsey Lemke responded to the gymnasts’ posts, saying that Faehn needs to be held accountable for failing to report Nassar’s abuse. 

Attorney John Manly, who represents many survivors, said Faehn should have been gone long ago, but that firing her during camp has caused “confusion and discord,” and that it has actually caused some athletes to blame Nassar’s victims.

Simone was at camp. But others weren’t. Maile O’Keefe is out with a minor wrist injury, and Sydney Barros may also still be injured.

Nassar interviews were released. Police videos of interviews with Larry Nassar, in which he attempts to defend himself against sexual abuse allegations, were released on Tuesday.

USAG kept Marcia’s case. USAG has, for unclear reasons, kept Marcia Frederick’s sexual abuse case instead of passing it off to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

  • Other gymnasts are backing up Olga Korbut’s accusations that her former coach Renald Knysh abused her.
  • Former Brazil men’s coach Fernando de Carvalho Lopes denied allegations that he abused over 40 gymnasts on Wednesday.
  • The survivors of Nassar’s abuse will be given the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs on July 18.
  • The FIG is moving forward with plans to establish an independent ethics foundation.
  • The U.S. Olympic Committee has hired an FBI executive as its athlete safety director.

Required reading

  • When $500 million is not enough (The Washington Post).
  • It’s time for MSU to stop fighting survivors and to treat them as allies (Lansing State Journal).
  • For MSU survivors, the fight has just begun (The Athletic).
  • MSU will pay $500 million to abuse victims. What comes next? (The New York Times).

  • On a lighter note, here’s a gif history of gymnasts’ first pitch attempts (The Balance Beam Situation).

NCAA reads

Jordyn’s doing good. Jordyn Wieber’s work at UCLA is changing gymnastics culture for the better (Elite Daily).

NCAA gets it wrong. The NCAA needs to get its priorities in order, and start putting athlete well-being over money (Forbes).

Star status

Winners. Mai Murakami and Kohei Uchimura are your NHK Trophy winners. Also, Nastia Liukin, Paul Hamm, Andreea Raducan, and Alexei Nemov are your new International Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductees.

Injuries. Aliya Mustafina has a meniscus injury, but she expects to be back to full training by the end of this month.

Comebacks. Komova’s having trouble adding her inbars back in. Say it together: #ButHerInbars.

Retirements. Great Britain’s Grace Harrison announced her retirement after 20 years in the sport.

Upgrades. Sam Mikulak did a 2½ into a double front tuck half out, Olivia Dunne did a double-twisting double layout, and Leanne Wong has an Amanar nbd.

Plus, Norah Flatley’s back with her heel click. Oh, and the beam series is good too.

Staying social

Nastia’s always fashionable. Check out this throwback of her with her collection of tasteful, TV-ready NBC polos.

Simone got owned. Nellie Biles reminded her that when you roll your eyes at your mama you get what you deserve.

Rachael charged with bread crime. Jacob Denhollander called out Rachael for her gluten anti-heroics, but I’m with her on this one. The ends are the best part, sorry Jacob.

Alisa dressed up. Aliya Mustafina’s baby put on her very first leotard, and she’s already better than you at that and everything else.

There’s a dog near. Trinity Thomas’ gym has a dog and while it seems like a safety hazard I’m so here for it.

Need to know

Check out our feature on how gymnasts work through the pain. Also, robot judges: Good thing, bad thing, or something in between? Find out next week on the Olympics-themed episode of Black Mirror.

Last words

Here’s some actual footage of me trying to keep tabs on the USAG situation.

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3 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: About last night

  1. Annie Beard posted a vlog on youtube yesterday of her training at Texas Dreams and Sydney Barros still had a massive boot on her foot and was out of training doing conditioning 😦


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