Sarah Hendrickson

Report: Sarah Hendrickson suffers knee ligament damage in ski jumping accident in Europe

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World champion ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson reportedly broke ligaments in a ski jumping fall Wednesday.

Hendrickson, 19, suffered a right knee injury that included ligament damage, according to the Italian website wintersport-news. Hendrickson flew 148 meters in Oberstdorf, Germany, according to a report and alluded to on a photo posted to Hendrickson’s Instagram on Wednesday.

The longest any female jumper flew last World Cup season was 134 meters. The men’s Olympic record on a large hill is 144 meters. A Finnish jumper flew 225.5 meters in Oberstdorf in 2009, but it’s unknown if Hendrickson was on the same hill.

Women’s ski jumpers usually compete on the normal hill — rather than the large hill — and jump shorter than 100 meters.

The U.S. Ski Team confirmed Hendrickson suffered a right knee injury and was given a preliminary check in Germany. The U.S. Ski Team is gathering more details but said she will fly home with the team on Friday and will then be evaluated in Utah.

Hendrickson has been considered one of the U.S.’ top gold-medal hopes at the Sochi Olympics. Women’s ski jumping is making its debut at the Winter Games after a long fight to be included on the program.

Hendrickson and Japan’s Sara Takanashi, 16, have a growing rivalry going. Takanashi beat out Hendrickson for the 2012-13 season World Cup title.

“Thanks to everyone for the kind words and thankful for @tomhilde for coming to make me feel better 🙂 Nothing is confirmed and going home to get everything checked out. At least I set a new PR right? 148 was kinda fun? #roadtorecovery,” was written with this Instagram photo:

Shaun White injured in New Zealand training accident

Russian skiers banned from Olympics allowed to race World Cup opener

AP
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RUKA, Finland (AP) — The International Ski Federation says it cannot stop Russian cross-country skiers found guilty in the Sochi Olympic doping program from competing in World Cup races this weekend.

Six Russians, including two Sochi medalists, were disqualified from the 2014 Winter Games this month and banned from the Olympics for life by the IOC.

FIS previously blocked all six from competing with interim suspensions which have expired.

However, FIS says its doping panel “is obliged to wait until the IOC disciplinary commission reasoned decisions are submitted with details of the evidence.”

FIS says this means “active athletes are eligible to compete in FIS including World Cup competitions for the time being.”

Men’s and women’s racing begins on Friday in Finland.

FIS cannot re-impose interim bans without “a specific allegation” plus evidence.

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MORE: IOC sets date, time to announce Russia Olympic decision

Aly Raisman shifts focus from 2020 Olympics to new role

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The people come forward to Aly Raisman almost daily now.

Random strangers. Men and women of various ages, races and backgrounds.

They see the six-time Olympic medal winning gymnast out in public and approach with a hug to give and a story to tell.

It was jarring at first, if Raisman is being honest.

When she pitched her autobiography “Fierce” to publishers last summer shortly after the 2016 Olympics, she intended to focus on her journey from tenacious prodigy to champion.

And while all of that is in there, the part of her experience that’s resonated the most since the book’s release earlier this month is the one she wasn’t sure she’d be able to share.

It’s Chapter 22, titled “The Survivors.”

In it, Raisman outlines how she was abused by former national team doctor Larry Nassar, how he “groomed” her by presenting himself as a friendly ear and how she feels he was empowered to continue over the course of years by those in charge at USA Gymnastics.

Raisman spent weeks working on the section, revisiting it again and again, trying to get it just right. Or at least as close to right as she can get.

“I put in a ton of thought whether how I wanted to come forward about this,” Raisman said. “What I realized at the end of the day is that I want change and I want people to understand what exactly abuse is. It’s very complicated. It’s very confusing. I didn’t know that I was being abused because I was manipulated so horribly.”

In the process, Raisman discovered the abuse Nassar committed against other female athletes — including allegations from Olympic teammates McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas — is a very small part of a much larger problem that extends far beyond the actions of just one man.

It’s why she took those painful memories and put them on paper, to share with the world that, as she said over and over again, “It’s not OK. It’s never OK.”

The 23-year-old’s new calling makes thinking about a return to competition in time for the 2020 Olympics seem trivial.

“This is the focus,” Raisman said.

A focus that has turned her into an unexpected symbol of strength for others who share their experiences.

“Unfortunately sexual abuse is far too common,” Raisman said. “I’ve realized how many people are affected by it and it’s disgusting. That’s why I want change.”

Raisman has become an increasingly outspoken critic of USA Gymnastics, blaming the governing body for a lack of oversight on Nassar’s conduct.

The 54-year-old spent nearly 20 years as the team doctor for the U.S. women’s elite program, often working with athletes one-on-one.

Raisman declined to get into specifics about the abuse she was subjected to but her experience falls in line with what many other have claimed against Nassar: that he touched them inappropriately while describing it as proper treatment.

Nassar pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault in Michigan on Wednesday and will face at least 25 years in prison.

He still faces additional criminal charges and has been named in more than 125 civil lawsuits filed by former athletes.

Nassar’s downfall began following reporting by the Indianapolis Star in 2016 that highlighted chronic mishandling of abuse allegations against coaches and staff at some of USA Gymnastics’ more than 3,500 clubs across the country.

Raisman has not taken any legal action yet against Nassar, though she’s not ruling it out.

Her larger concern is educating young athletes and their parents on the warning signs while also loudly clamoring for change.

She has seen a familiar pattern repeat itself over the last 18 months: another gymnast comes out claiming abuse by Nassar, and USA Gymnastics follows with a press release attributed to no specific individual that praises them for their courage.

One of the most decorated Olympic athletes of her generation doesn’t just want words. She wants action.

USA Gymnastics has taken several steps in recent months.

President and CEO Steve Penny resigned under pressure in March and was replaced by Kerry Perry, who takes over on Dec. 1.

The organization hired Toby Stark, a child welfare advocate, as its director of SafeSport over the summer.

Part of Stark’s mandate is educating members on rules, educational programs and reporting.

The federation also adopted over 70 recommendations by Deborah Daniels, a former federal prosecutor who oversaw an extensive independent review.

It’s not enough for Raisman.

She points out Penny wasn’t fired but instead forced out.

Though Nassar’s relationship with USA Gymnastics officially ended in 2015 after an athlete came forward about potential abuse, he was still allowed to continue working at Michigan State University while also volunteering at a USA Gymnastics-affiliated club.

“That is just unacceptable to me,” Raisman said. “(That gym) is a part of USA Gymnastics. USA Gymnastics is responsible for kids at that gym. Instead of doing their job, they let Larry keep working there.”

Raisman would like to see more extensive change in leadership at USA Gymnastics.

She never imagined being an agent for change as she dreamed of the Olympics while growing up in Needham, Mass., but she’s embracing the role as she comes to grips with her own victimhood.

Chapter 22 wasn’t the end, only the beginning.

“I’m still, as you see, processing it,” she said. “I’m still at a loss for words. I’m having so many people come up to me, telling me they had similar experience, that they filed a complaint and it was ignored. I will do everything I can to make sure those people are heard.”

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MORE: Gabby Douglas: ‘We were abused by Larry Nassar’