“Pay no attention to the barrel labeled SECRETS. No further questions.” -Spencer of The Balance Beam Situation aptly sums up the congressional hearing for us.
Osijek World Challenge Cup. Ukraine’s Diana Varinska took home three golds. Aliya Mustafina and Sanne Wevers weren’t there, but Chuso was, taking her billionth vault title. Speaking of vault, Yamilet Peña‘s was confusing.
One more thing. Team USA’s boys had camp.
Perry spoke to the feds. The U.S. Olympic Committee’s acting CEO Susanne Lyons, USA Gymnastics CEO and President Kerry Perry, and officials from other governing bodies testified in front of the House on Wednesday regarding what the orgs had or hadn’t done to protect athletes from abuse. This was the first time Perry had spoken publicly since becoming CEO in December.
In her testimony, Perry apologized to survivors and said in part that USAG is in mediation with them (though attorney John Manly says this is false), that the org has taken action by closing the Karolyi Ranch (though this was actually preceded by Simone Biles’ tweet), and that USAG has created an Athlete Task Force (though, according to Gymcastic, this has not been named).
Lawmakers weren’t impressed. They grilled the officials, questioning, in part, the role of the USOC, whether SafeSport has the necessary resources to handle claims thoroughly, and how Nassar was able to treat athletes in Texas without a medical license in that state. One rep said “the time to talk is over” for these orgs.
Perry refused to answer questions after the hearing.
USAG covered for Nassar. USAG worked with Larry Nassar in 2015 to provide excuses for his absence from competitions rather than alerting parents and athletes that he was under investigation, according to an Indianapolis Star investigation of the org’s emails.
USAG had previously stated that accusations were kept secret at the request of the FBI; however, these emails were sent before USAG alerted the feds.
- The USOC announced a $1.3 million grant to the Athlete Assistance Fund, created to assist sexual abuse survivors.
- Ron Galimore, COO and the highest-ranking holdover from the Larry Nassar era, is still with USAG.
- USAG’s interim board has approved measures to reduce the number of board members from 21 to 15, and requiring most members to be independent.
- Gymnastics Australia has partnered with Braveheart to train all athletes and staff on how to identify abuse.
- The Brazilian Olympic Committee will investigate Brazil’s gymnastics NGB for how it handled abuse in the sport.
The state of Michigan
The bills passed the house. A package of 27 Nassar-inspired bills aimed at preventing sexual abuse passed the Michigan House on Thursday.
Some bills were amended shortly before they were passed, including by eliminating a rule to add coaches to a list of mandatory reporters, and limiting who is eligible to sue for abuse retroactively. This led some lawmakers to call the bills “watered down.”
- Current USOC leaders knew about the prevalence of sex abuse in Olympic sports and did nothing (ThinkProgress).
- Do Olympic leaders have what it takes to clean up sexual abuse scandal? Spoiler: No (USA Today).
- U.S. Olympic leaders need to walk the talk after showing zero sense of urgency (USA Today).
- Here are seven questions The Indianapolis Star wishes the House had asked Perry.
There were Utes. Mykayla Skinner is back at it with her Moors.
And then there were Devils. ASU’s Justine Callis landed in a split position, a move that’s essentially womankind’s revenge for not being able to pee standing up.
Injuries. Aliya Mustafina might miss the Russian Cup due to her knee injury, after already pulling out of Osijek.
All the cool kids are doing it. Houry Gebeshian’s signature bars mount is making appearances in other gyms.
Alisa’s on the web. Aliya Mustafina’s baby has her own Instagram account. It already has more than 3,000 followers, and yes, it’s better than yours.
Cecile (briefly) spoke up. Cecile Landi made a statement on Twitter with the help of Stefan and we’re here for it.
Canadians were starstruck. Some of those at nationals got to meet Justin Bieber, an acceptable alternative for when the majestic Canada Lynx isn’t available, I suppose.
It’s the #SummerofScott Bregman. Enjoy it, Scotty (can I call you Scotty?). The Gymternet is on board.
Because you asked…
Where is Chow and why isn’t he here to comfort me in these trying times?
Need to know
Get to know Dynamo coaches Denis Vachon and Elvira Saadi and have your faith in humanity renewed.
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