Around the Gymternet: You sit on a throne of lies

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.

Comp news

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.

Nationals. Ellie Black is your Canadian all-around champ (live blog), Nina Derwael won the Belgian all-around, and Georgia Godwin is queen of the Aussies.

One more thing. Team USA’s boys had camp.

What happened

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.”

Required reading

  • 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.

NCAA corner

There were Utes. Mykayla Skinner is back at it with her Moors.

There were Bruins. Watch this video of Miss Val and Peng-Peng Lee without sobbing, watch Kyla Ross’ upgraded vault without clapping, and then crawl back into the dank cave from whence you came.

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.

Star status

Citizenship changes. Irina Alexeeva was invited to the Russian national team training camp, and replaced Natalia Kapitonova on the national team.

Injuries. Aliya Mustafina might miss the Russian Cup due to her knee injury, after already pulling out of Osijek.

Upgrades. Olivia Dunne has a Downie, bitches.

Staying social

Nastia’s still got it. She killed it on American Ninja Warrior for Red Nose Day, raising $30,000 to help end child poverty. She did a tap swing, plus inverts, and it was magical.

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.

Last words

This is the FIG’s explanation of the Tokyo 2020 qualification process, and this is my actual reaction video.

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8 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: You sit on a throne of lies

    • I actually thought it made a lot of sense. The only thing I don’t agree with is that specialists can’t get a spot if they participate in a team that qualified through the 2018 or 2019 world championships. While this system isn’t perfect and it is complex, it allows gymnasts to have a much easier way of Qualifying to the olympics if they’re specialists from nations that don’t have much money or recognition going toward gymnastics. It also benefits gymnasts from major nations by 1) giving them an extra spot and 2) giving them more chances to make it to the olympics.


  1. You forgot to mention your way successful drinking game! You know the one created for the hearing on sexual assault. Nothing says respect for the victims like a drinking game!


    • It would have been disrespectful if it was a drinking game for when the victims were speaking up. But a drinking game that points out that Kerry Perry keeps claiming that she cares about ’empowering’ the victims when it’s actually the least of her concerns is NOT disrespectful. If anything, it brings to light the absurdity of the situation. The fact that you can’t see that and instead would rather assume Lauren carelessly ridicules victims of sexual assault is worrying, Victoria.


  2. I went to watch the Belgian championships and it was totally worth the study break! Even though beam didn’t go well (most girls fell at least once), the floor exercises made up for it. Derwael did her awesome bar routine and got rewarded with a 15.350. Then Klinckaert surprised everyone with a round-off lay-out full twist as her new beam mount. I hope she keeps it even though she fell. Let’s hope beam goes better at Euros in August.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s the thing that still boggles my mind about sex abuse cases in the States, in Ontario it is literally law that ANYONE that suspects child abuse (but those that work with kids in particular) are REQUIRED to report it. Meaning every single parent, coach, CEO, head whatever at the ranch and in the gyms that suspected anything would have had to report Nassar to the police if it was Ontario. Growing up here I thought this was more common elsewhere, but apparently not and Michagan can’t even get coachs to be mandatory reporters.


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