A Thought on American Women’s Gymnastics

Unless you’ve been vacationing unplugged under a rock for the last several months, you’re aware of the atrocities committed by Larry Nassar, the ex-pseudo-doctor for the US’ women’s gymnastics team.  Now we find out that

The US Olympic Committee didn’t intervene in USA Gymnastics’ handling of sexual-abuse allegations against longtime national-team doctor Larry Nassar in 2015, even after USA Gymnastics’ then-president told two top USOC executives that an internal investigation had uncovered possible criminal behavior by the doctor against Olympic athletes.

And pursuant to a lawsuit,

the organization [USOC] said it was “first made aware of the possibility that a USA Gymnastics physician had sexually abused USA Gymnastics athletes in the summer of 2015, when we were informed by USA Gymnastics.”

Gymnastics is a physically dangerous and mentally stressful sport, as are most competitive sports.  Our women, and our girls, who participate in this game don’t need the added stress, much less the added damage, of sexual misbehaviors, sexual harassment, sexual assault inflicted on them by those placed in positions of power or authority over them—trainers, coaches, doctors, anyone.

I think it has become necessary to shut down women’s gymnastics as a formal sport in the US for a significant period of time, perhaps 2-5 years.  The time is necessary to completely revamp the sport and purge the criminals and the merely misbehaving personnel, folks like the imitation doctor Nassar, just convicted of harassments and of assaults against our girls; folks like the Karolyis, whose “training” techniques at best don’t align with American values; others who mistreat our girl and woman athletes while pretending merely to “toughen up the buttercups” or who get their jollies from molestations.

USA Gymnastics and the women’s side of the United States Olympic Committee must cease to exist.  When the time comes, replacements for USAG and that portion of USOC must be created from the ground up.  Anyone associated with USAG and USOC and anyone associated with those personnel out to and including the second degree of association must be banned from participation also.

Full stop.

One more item: the boys and men’s side of this needs a full, deep, and independent investigation, too, on general principles.  What deeply nefarious affairs are going on there that we don’t know about?  Hopefully none, but it’s time to look closely.

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