“My sister competes tomorrow for the first time in 2 years and i don’t know if i’m going to cry, pass out, or puke.” –Adria Biles. Same, Adria. Same.
Keepin’ it classy
Simone did Simone things. Simone Biles made her comeback on Saturday, winning the GK U.S. Classic with a fall (and an angry beam), earning the top all-around score this quad, and showing off some fabulous upgrades. Riley McCusker had an incredible day to take second, and Morgan Hurd took third with a beam fall.
For the lil’uns, Leanne Wong took the title, with Kayla DiCello and Jordan Bowers on her heels. Check out our play-by-plays for the junior and senior competitions, say hello to your senior and junior nationals fields, and see the results.
What the results don’t show. Before the meet, Biles tweeted some cryptic stuff indicating that she may be being bullied, and some former teammates voiced their support. Meanwhile, Terry Gannon commentated for NBC, to everyone’s benefit, and new national team coordinator Tom Forster made a good first impression.
What else happened
The third hearing happened. Senators grilled USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry, U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Susanne Lyons, and Michigan State University interim president John Engler on Tuesday in a congressional hearing over how their orgs handled Larry Nassar’s abuse.
Han Xiao, a USOC athlete rep, also appeared, testifying that athletes have little power under the current system. Otherwise, the hearing was mostly inconsequential.
Survivors spoke. The hearing was preceded by a press conference wherein 85 survivors told their stories. Ashton Locklear came forward as a survivor, along with 2000 Olympian Morgan White. Locklear also told The New York Times that she left her former gym because of physical and emotional abuse by her coach.
An 11-year-old girl spoke at the conference, making her the youngest survivor to come forward.
Hirshland snubbed Raisman. Aly Raisman tried to introduce herself to incoming USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland at the hearing, but Hirshland rebuffed her, later apologizing via email. Raisman also spoke at the conference, and said that when the IndyStar article regarding abuse in gymnastics came out during the Rio Olympics, she was instructed not to read it.
Nassar wants new sentence, new judge. Larry Nassar filed a motion Tuesday to be resentenced in Ingham County, and to have Judge Rosemarie Aquilina—whom he blames for his alleged assault in prison in late May—removed from his case. His attorneys argue that Aquilina was “not an unbiased and impartial judge.”
USOC says it’s not liable. The USOC has filed to have itself removed from six lawsuits, including those filed by Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, and McKayla Maroney. The org says Nassar wasn’t their employee, and that it had no way of knowing about his crimes.
- During the hearing, USAG released a statement including a pie chart I made in my seventh-grade computer class indicating how many of the Daniels Report recommendations have been implemented.
- Eddie Van Hoof was announced as Canada’s new men’s national team head coach on Thursday. Reminder: Van Hoof was fired by British Gym for “insubordination” back in February.
- Two Southern California coaches are still coaching despite being suspended by USAG for rule violations.
- HBO is making a documentary about USAG and the sexual abuse scandal.
The state of Michigan
Engler denied hush money offer. At the hearing, Engler acknowledged mistakes—like insensitive emails—but defended his work at MSU. He denied that he offered survivor Kaylee Lorincz $250,000 to drop her lawsuit in a meeting. Senator Richard Blumenthal said he wasn’t buying it.
Counseling payments halted. MSU stopped making payments on Wednesday to survivors as part of a $10 million counseling fund, due to concerns about fraudulent claims. Survivors like Sarah Klein are livid.
- No longer a teen, Simone Biles is finding her voice at a time of crisis in sport (USA Today).
- SafeSport, the USOC’s Attempt to Stop Child Abuse, is Set Up to Fail—Just Like It Was Supposed to (Deadspin).
- Rachael Denhollander: “Predators know where they’re going to be safe” (The Guardian).
- Aly Raisman is Taking Destiny Into Her Own Hands (Bleacher Report).
- Sexual Abuse Survivors at ESPY Awards Offer Hope (Chicago Tribune).
Eythora Thorsdottir will miss Euros due to a hand injury. According to whispers around the ‘net, Italy’s Martina Maggio has a knee injury that will require surgery, the pap spotted Gabby Perea on crutches, and Swiss gymnast Lynn Genhart has a fractured vertebrae.
I don’t know what you guys were expecting. Maybe next time follow a less injury-prone sport, like competitive water aerobics or something. #TheWataerNet™
Aimee’s hair is dead. Aimee Boorman had the absolute nerve to grow out her hair without consulting the gymternet. She also watched Biles on TV for the first time—Olympic coaches, they’re just like us.
Van Ness is one of us. Turns out, Jonathan Van Ness of Queer Eye is a gym nerd, and needs to be hired as a Fabulousness Consultant for the whole sport of gymnastics, immediately.
Baby news. Courtney Kupets Carter is expecting number three.
Two years til Tokyo. Creepy mascots are here, so you know what that means: Tokyo 2020 is sneaking up on us like an ominous demon clown.
Scott got hired. Scott Bregman got a new job at the Olympic Channel. Congratulations, Scott!
Garrett learned Simone’s choreo. Isn’t it crazy when you don’t know something’s missing from your life until it comes along on your Twitter feed?
Because you asked…
Somehow my reaction to seeing Simone’s Moors in competition was a shrill, piercing scream.
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