Articles by "USA Gymnastics"
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Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana



Simone Biles has set her eyes on competing at the 2018 US Classics.

The American gymnast told NBC that she plans to have her competition comeback debut at the US classics of next year which will be held in July.

There, she will compete only on two events but will compete on all four at the P&G championships the following month.

The multiple World champion has previously announced that she will return to full time training next November. She has already started light training in August.

On muscle soreness and pain, she said "It’s going to be rough. But the muscle memory is there because I’ve come and I’ve played in the gym. All of my skills are basically still there. There are a couple of skills, like on [balance] beam, that I haven’t done yet, like a dismount, because why would I just chuck that? There’s no way. And I haven’t vaulted since the Olympics."

Biles has taken a break since the Rio Olympic Games where she won four gold medals. She said that she has always had in mind to take only one year off the sport.

The 20 year old gymnast's longtime coach Amiee Boorman moved from Texas to Florida and will not be coaching her anymore.

Simone will announce the name of her new personal coach soon.

Written by Gigi Farid

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Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
Simone Biles has announced that she will resume full time training starting from next November.

No date has been set regarding her comeback competition.

The American gymnast, who returned to gym in August in order get back in shape, said she hasn't decided yet on her next goals.

Her last competition was the Rio Olympic Games.

Biles is the winner of four Olympic gold medals as well as the first woman to win three consecutive World all around titles.

This year, she is enjoying the dating life for the first time in her life as she has before scarified the traditional teenage lifestyle for the success in the sport.

Simone is dating gymnast Stacey Ervin. They took their romance public last month.

Written by Gigi Farid



USA Gymnastics has released the name list of people whom they declared permanently ineligible for membership with them.

The list included Larry Nassar who is being charged for sexually assaulting dozens of athletes while working as USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician doctor.

As per their website, membership in USA Gymnastics is a privilege granted by USA Gymnastics. That privilege can be withdrawn by USA Gymnastics at any time where a member's conduct is determined to be inconsistent with the best interest of the sport of gymnastics and of the athletes they are servicing.

The move came a year after the abuse scandal broke out.

Since last year, more than 100 women and girls came forward and accused Nassar of sexual misconduct while working at the organization and the University. One of which being Olympic medalist Jamie Danzester.

Nassar, who was the team doctor for U.S. gymnasts at several Olympics, is as well facing charges of child pornography possession and first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a family friend allegedly abused from the age of 6 until she was 12.

Written by Gigi Farid

See also Twistars, Olympic Champion Jordyn Wieber's Former Gym, Hires Coach Kathie Klages Who Is Alleged To Have Covered Up Nassar's Sexual Abuse Against Gymnasts

Aly Raisman Blasts USA Gymnastics Over Poorly Handling Sex Abuse Scandal And They Respond



Ragan Smith headlines the USA's World championships team. Photograph: Ginnastica Artistica Italiana

The number-one gymnastics country in the world has finally announced its World championships team. The United States will send Olympic alternates Ragan Smith and Ashton Locklear, and first-year seniors Jade Carey and Morgan Hurd.

Ragan Smith was no surprise. Smith, 17, has dominated the all around stage this year, winning the American Cup in March and the national title at the P&G Championships last August. She will have some international competition in Montreal for the all around crown (read: Larisa Iordache has looked insanely good lately), but a medal, of whichever colour, is certainly within her grasp. Same goes for her two best apparatuses, beam and floor. She is not as dominant as Simone Biles was last quad, especially on floor, but she could win medals on both events. Smith has recently improved so much on bars that she could even make the event finals on the latter apparatus. She is likely to come home from Canada as the United States’ most decorated gymnast.

First-year senior Jade Carey, 16, was also hardly a surprise, because she is the only American to compete two vaults at the moment and she has incredible difficulty on floor. On vault, she competes a Rudi and an Amanar, which propels her in the Olympus of vaulters with the highest combined difficulty in the world, along with China’s Wang Yan. Carey’s Amanar has been up-and-down this season, but there is not high level competition on vault this year, and Carey has a strong chance of a medal. Despite not being as clean in execution, she reminds me of 2009 vault World champion Kayla Williams, who came out of nowhere to win the vault World title in London (and then went on to become a star at Alabama).

Ashton Locklear, 19, was more of a question mark. The Olympic alternate looks as polished as ever on the uneven bars, but her difficulty is quite low (5.5), because she has not regained all her inbar work yet (which is a pity, because it is the epitome of beauty-on-the-uneven-bars, and also of beauty in general really). The international uneven bars field this year is strong, but no one compares with Locklear’s execution, who could then earn a spot in the final. Once there, anything can happen. Many gymnasts bring more difficulty to the table, but Locklear has experience, execution and a reputation on her side, which may win her a medal.

The fourth spot could go to almost anybody, after Riley McCusker withdrew from the Selection Camp last week due to a stress fracture. After what we can assume was a tough decision, it was decided that first-year senior Morgan Hurd, 16, will have the honour to represent the U.S. at Worlds. Surprising? Yes and no. When we saw Hurd at the P&G Championships last month, she was coming back from an elbow injury, and she did not look particularly polished. Since then, however, she has kept improving, and in the video USA Gymnastics posted about her at the Selection Camp, she looked on fire: great DTY, beautiful double-double on floor, extraordinary lines on bars.

Other gymnasts had the potential to make the team. Jordan Chiles, who was named the alternate, has an Amanar and stuck everything we were allowed to see at the Camp, Alyona Shchennikova looked great on bars (and has a 6.3 D-score), my darling Trinity Thomas is a raw diamond with incredible potential. None of these gymnasts, however, who would have been perfect for a team competition, fit this year’s team, which is an individual championships only, as none of them seem to have the potential to medal on any event. The same could be said for Locklear, but Locklear. Has. The. Execution. (and the reputation, and she is a pro gymnast).

Overall, this is an excellent team, which shows plenty of potential for Montreal and for the years to come too. Ragan Smith and Jade Carey seem likely to come home with at least a medal. Morgan Hurd has potential to medal in the all around, and could possibly have a shot also on bars and beam. Ashton Locklear is still a big question mark, but her uneven bars work is exquisite, and if anything, we will have the pleasure to enjoy her routine once more this year.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua
Riley McCusker at the 2017 Jesolo Trophy. Photograph: Ginnastica Artistica Italiana

USA Gymnastics has announced today that uneven bars national champion Riley McCusker has withdrawn from the 2017 World Championships Selection Camp due to injury. The camp is scheduled for 18-22 September at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center. At the end of it, four gymnasts and an alternate will be named to represent the USA at the World championships in Montreal on 2-8 October 2017.

McCusker competed at the 2017 P&G Championships last August with slightly downgraded routines, as she was coming back from another injury. She still managed to win a gold medal on bars, a silver on beam and a bronze in the all around.

Nine women will attend the Selection Camp next week: Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles, Margzetta Frazier, Emily Gaskins, Morgan Hurd, Ashton Locklear, Alyona Shchennikova, Ragan Smith and Trinity Thomas.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua
Olympic champion Aly Raisman responded to a tweet asking about her opinion on a recent viral video which shows a high school cheerleader being forced into doing splits by her coach.

"Unacceptable. Never ever should happen ever. Forcing stretching like that will cause injury. Not sure what those coaches were thinking," the American gymnast tweeted.

"Athletes know their limits and coaches need to respect that. Mihai and Silvie (my coaches) never forced me to stretch. I stretched myself."

The viral video shows 13-year-old Ally Wakefield being forced into performing splits by her cheerleading coach, Ozell Williams, while pleading "please stop" nine times.

As a result, she suffered from torn muscle tissue and a pulled hamstring. She is now receiving physical therapy.

Her doctor said that the injury was caused by the coach's knee on the back of her thigh to try to keep her posture straight. She added that it could possibly fracture the pelvic system and reproductive organs as well.

Williams was fired after the video, which was taken last June, went viral this week. Trying to defend himself, he said that the video was taken out of context.

Williams was previously fired from another school last year for the same exact reason. It is alleged that he told girls at another of his classes he would 'punch them in the face' if they messed up.

Written by Gigi Farid






Twistars gym has recently hired coach Kathie Klages, who got suspended from MSU for being a hardcore supporter of Larry Nassar who is being prosecuted on charges of sexually abusing dozens of athletes.

Twistars is owned by John Geddart who coached  2012 Olympic champion Jordyn Wieber.

According to court documents, Klages tried to convince a mother of one of Nassar's alleged victims that his digital penetrations of her daughter's vagina was a proven medical treatment and that the child pornography the FBI said it found on Larry Nassar's computers and hard drives may have been planted to frame him.

In a motion filed in a federal lawsuit, Klages told the MSU athletes to respond with 'No comment,' to any questions from media or police and to forward any calls to the legal department regarding Nassar investigation.

The American coach got suspended by MSU following claims that she defended Nassar and discouraged them from reporting his conduct. She later stepped down.

According to sources, Klages is only hired for a temporary period as she is filling in during an employee's absence, while Geddart is on vacation.

Jamie White, an attorney representing several of Nassar's accusers, has expressed his outrage at the hiring of Klages at Twistars.

 "It sends a message to the victims and it's a huge slap in their face as far as Mr. Geddert is concerned," said White. "Regardless of Ms. Klages ultimate finding of guilt or innocence or involvement in this matter, to bring her back into an institution filled with kids where she's being accused of covering up or not reporting abuse of minors over the course of 20 years is very frightening."

During trial, it was mentioned that Geddart allegedly walked in the room while Nassar was performing said medical treatment and made a joke about it.

Twistars is being also sued for knowing about Nassar's abuse and failing to stop it.

Written by Gigi Farid



Via Instagram


Yesterday, US gymnast Katelyn Ohashi published the first part of her journal recalling the emotional abuse she suffered regarding her body while training as an elite gymnast.


Today former teammate Sarah DeMeo revealed on Twitter new horrific details of what happens behind the scenes of elite gymnastics training

DeMeo quoted Ohashi's tweet adding "Remember forcing us to do beam routines w/ a weight belt around our waist? Much love & respect to my talented & brave former teammate" which was liked by Ohashi.



As an elite gymnast, DeMeo trained at GAGE and as an NCAA one, she competed for Alabama University. While Ohashi trained at GAGE and WOGA during her elite career. She now competes for the UCLA Bruins gymnastics team.

It is most likely, the harsh training took place at GAGE.

Written by Gigi Farid






US gymnast Katelyn Ohashi revealed depth of suffering while being trained as an elite gymnast.

Ohashi, who started training at WOGA at the age of 12, published the first part of her journal which recalls her being traumatically body shamed by everyone including her coaches and herself.




" I experienced these cruel, unwanted body remarks from just about everyone— coaches, fans/gymnastics followers, National team staff, my mother, and even myself," wrote Ohashi. "It started when I was 13, barely weighing 70 pounds. I’ve been told I looked like I swallowed an elephant or a pig, whichever was more fitting that day. I was compared to a bird that was too fat to lift itself off the ground."

"If I “looked” bigger on a given day, I had to run and condition with heavy sweats until it seemed like I was “ready” to start practice."

The American gymnast mentioned that she has even been asked to sign a contract that would prohibit her from training if she did not lose weight.

Ohashi felt pressured to live up to a certain standard and fit the stereotypical body type of a gymnast. Her coach believed that messing up or falling is a result of her being too heavy.

One day, she was home alone and hungry. She found her brother's food, her mom used to hide from her, and ate too much of it.

"I feel disgusting, as if I can already feel the fat growing on my legs. I don’t want to get in trouble tomorrow so I must force myself to do conditioning until my conscience is clean enough to fall asleep."

At some point, Ohashi felt that bulimia could be the only solution that could save her.

" I’m tired of only eating vegetables and I’m tired of running and conditioning every time I “look” like I’m a little heavier."

She recalled a time where she got kicked out several time because she was heavy which followed with being obsessed with weighing herself and not being able to start practice unless she steps on the scale.

"I can’t leave practice without knowing I’ve lost some weight." 

Ohashi did not name Valeri Liukin in her post, however, she was being trained under him during the time she wrote about her struggle with body image in her journal. 

Last June, former American gymnast Vanessa Atler gave an interview to Gymcastic where she revealed that she developed an eating disorder while being coached by Valeri Liukin and to this day she is still messed up because of it.

Atler said that Valeri would weigh his gymnasts three times a day, in the morning, after workouts and at night.

In response to Atler's allegations, Valeri sent a statement to PEOPLE via USA Gymnastics:

“I am sorry Vanessa’s experience wasn’t positive during her time at WOGA. When asked to help during a difficult time for her, my intention as a coach was to help Vanessa achieve her dreams, not make her training situation more difficult"


“My recollection of working with Vanessa is different and includes many positive experiences. Coaching techniques and perspectives have evolved since then, and I have grown as a coach through experience and expanding my knowledge.  Today, I firmly believe an athlete’s focus should be on training smart, with increased education in the areas of balanced nutrition, fitness, healthy lifestyle and communication.  This is the basis for our approach in women’s gymnastics.”

At that time, 2008 Olympic all around champion Nastia Liukin (Liukin's daughter) denied on Twitter the weigh ins in WOGA in response to a tweet that read that she talked about it in her book. She also advised the user not to believe everything they hear. 


  

Ohashi was a promising elite gymnast who was well known for her difficulty on balance beam. She was a four-time member of USA Gymnastics' Junior National Team, the 2011 junior national champion and the winner of the 2013 American Cup.

She was plagued by injuries during her first year senior and dropped to level 10 two years later. She then joined the UCLA Bruins gymnastics team.


Six time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman is highly disappointed at how USA Gymnastics has been handling the allegations of sexual abuse against former national team doctor Larry Nassar who also worked in Michigan State University.

Dozens of former gymnasts have come forward and stated that Nassar sexually assaulted, battered, abused and molested them while treating them for sports injuries.

Raisman, who declined to respond on whether Nassar treated her improperly and preferred to talk more generally, heavily criticized the sport's national governing body for failing to stop him and spending too much of the fallout attempting to “sweep it under the rug.”

She feels that no one is acknowledging how horrible what happened is or considering a serious change effort.

"What people don’t realize is that this doctor was a doctor for 29 years,”  said the 23 year old gymnast. “Whether or not he did it to a gymnast, they still knew him. Even if he didn’t do it to you, it’s still the trauma and the anxiety of wondering what could have happened. I think that needs to be addressed. These girls, they should be comfortable going to USA Gymnastics and saying ‘I need help, I want therapy. I need this."

Nassar was fired by USA Gymnastics in 2015 after working with the federation since 1986 over all and as its national medical coordinator since 1996. He was fired from Michigan State last September.

"The people at the very top, that work at the office every single day at USA Gymnastics, they need to do better," said Raisman who does not support how USA Gymnastics is currently handling the crisis.

She feels that the organization is trying to get on with business as usual and that they are not putting enough effort into working towards the best interests of the gymnasts.

Last March, former USA Gymnastics chief Steve Penny was pressured to resign from his position. He received one million dollars payout.

“A million dollars is a lot of money. They could do a lot of things to create change. They could create a program. They could even contact all the families that have come forward and say ‘Can we help your kid with therapy?’”

In mid 2016, Penny denied that they turned a blind eye to abuse claims and USOC backed them up as they refused to investigate in the matter. 

The gymnast's mother demanded that they get rid of those who knew and looked the other way.

“Everyone is important,” the American gymnast stated. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the Olympic champion or you’re an 8-year-old that goes to gymnastics in Ohio, or wherever you are in the U.S. Every single kid is important and I want USA Gymnastics to do a better job with that.”

USA Gymnastics responded to Raisman’s criticisms in a statement sent to HuffPost:

Aly is one of our most-decorated athletes and has served as an athlete leader and the captain of two Olympic teams. We welcome her passion on this critical issue. As we have said, we are appalled by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused. And, we are sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career.


We’ve accepted the recommendations made by an expert, former federal prosecutor who carefully examined the organization’s policies. In the course of her review, she spoke to athletes, coaches and other members. We also adopted a safe sport policy and hired a new director of safe sport, who is building an implementation and education plan for our members. We are taking this issue head-on, and we want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe.

Nassar has pleaded guilty for child pornography charges last July. About 37,000 images and videos of child pornography were found on his laptop. He is now awaiting trial on charges of sexually assaulting several female athletes.

 Raisman is the highest profile athlete to publicly criticize USA Gymnastics.

One of Nassar's victims is 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Dantzscher who filed a lawsuit in September last year anonymously under the name of Jane Doe. However, she was outed on social media and victim shamed.

Raisman, who has expressed desire to compete at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, is known for being outspoken on social issues like body positivity, gay marriage and Trump's bad against transgender people serving in the military.

Written by Gigi Farid