USA Gymnastics
Getty Images

USA Gymnastics asks coordinator to resign after contacting Aly Raisman

Leave a comment

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.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Sochi Olympic figure skating champ to miss season

J’den Cox repeats as world wrestling champion; Kyle Snyder stunned

Leave a comment

If he wasn’t crowned already, it’s clear U.S. wrestling has a new king.

On a day when Rio Olympic champion Kyle Snyder was upset and London Olympic champ Jordan Burroughs rallied for another bronze medal, J’den Cox repeated as world champion in Kazakhstan.

Cox, the Rio Olympic 86kg bronze medalist, completed a perfect run through the 92kg division — not giving up a point in four matches — by dominating Iranian Alireza Karimi 4-0 in the final. He became the second U.S. man to win an Olympic or world title without surrendering a point in more than 30 years (joining Kyle Dake from last year).

“I don’t know why, but it feels like a ton better [than 2018],” said Cox, whose tattoos include one that reads in Latin, “If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell.” “I made more sacrifices … I wanted to do it better.”

Earlier Saturday, Snyder was shocked by Azerbaijan’s Sharif Sharifov 5-2 in the 97kg semifinals, denying a third straight world final between Snyder and Russian Tank Abdulrashid Sadulayev. Sharifov, the 2012 Olympic 84kg champ, clinched his first world medal in eight years.

Snyder, who in Rio became the youngest U.S. Olympic wrestling champion at age 20, failed to make an Olympic or world final for the first time in his career. He will wrestle for bronze on Sunday, while Sharifov meets Sadulayev for gold.

Burroughs earned his seventh straight world championships medal and second straight bronze. Burroughs, the 2012 Olympic 74kg champion, rebounded from losing to Russian Zaurbeck Sidakov on Friday with a 10-0 technical fall over Japanese Mao Okui.

Burroughs gave up a lead on Sidakov with 1.3 seconds left in the semifinals, a year after Sidakov overtook him as time expired in the quarterfinals.

“A lot of people in 2016 called me a quitter,” said Burroughs, who tearfully missed the medals in Rio, “and I think that after watching the amount of devastation and heartbreak that I’ve taken over the last two years and still being able to come back and take third place is a testament.”

Burroughs, 31, shares third with Adeline Gray on the U.S. list of career world wrestling championships medals, trailing only Bruce Baumgartner and Kristie Davis, who each earned nine.

Burroughs’ bronze ensured he gets a bye into the 74kg final of the Olympic trials in April. But this will be the first time he goes into an Olympic year as anything other than a reigning world champion.

“At this juncture of my career, I feel I’m running out of time,” said Burroughs, who next year will be older than any previous U.S. Olympic wrestling champion. “That can be really scary.”

Dake marched to Sunday’s final in defense of his 2018 World title at 79kg (a non-Olympic weight) by going 23-4 over three matches. Dake, who at Cornell became the only wrestler to win NCAA titles at four weight classes or without a redshirt, gets Azerbaijan’s Jabrayil Hasanov in the final, a rematch of the 2018 gold-medal match.

Next year, Dake must move up to 86kg, where Cox will likely reside, or down to 74kg, where Burroughs has won every U.S. Olympic or world trials dating to 2011. There’s also David Taylor to reckon with. Taylor won the 86kg world title last year but missed this season due to injury.

“We’ve got a guy at 79 kilos that’s going to win a world championship tomorrow,” Burroughs said, smiling, of Dake, “I’m hopefully going to be waiting for [Dake at Olympic trials], healthy and prepared.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: World Wrestling Championships TV Schedule

Alexandra Trusova, 15, becomes first woman to land three quadruple jumps

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Alexandra Trusova established herself as the world’s leading female figure skater … in her first senior international competition.

Trusova, the 15-year-old, two-time world junior champion from Russia, became the first woman to land three quadruple jumps in one international competition program, posting the world’s highest free skate and total scores on the early season.

Trusova previously landed three quads in the free skate at the Russian Federation’s test skates in early September.

She opened Saturday’s free skate with a quadruple Lutz, a quadruple toe loop-triple toe combination and another quad toe to run away from Japanese Olympian Kaori Sakamoto by 44.27 points. Video is here.

She won a lower-level event in Slovakia with 238.69 points, which would have beaten Japan’s top skater, Rika Kihira, and Olympic bronze medalist Yevgenia Medvedeva by more than 14 points at an event last week in Canada. However, judging panels can be more or less forgiving from event to event.

Still, Trusova established herself as a force going into next month’s Grand Prix season. She will face Kihira and Medvedeva at Skate Canada the last week of October.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: 2019 Senior Grand Prix assignments