Photo Ginnastica Artistica Italiana


USA Gymnastics has lost major sponsors amid sexual abuse scandal.

Major sponsors Proctor & Gamble and Kellogg's have dropped its sponsorship in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal.

 The multinational corporations have not renewed sponsorships that expired in 2016 (Kellogg's) and 2017 (P&G).

P&G, which is an International Olympic Committee and U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor, has sponsored USA Gymnastics since 2008.

Between 2013 and 2017, the elite national gymnastics competition were named P&G Gymnastics Championships after sponsors Procter & Gamble. The corporation has also sponsored CoverGirl and Secret competitions.

Kellogg's sponsored organization's post-Olympic gymnastics tours in 2012 and 2016.

“Our previous partnership terms with USAG have been fulfilled,” Tressie Rose, a Procter & Gamble spokesperson said.  “We will evaluate whether to renew our partnership next spring, in light of our longer term priorities and continued actions on their part.


“We support the actions USA Gymnastics has taken thus far, including accepting the recommendations by an independent expert and hiring a new Safe Sport Director. "

"In addition, we are supportive of the broader actions taking place via the USOC Safe Sport program as well as the Federal reform proposed by Senator Feinstein and others."

" But we want to ensure all voices who have been affected by abuse have been heard and that USAG takes all measures necessary to address such vitally important issues."

More than 100 women accused disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar for sexually abusing them under the guise of treatment. Nassar worked for USAG for nearly three decades and Michigan State University for nearly two decades.

High profile gymnasts Aly Raisman, Mckayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas have come forward as victims of Nassar.

 Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Dantzscher, former national team member Jeanette Antolin and three-time national champion rhythmic gymnast Jessica Howard released a statement following the news of P&G and Kellogg's sponsorship withdrawal.

"Procter & Gamble and Kellogg's have decided they can no longer support an organization which refuses to take responsibility for the crimes committed by their National Team doctor and their failure to warn others of his criminal conduct."

"Hershey's, Under Armour, AT&T, United Airlines and NBC Sports should put their money where America's conscience is and withdraw their financial support of this organization until their officers and directors are replaced by people who will protect the health and safety of child athletes."

According to ESPN, Under Armour has followed in the footsteps of P&G and Kellogg's and  ended their eight year deal with the organization which was signed in 2013.

Hershey's will also no longer sponsor the organization.

Earlier this month, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges. 

USA Gymnastics has recently filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it by alleged sexual assault victims of former sports Dr. Larry Nassar.

It says USAG didn't have a legal duty to protect the plaintiffs from Nassar's crimes, and that an employer is only liable if  "the employer knew or should have known of the employee's criminal propensities" and that they had no legal duty to report concerns about Nassar to MSU or Twistars after it cut ties with him. 

Written by Gigi Farid.

Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana


Who would want to go up against Simone Biles?! Not Maria Paseka, most definitely not her.

The Russian gymnast has previously expressed desire to win an Olympic gold medal on vault, but that would be hard with Biles aiming to compete at 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

When asked about her chances of bringing home an Olympic gold medal during an interview with vtbrussia.ru, Paseka had a hilarious message to the American gymnast.

"I heard that Simone Biles is coming back… If she comes back, it would be hard," said Paseka. "How can I give her a hint: “Simone, could you stay at home for now, don’t go to Tokyo, Masha Paseka will compete now and then you can come back to the sport”."

Paseka competed against Biles at 2015 World championships and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

In 2015, Paseka won gold while Biles settled for bronze. At that time, Biles' vaults were not as difficult as Paseka's. The first had an Amanar and a Lopez, and the latter had an Amanar and a Cheng.

In 2016, Biles upgraded her second vault to a Cheng and won an easy gold in Rio while Paseka came in second place.

Since arriving on the international scene, Paseka has always been criticized for her execution on the apparatus. 

Biles is considered to be one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. She is the first female gymnast to win three consecutive World all around titles. She left the Rio Olympic Games with four gold medals and a bronze.

She returned to the gym last November after taking a year-long hiatus from the sport and is expected to have her comeback debut in 2018.

In the interview, Paseka has also talked about how she met her fiance whom she got engaged to after the last World championships. 

"He saw me on tv during the Rio Olympics and messaged me on Vkontakte. I looked at his page, saw lots of photos of cars and thought: Ok, he likes cars – then we’ll definitely have something to talk about," she recalled. "We started talking, then met in real life, I introduced him to my friends… I wasn’t training at that moment, so I was catching up on partying for all the years I’d missed."

The couple currently lives together and that they are not thinking of having children at the moment.

The two time World champion said that she does not let fame get to her head. She explains that she replies only to her fans on social media in case their messages and comments have polite wording.

"There are many people, though, who write ridiculous things! Once someone offered me to participate in a photoshoot. I looked at his page and it’s full of photos of naked women! Horrible."

Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana


If you are an avid fan of Maria Paseka, you'd know that she has been dealing with serious injuries as long as we can remember.

The Russian gymnast, who is now in Germany undergoing a medical check up, gave an interview to vtbrussia.ru, where she talked about her health issues.

The 22 year old gymnast revealed that she has been suffering from pain since she was 13 years old.

She said that after the Rio Olympics, where she won two silver medals, her country's doctors told her that she may become disabled and end up in a wheel chair because of her back injuries 

In Germany, she wants the doctor who treated compatriot and bobsledder Irina Skvortsova, to operate on her back.

Skvortsova was left fighting for her life following a high speed collision during a training run in Germany back in 2009. She sustained over 30 critical surgical interventions and spent eleven months in the hospital, two of which in an induced coma, before making a full recovery.

"Her case was very complicated and this doctor ended up being practically the only one who said he’d be able to put her back on her feet," said Paseka. "I trust him."

While she can train with her injuries, she is tired of being in pain all the time.

"The thought of having to go to the gym again, putting all these heating balms on my back that I’m already allergic to… This thought isn’t very inspiring."

Paseka has also added that she will be facing serious problems if she were to give birth.

Despite the injury, she is not thinking of retirement.

Maria Paseka and Viktoria Komova are the only gymnasts on the Russian London Olympic team who have no children at the moment.

Anastasia Grishina gave birth to a baby boy in 2016 while Aliya Mustafina and Ksenia Afanasyeva had their children in 2017.

Mustafina, whose last competition was the Rio Olympic Games, officially announced her comeback and is set to compete at the Russian championships next year.

According to Paseka, Afanasyeva is considering a comeback. However, the two time World champion said that she would never return to the sport after she gives birth.

Written by Gigi Farid


Via USAG
After being denied the opportunity to speak at Larry Nassar's trial by the judge, US Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman shared her heartbreaking testimony letter to The Players Tribune.

The three time Olympic champion began her letter by explaining why she chose to write it. She hopes that "it will help others understand the profound impact Larry’s abuse has had on me, how his betrayal of trust has changed me and how his actions years ago continue to affect my daily life".

Last month, Raisman revealed that she was one of the many gymnasts who fell victim to the disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse. She said that he started treating her at the age of fifteen which was when the alleged abuse started.

Raisman wrote in the letter that she was taught to trust doctors hence believed that "you had my best interests at heart, and you made sure that message was reinforced, insisting your inappropriate touch was for medical reasons".

Nassar manipulated his victims into thinking that he was a good person and their friend " so that we would trust you, to make it easier for you to take advantage of so many people, including me. But you lied to me. You lied to all of us."

She explained that how his abuse took a toll on her that she has a hard time trusting other doctors.

"When I go to the doctor, especially a male doctor, I am scared and uncomfortable. Even if that doctor is recommended as the best, I am skeptical because I was told you were the best, and you certainly weren’t. I am afraid that another doctor will mistreat me and abuse his power like you did. In turn, I feel guilty that I harbor these doubts and suspicions."

She recalled how she avoided certain treatments that gymnasts rely upon, especially during intense Olympic training in the fear of having the abuse happen again.

"I should have gotten massages three times a week or so, but I was too afraid (even if the therapist was a woman). I lost confidence in my recovery, and this uncertainty began to undermine my training. Even today, I find myself scared that something bad will happen to me when I seek any medical treatment."

Larry's abuse made her overwhelmed by anxiety describing how she couldn't breath or even sleep well due to having terrible nightmares. The anxiety was to severe that she had to see a therapist ' a female one' who put her on prescription drugs which resulted in her having a bad reaction and losing consciousness.

She woke up to her terrified mom calling 911. She was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital. Her doctor recommended that she tries other medications to help her cope.

After this experience, she decided she needed to allow herself to feel what she had been suppressing for so long. she had spent so much time and energy trying to block out all the pain and trauma, and I realized it was just too much for me to contain.

"It was the most difficult period in my life. I was exhausted, barely able to do things I loved. I had no energy. I felt sad, anxious and confused. I couldn’t understand how someone could be so evil. And, painfully, Larry and his actions made me hate gymnastics for a time. Larry, you made me feel so uncomfortable and sad, and you made me believe the sport had let me down."

While it is not easy, she fights hard to believe that the sport, she loves, is independent of Larry and those who allowed him to abuse her.

"I’ve decided that I can’t let him take gymnastics away from me."

The 23 year old gymnast also wrote that still has her triggers despite her coping mechanism as finds herself constantly looking around, paranoid and afraid to be alone.

"When I am at a hotel by myself and I order room service, I worry a male will deliver the food."

"I’ve had to develop strategies and coping mechanisms. If a male knocks on the door, my heart begins to race. I hold the door open as he drops off the food and keep it open until he leaves."

"I often wonder if I am hurting their feelings by being so obviously distrusting of them. I always used to give people the benefit of the doubt, but if a decorated doctor who served on the national team for over 30 years turned out to be a monster, then how can I trust anybody? Now, I’ll often catch myself being scared that people I meet are like Larry. And I hate that. I hate that Larry took away my trust of others."

Because of Larry, her friendship with one of her best friends has suffered as she has also fallen victim to his abuse. 

"I thought we would be friends forever because we had gone through the best and worst moments together. But I think I remind her too much of what Larry did to us, and our friendship has suffered."

Written by Gigi Farid



Maroney/ Facebook
Last October, former US gymnast Mckayla Maroney took part in MeToo campaign revealing that she was one of the gymnasts who fell victim to team doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse.

This week, Maroney along with her mother Erin Maroney released the victim-impact statements in form of letters that where supposed to be read out loud in court where Nassar is being tried for sexually assaulting dozens of female athletes and possessing child pornography.

"This experience has shattered McKayla," Erin Maroney wrote in the letter describing her daughter's ordeal. "She has transformed from a bubbly, positive, loving, world class athlete into a young adult who was deeply depressed, at times suicidal. At times, I was unsure whether I would open her bedroom door and find her dead."

Warning graphic content

"I ... learned a few weeks ago from my daughter that at the world championships in Tokyo, [Nassar] drugged her, made her lay nude on a treatment table, straddled her and digitally penetrated her while rubbing his erect penis against her. She was only 15 years old. She said to me, 'Mom I thought I was going to die.'"

"I cannot tell you the anguish her Dad and I feel and the responsibility we feel for not being aware of this or being able to stop it."

According to the letters, the national team training camps did not allow parents to be present hence Maroney's parents were unable to observe what Nassar was doing.

They were not allowed to stay with McKayla during travel abroad and sometimes they were not even in the same hotel.

Erin wrote that her husband once questioned the propriety of the isolation of the girls during international travel. He was assured by Steve Penny that the girls were safe at all times, more safe than the president himself.

"We now know that this was a lie," Erin wrote. 

In Maroney's letter, the almost 22 year old former gymnast wrote that the sexual abuse started at the age of 13 at one of her first national team training camps, in Texas, and it didn't end until she left the sport.

The abuse happened before the team final in London where she won gold and before the vault final, where she won silver.

Maroney was the heavy favorite to win gold on vault at that time but a fall on her second vault had her settled for a silver. It is worth mentioning that Maroney had never fallen on this vault until the Olympic event finals.

"Our daughter was totally failed by USA Gymnastics, by Michigan State University and by the U.S. Olympic Committee. No one from the USOC has ever reached out to me or my husband or my daughter to inquire about her well being. Not once. No one has apologized," Erin Maroney wrote.

 "After McKayla spoke with an investigator with USA Gymnastics in July 2015, USA Gymnastics and the USOC kept the knowledge of [Nassar's] status as a child molester secret from Michigan State University after 2015 and even said nothing when he ran for school board in his local school district!"

According to the lawsuits, several victims raised concerns regarding Larry's treatments but they were dismissed.

"A simple fact is this. If Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee had paid attention to any of the red flags in Larry Nassar's behavior, I never would have met him, I never would have been 'treated' by him and I never would have been abused by him," McKayla Maroney wrote.

"It is my hope that the federal and law state enforcement agencies will not close the book on Larry Nassar scandal after her receives his just punishment. It is time to hold the leadership of Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee for allowing and in some cases enabling, his crime."

"Our silence has given the wrong people power for too long and it's time to take our power back."   

According to FBI agent, Nassar possesd 37,000 images and videos of child pornography, with images of girls as young as 6 or 7 being sexually violated.

"How many more images were on his computer at Michigan State University that he erased? Were McKayla's images on there? Were his other victims? Did he trade those images with other pedophiles? Are those images on the dark web today? These are questions that keep my husband and I up at night," Erin Maroney wrote. 

"I know this also haunts my daughter. Will she wake up one day to find an image of her 13-year-old self being assaulted on the internet? This is what our family must live with and it will never go away."

Nassar, who worked with USAG for nearly three decades and Michigan State University for nearly two decades, was given 60 years in prison of child abuse this week.

The disgraced doctor will be sentenced in the sexual abuse case in January.

Maroney is one of the most successful gymnasts, USA has ever produced. Beside her Olympic medals, she is three time World champion.

Her last competition was the 2013 World championship where she defended her World vault title. She officially announced her retirement in 2013.

In 2014, Maroney revealed in a Youtube video that she was battling depression and anxiety. During 2016 Gymcastic video interview, she said that she was mentally abused by her coaches, Artur Akopyan and Galina Marinova.

Maroney's letter





Written by Gigi Farid






After former US team doctor was given sixty years in prison for child abuse images, gymnast Aly Raisman sharply criticized USA Gymnastics, Michigan state and US Olympic committee in a series of tweets.

"We must look at the organizations that protected Nassar; @USAGym @TeamUSA @michiganstateu Until we understand the flaws in their systems, we can't be sure something like this won’t happen again. This is bigger than Larry. Those who looked other way need to be held accountable 2."


"I fear that there are still people working at these organizations who put money, medals and reputation above the safety of athletes. @michiganstateu @TeamUSA @USAGym."


"I wish @USAGym understood how painful & hurtful it is that they just don't seem to care. I am so devastated and disappointed in how they've handled this."



Raisman is one of the gymnasts who were sexually abused by Larry Nassar under the guise of treatment. 

The Olympic champion spoke about the abuse in her book "Fierce". She has also vowed to keep speaking up against USAG until she sees change. 

The 23 year old gymnast has previously blasted the organization for poorly handling Nassar's sexual abuse.

Nassar worked for USA Gymnastics for three decades and Michigan State University for two decades. During that time, he sexually abused more than 140 female athletes.

Raisman's teammate Gabby Douglas and Mckayla Maroney has also accused Nassar of sexually abusing them.

Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by Silvia Vatteroni


Last week, gymnastics fans went ballistic when video of 13 year old Japanese gymnast Chiaki Hatakeda competing a quad twist during 2017 All Japan Team Championships surfaced online.

But did she really complete all of her twists or was it merely an attempt?

This is Chiaki's quad twist:



This is hers in slow motion:



This is how she landed it:



She was very close to completing it as she landed after triple and 3/4 twists. However, the CoP is very strict regarding the number of completed twists which they downgrade if gymnasts under rotate it.



Chiaki, who was born in 2003, turns senior in 2019.

Written by Gigi Farid.


Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana
At the 2017 World championships, which was held in Montreal last October, eight skills were submitted by seven gymnasts.

Five of the eight skills were successfully performed hence were added to the CoP, most of which were on the uneven bars.


Gymnast: Nina Derwael/Georgia Mae Fenton
Country: Belgium/Great Britain
Skill Stalder backward with counter straddle reverse hecht over HB with ½ (180°) turn to hang in mixed L-grip 
Rating: F


Nina

Georgia


Gymnast: Tabea Alt
Country: Germany
Skill Stoop through on HB, dislocate and release with half (180°) turn in flight between the bars to catch LB in hang  
Rating: C



Gymnast: Tabea Alt
Country: Germany
Skill Clear Straddle underswing with forward tuck salto with ½ (180°) turn

Rating: C



Gymnast: Fan Yilin
Country: China
Skill From L-grip, Swing bwd, ½ (180°) turn, to double salto bwd tucked


Rating: D



Gymnast: Aiko Sugihara
Country: Japan
Skill 2/1 (720°) turn with free leg held upwardin 180° split position throughout the turn



Rating: E

GIF by 
*Note: Sugihara successfully competed the skill in the all around competition but no footage of it was available.

Brasil's Rebecca Andrade submitted her full and half twisting double back tuck on floor (G) but had to withdraw from the competition after tearing her ACL.

Sugihara submitted a two and half Y turn on beam but did not compete it.

Dutch Sanne Wevers submitted a two and half turn with leg below horizontal (E) but also did not compete it.

In 2017, gymnasts had to successfully submit and perform their skills at the World championships in order to have it named after them. However, starting from next February, gymnasts will be able to get their skills named after them at any of the FIG official competitions.

According to the current rules, if more than one gymnast competed the original skill, it will be added to the CoP bearing no name. Nevertheless, the Ricna half was named after both gymnasts, Nina and Georgia. 

By next February, if more than one gymnast competed the same skill, it will be named after all of them.

Written by Gigi Farid.