Around the Gymternet: Y’all gonna make me lose my mind


“Do any gymnerds feel up to the challenge?” -There’s a coaching position open at UCLA, for all of you screen-yellers who think you could do a better job.

Wut happened

Trials are in St. Louis. After much ado about what turned out to be next to nothing, USA Gymnastics announced on Tuesday that the 2020 Olympic Trials will be in–wait for it–St. Louis. You know you’ve been aching to see that arch.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will be named at Trials. New CEO Li Li Leung said in a press conference that she’s “confident” USAG will still be the sport’s national governing body at that time, and that decertification has been stayed.

Speaking of which, the Senate wants to know why the U.S. Olympic Committee has decided not to move forward with it.

Foot, meet mouth. In conjunction with the trials announcement, on Wednesday a clip was released of Li Li Leung on the Today Show stating that she was seen by Larry Nassar as a gymnast but was not abused because her coach was in the room with her. This naturally made people including Aly Raisman upset, as some survivors testified that they were abused while parents were present. Leung issued an apology the next morning.

People also caught on to Leung’s comment that the goal for 2020 will be to win medals, in light of USAG historically prioritizing medals over athlete safety. Meanwhile, Leung’s salary information was released; this year, she will make $450k.

Twistars settled. Twistars settled for $2.1 million with around 200 women and girls who named the gym in their lawsuits. Meanwhile, Wave 2 (meaning survivors who weren’t part of the original $500 million settlement with Michigan State University) settlement talks with MSU have stalled, though some have been settled.

Aly’s making change. Aly Raisman is supporting a California bill that would extend the statute of limitations for reporting abuse. The issue came up because many survivors of University of Southern California doctor George Tyndall’s abuse are unable to make claims. Raisman testified at the State Capitol in support of the bill on Tuesday (full testimony).

Engler’s got a new gig. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos named former interim MSU president John Engler chairman on a national educational assessment board, which is all, quite frankly, fitting.

New doc premiered. HBO’s At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal premiered on Thursday at the Tribeca Film Festival.

NCAA: The aftermath

Jo for Arkansas. After much ado about what turned out to be something, Arkansas announced that Jordyn Wieber would become their new head coach at the ripe old age of 23. She looks poised, confident, and ready to take on the world. 

Skinner’s coming back. MyKayla Skinner announced on Thursday that she will return to Arizona to train elite with the hope of making the 2020 Olympic Team. Her statement sort of implies that she would only return to Utah for her senior year if she didn’t make the team.

Kelley’s done. McKenna Kelley was on the Today Show for some reason with mom Mary Lou Retton. Kelley announced that she is not coming back for fifth year.

Meanwhile, Retton took the opportunity to let words come out of her face hole, saying that Leung wanted to pick her brain, and that gymnasts are safe as long as they train in a reputable gym. Right. Sarah Finnegan was also there, in a way.

Final flips. Lexie Priessman did her last double double…in a sweatshirt.

New year, new rules. New Division 1 recruiting rules stipulate that gymnastics can’t have communication with coaches before mid-June of 10th grade.

Sad news

Former Kentucky gymnast Shelby Hilton passed away after a battle with brain cancer, it was announced on Saturday. After a bad fall on floor led to her diagnosis in 2014, Hilton went into remission in September 2015 before being re-diagnosed with cancer last May.

Our deepest condolences go out to Hilton’s family and friends.

Required reading

  • Just when gymnastics started to seem right again, enter Li Li Leung and her unthinkable answer (ESPNW)
  • New USA Gymnastics president makes big mistake (USA Today)
  • Fifteen months on from Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics struggles to find its way (The Guardian)
  • Can USA Gymnastics recover from the Nassar scandal? (Los Angeles Times)

Star status

Injuries. His Royal Highness Kohei Uchimura had a no-good, very bad day at All Japan, suffering from shoulder pain and a 30-year-old body. He placed 37th in quals, and things are looking grim for 2020. Kakeru Tanigawa took the all-around title. Meanwhile, Asuka Teramoto upset Mai Murakami for the women’s title.

Comebacks. Tatiana Nabieva seems to be in Russia’s good graces and has been invited to attend a national team camp.

Because you asked…

People coincidentally had a lot of questions about Jordyn Wieber this time around, along with other things.

Last words

I’m on a sugar detox so there’s a strong possibility I forgot to type every other word of each sentence. Gonna look amaaaaaaazing

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17 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: Y’all gonna make me lose my mind

  1. MLR’s interview was nauseating .she is so phony and such a publicity junky.basically said she only cares if her own daughter was abused.her antics in the stands are so obviously a way to get attention.
    then Li Li’s HUGE faux pas about hoping there will be lots of gold medals, I was so shocked that she.said that .oh well ,more of the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Most of the comments I’ve seen about Mary Lou’s comments have been about that statement about “reputable” gyms being safe. I completely agree that this comment was incorrect, insensitive, and just all around bad. But I also take huge issue with her comment about: “It’s a beautiful sport filled with beautiful people, and the spotlight is going to a monster. ” She all but said: “Why are we still talking about this?” If someone is wondering why we’re still talking about this, that person clearly lacks an understanding of what the core problem was here. It’s not just that a bad man did bad things. It’s that a bad man did bad things to hundreds of people over the course of 3 decades before he was finally caught. The fact that he was able to continue doing that to so many people for so long is the result of a dysfunctional culture in which athletes were not allowed to express when they were not doing okay. If we look back and all we have to say is: “The bad man is in prison now, we’ve fixed the problem,” without addressing the underlying culture issues within the sport, we will be setting the stage for another terrible person to come along and mistreat many people for many years before being caught. Correcting a dysfunctional culture that is so deeply ingrained is not something that can be done overnight, and regulations alone won’t accomplish this. So we need to keep talking about the problems now and in years to come so that we can continue to make progress on fixing a culture that allowed so many athletes to be abused for so long, and not just by one man.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree.there was more than just 1 red flag in.MLR’s Interview.she clearly.didn’t get the whole hoopla and it takes away from her fluffy family being all “as long as it doesn’t happen to us we are fine”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Completely agree with you. That woman keeps saying stupid stuff and people outside of the gymnastics community keep listening to her because she’s an olympic champion and quite famous. She’s always been incredibly annoying… I wish she would just shut up.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sucks that Li said some of the things that she said. I think she will be more careful about what she says now. I still think so far compared to the prior CEO, she is still the best one so far…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, she seems best by far. I don’t envy her job–where the sharks are out for blood, poring over her every word, ready to crucify her at a moment’s notice. She is transparent about being new to the public eye, and quick to apologize for perceived insensitivity–people need to be gracious and give her a chance to do her job.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought skinner means if she doesn’t make the us national team then she would come back to utah in fall 2019, but if she does make the us national team again, she would defer senior yr to go for 2020 but comes back to utah afterward (ala Brenna). she did say she wants to finish her degree.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Funny in life we often see the the most successful people is usually not the “most glorious” people. Here compared Nastia, Shawn, Ali to Jo, the former three were hot hot potatoes after Olympics and Jo is less noticed. But the seemingly les glamorous but down to earth Jo shine at last! Like miss Val said “ I like how you live your life”, me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. $600k for CEO of a sport’s organization, and they don’t have money to hire proper doctors or send gymnasts to international meets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe it was St. Louis “bashing”, but did you see the announcement? It was really really lame and took too long and basically they acted like it was this amazing thing that Trials were coming to St. Louis, but it just seemed like a “meh” non event. TBH I probably would have felt the same way about wherever they announced it as being because everything is so flat with USA Gymnastics right now, but maybe because St. Louis just isn’t a tourist hot spot it just seemed extra awkward.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was snark about the announcement being hyped up, not about St. Louis itself! Usually when announcing a city for trials or championships, they just…post the information. This time around they had a press conference and a week’s worth of “get excited” posts which was a bit nuts just to announce a location for a meet. Doesn’t matter where it is!

      Liked by 1 person

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