Gymnastic news #22 - Tokyo or bust

FiveRinger

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But there are a lot of people who think it’s just a choice, like preferring blue over green. There’s a lot of educating that needs to be done.
Exactly. Most people don't choose to be "different." But they shouldn't have to.
 

snoopyskater

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I've been following Chellsie Memmell on her Youtube series. She usually trains in a leotard/pants ensemble, and I have to say I wish we could see similar pant outfits during competitions. I know most men will probably disagree, but I don't really enjoy watching all these women's butts sticking out. Some of these leotards are getting very skimpy and distracting. It would be nice to see something less revealing. Just my random thought today. Love to everyone.
 

anikacanaxel

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USA Gymnastics updated their policies for inclusion of transgender and nonbinary athletes and it looks...pretty good? They seem to really be trying to make sure that everyone gets to compete and enjoy the sport. I hope this is a good sign for the organization, and that they are able to make changes in all parts of the org to help and protect athletes.
Isn't that an unfair advantage to not require hormone replacement therapy. I love that they don't have to have surgeries or apply to do it; it just seems very unfair to athletes.
 

Rukia

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Isn't that an unfair advantage to not require hormone replacement therapy. I love that they don't have to have surgeries or apply to do it; it just seems very unfair to athletes.
Competing in the female category requires testing to show that the athlete is below certain testosterone levels after a point (I don't remember if it's age or level). I think that is supposed to help with any potentially perceived advantages (although I'm not even sure how much of an issue that would really be). But also the policy is a good start that I'm sure will be tweaked as time goes by.
 

anikacanaxel

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Competing in the female category requires testing to show that the athlete is below certain testosterone levels after a point (I don't remember if it's age or level). I think that is supposed to help with any potentially perceived advantages (although I'm not even sure how much of an issue that would really be). But also the policy is a good start that I'm sure will be tweaked as time goes by.
At that point they're requiring HRT. No biological man will have T that low. I'm so glad the new policy exists also.
 

barbk

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A truly infuriating interview with Maggie Haney in the NY Times today. It included this gem:
“I think my mistakes were that I cared too much, and wanted them to be a little too perfect every day, when maybe that’s not possible,” Haney, one of the most prominent coaches in the sport, said this month in an interview with The New York Times, the first time she has spoken publicly in nearly a year. “Maybe what used to be OK is not OK anymore, and maybe it shouldn’t be. I think maybe the culture has shifted.
...
Then,
"The culture has shifted perhaps too far, she said, and she expects the sport, going forward, to be filled with underachievers. She said she thinks coaches will not push their athletes as hard.

Haney blames parents for that. They have become too invested in their daughters’ success, she said, and now are emboldened to lash out at anyone — and potentially crush anyone — who stands in their daughters’ way.

“I feel that somebody needs to stand up for coaches,” Haney said. “If I don’t stand up and fight for the truth, then other coaches aren’t going to, either. I know if this can happen to me, I think it can happen to anyone.”"

 

ilovepaydays

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So now Haney is gaslighting. Nice. 😒

It’s almost like Haney thinks she is entitled to be a gymnastics coach and train athletes who become champions. No, this is something you get to do and their parents are the ones paying you to do it. And there should be high standards for those who want to do it.

I have the same opinion about coaches that I do about other professions that work with minors like in education and clergy. I could rant a lot about what’s I’ve seen since I was a kid but that would make this post insanely long.
 

FiveRinger

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I read the article and saw the video. Haney is quite the narcissist. She took no responsibility for any of what has happened. She’s not the victim. But the parents were just as disgusting as she is.

FYI, I don’t believe most of what was said. The parents weren’t allowed in the gym. So they have no idea how those kids were treated except for what they are told second hand. That was Haney’s policy. That was part of the problem. Haney might have had some witnesses to clear her had that rule not existed.

One other thing....there are 2 gymnasts suing her, one if them Riley McCusker. Why is Haney doing interviews?
 
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VGThuy

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It’s very telling that Haney and that crazy parent excusing such abuse have to think in binaries. Either we need the yelling and the abuse or we’ll get underachievers. Either coaches get to coach champions or they’ll just stay quiet out of fear of being sued. No in-between, no self-reflection, no other ways to make champions without the manipulations, shame, emotional games, and physical abuse (pushing though injuries, etc.).

Also, “if I want my daughter to come home smiling and happy every day, I’d send her to clown school”? Seriously? That dad has real issues. Also, was it his family where there’s screaming going on all the time? That’s not quite normal or healthy either. Parents buy into the con and excuse abuse then act surprised later on in life with the kids resent them as adults or how the abuse happened right under their noses.
 

mjb52

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I think it's a good lesson for any of us who have maybe in the past thought that parental supervision is the answer to the abuse problem in sports - it's clear that not all parents see things as abusive that a lot of us see as abusive. There has to be a system in place that protects kids when the adults in their lives let them down. It's not enough to say, "but the parents are at the rink/in the gym" so everything must be fine.
 

VGThuy

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I think it's a good lesson for any of us who have maybe in the past thought that parental supervision is the answer to the abuse problem in sports - it's clear that not all parents see things as abusive that a lot of us see as abusive. There has to be a system in place that protects kids when the adults in their lives let them down. It's not enough to say, "but the parents are at the rink/in the gym" so everything must be fine.

Agreed. Not to take a fictional tv show as something we should actually follow, but this reminds me of the Danish show "Rita" where the main character, a teacher, who is unconventional, confrontational, and abrasive, is reminded why she became a teacher in the first place...to protect kids from their parents.
 

Coco

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I will say, complicating all of this is that it is hard to articulate what abuse is in the coach - minor athlete dynamic.

That lets Haney get away with this bullshit "I guess we have to be mediocre since I can't be 'intense.'"

Coaching teenagers and pre-teens in a high risk, extremely difficult sport is going to be a very intense experience for all involved. It doesn't have to be harmful. Heartbreaks about missed goals, competitive failures, being betrayed by your body through injury or growth, etc. are an unavoidable part of this life. The coach needs to figure out how to help the athlete navigate these challenges in a way that doesn't exacerbate them or leave permanent scars. But you can't avoid these disappointments and you can't avoid the intensity required to learn new gravity defying skills/combos.

But for [email protected]#@#@# sake, disappointment, intensity, yelling, conflict...these things can happen in a non-abusive environment. Yes, it is extremely telling that Haney thinks her only options are the way she was and mediocrity. She is far from alone with this view. I see it in all walks of life.
 

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