USA Gymnastics asks coordinator to resign after contacting Aly Raisman

USA Gymnastics
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USA Gymnastics asked its new elite women’s development coordinator, Mary Lee Tracy, to resign after she tried to contact Aly Raisman to apologize after Raisman tweeted that Tracy had supported Larry Nassar and victim-shamed Nassar survivors.

“As a representative of the organization, [Tracy] inappropriately contacted a survivor, who is also a represented plaintiff, in response to that survivor’s public criticism of her,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement Friday. “USA Gymnastics decided it would be best to move forward without Ms. Tracy in this role.”

Earlier Friday, a post on Tracy’s Facebook account said that USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry gave her options of resigning or being forced out because she tried to contact Raisman to apologize.

“I need to explain why I have to resign,” the post read. “Kerry P gave me two options, to resign or be removed because I tried to contact Aly to apologize and hope we could work together to make our sport better and learn from all of the mistakes of the past. I was never informed that I was not permitted to speak to Ali or any of the survivors!”

An hour later, a Tracy Facebook account post said she was not resigning.

“I was pressured to make a decision and I am seeking counsel!” the post read. “I appreciate all of the support from the community!”

Tracy, the president and head coach of Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, was announced as the USA Gymnastics elite development coordinator on Tuesday.

Raisman’s account retweeted the USA Gymnastics announcement, adding a comment.

“USA Gymnastics has appointed someone who, in my view, supported Nassar, victim-shamed survivors, & has shown no willingness to learn from the past,” Raisman tweeted. “This is a slap in the face for survivors, & further confirmation that nothing at @USAG has changed. What a profound disappointment!”

Raisman then retweeted part of a Cincinnati ABC affiliate’s article quoting Tracy from December 2016:

Tracy was more adamant that she doesn’t believe Nassar could be guilty of the charges brought against him, including molestation during medical examinations.

“My Olympians have all worked with Larry,” Tracy said. “We were all defending him because he has helped so many kids in their careers. He has protected them, taken care of them, worked with me and worked with their parents. He’s been amazing.”

Police in Michigan said nearly 50 gymnasts and patients have filed sexual abuse accusations against the doctor.

On Thursday, Tracy told the TV station she would resign if “cyber bullying” didn’t stop and said that Nassar was “beyond evil.”

“I wouldn’t say that I supported him,” Tracy said Thursday, “but I told my truth [in 2016], and my truth was that he supported my athletes.”

“What I feel I need to say is that when I saw Aly putting out some things about something I said two years ago as this was all coming out, that was my truth,” Tracy said, according to the TV station. “Would I say that anymore? Absolutely not … The man is a monster.  But at that moment, I looked at him like I would my dad or my brother. That was the level of trust I had.”

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In a tie, Wendy Holdener puts to rest a remarkable stat in Alpine skiing

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Swiss Wendy Holdener ended one of the most remarkable victory droughts in sports by tying for the win with Swede Anna Swenn Larsson in a World Cup slalom in Killington, Vermont, on Sunday.

Holdener, after 15 second-place finishes and 15 third-place finishes in her career, stood on the top step of a World Cup slalom podium for the first time. She shared it with Swenn Larsson, who had six World Cup slalom podiums before Sunday and also earned her first win.

They beat Austrian Katharina Truppe by .22 of a second combining times from two runs.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Holdener, 29, previously won three World Cups in other disciplines, plus two world championships in the combined and Olympic and world titles in the team event.

“To be tied first when I came into the finish was such a relief,” Holdener said while shoulder to shoulder with Swenn Larsson. “On the end, it’s perfect, because now we can share our first win together.”

Mikaela Shiffrin had the best first-run time but lost her lead midway through the second run and finished fifth. Shiffrin, who won the first two slaloms this season last weekend, was bidding for a 50th World Cup slalom victory and a sixth win in six slaloms in Killington.

“I fought. I think some spots I got a little bit off my timing, but I was pushing, and that’s slalom,” she said before turning her attention to Holdener and Swenn Larsson. “It’s a pretty special day, actually.”

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves next weekend to Lake Louise, Alberta, with two downhills and a super-G.

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Injured Ilia Malinin wins Grand Prix Finland, qualifies for Grand Prix Final

Ilia Malinin
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Ilia Malinin, competing “a little bit injured” this week, still won Grand Prix Finland and goes into the Grand Prix Final in two weeks as the world’s top-ranked male singles skater.

Malinin, who was second after Friday’s short program, landed four clean quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate to overtake Frenchman Kevin Aymoz.

Malinin, who landed a quad flip in competition for the first time, according to SkatingScores.com, also attempted a quad Axel to open his program, but spun out of the landing and put his hand down on the ice.

Malinin also won his previous two starts this season in come-from-behind fashion. The 17-year-old world junior champion became the first skater to land a clean, fully rotated quad Axel in September, then did it again in October at Skate America, where he posted the world’s top overall score this season.

Next, Malinin can become the second-youngest man to win the Grand Prix Final after Russian Yevgeny Plushenko. His biggest competition is likely to be world champion Shoma Uno of Japan, who like Malinin won both of his Grand Prix starts this fall. Malinin and Uno have not gone head-to-head this season.

Grand Prix Finland highlights air on NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

FIGURE SKATING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Earlier, Japan’s Mai Mihara overtook world silver medalist Loena Hendrickx of Belgium to become the only woman to win both of her Grand Prix starts this season. Mihara prevailed by .23 of a point. The top three women this season by best total score are Japanese, led by a junior skater, 14-year-old Mao Shimada, who isn’t Olympic age-eligible until 2030.

Mihara and Hendrickx qualified for the Grand Prix Final, joining world champion Kaori Sakamoto and Rinka Watanabe, both of Japan, South Korean Yelim Kim and American Isabeau Levito, the world junior champion.

Italians Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini won both pairs’ programs and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final.

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara and Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier headline the Final. Both pairs won each of their Grand Prix starts earlier this fall. The Japanese have the world’s two best scores this season. The Americans are reigning world champions.

At least one Russian or Chinese pair made every Grand Prix Final podium — usually pairs from both countries — but neither nation competed in pairs this Grand Prix season. All Russian skaters are banned due to the war in Ukraine. China’s lone entry on the Grand Prix across all disciplines was an ice dance couple.

Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier improved on their world-leading score for this season in winning the ice dance by 17.03 points over Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker. Both couples qualified for the Grand Prix Final in the absence of all three Olympic medalists this fall.

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