Alyssa Baumann
NBC Sports

Alyssa Baumann, world champion gymnast, comes forward as Larry Nassar survivor

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Alyssa Baumann said she is a Larry Nassar sexual-abuse survivor, joining many fellow former U.S. national team members in coming forward.

Baumann, a member of the U.S.’ gold-medal team at the 2014 World Championships, filed a lawsuit in August against Nassar, USA Gymnastics, the International Gymnastics Federation and World Sport Chicago as a “Jane Doe.”

It will now be amended to include her name.

Baumann released a statement on social media and through a public relations firm Thursday:

“I feel like I have reached a point where I can share my truth. Even though it makes me feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, I believe sharing my story will help me heal, and more importantly, help others who are still dealing with this trauma. I, too, was sexually abused by Larry Nassar. He betrayed my trust and took advantage of me for years.

“You may ask why I didn’t speak up earlier. I was in denial and I was scared. I even hesitated to share my story with my family because I didn’t want to upset them or be a burden. It took a long time to face what happened and it will take even longer to overcome, but by sharing my story I know I’m on the path to healing.

“My hope is that my story will encourage others to speak up about their own situation—so they too can begin to heal. May this also serve as reminder to those in authority to take the appropriate actions to completely change USAG’s culture and hold every Nassar enabler accountable so that future generations of gymnasts can feel safe and enjoy the sport again.

“Finally, yes, I am a survivor of sexual assault, but I refuse to let that define or limit me. I pray that people will still see me as Alyssa. A strong person who never gave up even after a severe injury. A loyal friend and an even better teammate. As someone that loves to laugh but loves to make others laugh more. A former U.S. National Team member who was proud to represent my country, a World Champion, and a Florida Gator through and through.

“To all the other survivors, I stand with you and your bravery inspires me. To those who have chosen to remain private, you are not alone, we will get through this together. #MeToo.”

Baumann, 20, is at least the fifth member of the 2014 World team to come forward as a Nassar survivor, joining Simone BilesKyla RossMadison Kocian and Ashton Locklear. She moved to college gymnastics this year, competing as a freshman at the University of Florida. Overall, hundreds have come forward as Nassar survivors.

Baumann said she was abused by Nassar at every national team camp that she attended from 2013 through 2015 and at meets including the 2014 U.S. Championships and 2014 World Championships.

Nassar is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Shelby Houlihan shatters American 5000m record

Shelby Houlihan
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Shelby Houlihan chopped 10.52 seconds off her own American 5000m record, clocking 14:23.92 at a Bowerman Track Club intrasquad meet in Portland, Ore., on Friday night.

Houlihan, who was 11th in the Rio Olympic 5000m, has in this Olympic cycle improved to become one of the greatest female distance runners in U.S. history.

She first broke Shannon Rowbury‘s American record in the 5000m by 4.47 seconds in 2018. In 2019, she broke Rowbury’s American record in the 1500m by 1.3 seconds in finishing fourth at the world championships in 3:54.99.

On Friday, Houlihan and second-place Karissa Schweizer both went under the American record. Schweizer, 24 and three years younger than Houlihan, clocked 14:26.34, staying with Houlihan until the winner’s 61-second final lap.

“I knew Karissa was going to try to come up on me and take the lead. She does that every time,” Houlihan told USATF.tv. “I had decided I was not going to let that happen.”

Houlihan improved from 41st to 12th on the world’s all-time 5000m list, 12.77 seconds behind Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba‘s world record.

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Can T.J. Oshie, other established Olympic hockey stars hold on for 2022?

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T.J. Oshie will be 35 years old during the next Winter Olympics. Jonathan Quick will be 36. Now that the NHL is one key step closer to returning to the Winter Games, the question surfaces: which 2014 Olympians will have a difficult time returning to rosters in 2022?

Oshie was the last of the 14 forwards chosen for the U.S. Olympic team for Sochi, beating out Bobby Ryan and Brandon Saad, in part for his shootout prowess.

In group play against Russia, Oshie was memorably tapped by U.S. head coach Dan Bylsma six times in a shootout, including all five in the sudden-death rounds. Oshie beat Sergei Bobrovsky four times, including the game winner.

“After I went out for my third attempt, I figured I was going to keep going,” Oshie said, according to USA Hockey. “Each time I would look up to see what [Bylsma] had to say, and he would just give me a nod every time. I kind of started laughing toward shot five and six because it was getting kind of ridiculous.”

Oshie became known as “T.J. Sochi” on social media. President Barack Obama congratulated him on Twitter. The U.S. eventually lost to Canada in the semifinals and Finland in the bronze-medal game.

When the NHL chose not to send its players to the PyeongChang Winter Games, it may have spelled the end of Oshie’s Olympic career.

Consider that the oldest forward on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team was 29, six years younger than Oshie will be come 2022. A recent Olympic roster prediction from The Hockey Writers put Oshie in the “Just Missed Out” list.

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire has Oshie among the finalists for the last forward spots in his early U.S. roster prediction.

“I wouldn’t discount T.J. Oshie because shootout is still part of it,” McGuire said. “He still has his shootout moves, even though he’s not getting any younger.”

Quick, the unused third goalie in 2010, played 305 out of 365 minutes in net for the U.S. in Sochi. He was coming off a Stanley Cup in 2012 and en route to another one in 2014.

Since, he was sidelined by a knee injury that required surgery. He remains the Los Angeles Kings’ No. 1 goalie, which almost automatically puts an American in the Olympic roster discussion these days.

“Somebody like Jonathan definitely merits consideration just because of his achievement level over time, but I think he’d be the first person to tell you injuries have definitely affected him,” McGuire said of Quick, looking to become the second-oldest U.S. goalie to play in the Olympics after Tom Barrasso in 2002. “It’s not going to be easy for him.”

The U.S. could bypass Quick for three Olympic rookies in 2022. Connor Hellebuyck, John Gibson and Ben Bishop have superior save percentages and goals-against averages and more games played than Quick since the start of the 2018-19 season.

A wild card is Spencer Knight, the 19-year-old No. 1 from the world junior championships who last year became the highest-drafted goalie since 2010 (No. 13 to the Florida Panthers). Knight would break defenseman Bryan Berard‘s record as the youngest U.S. Olympic hockey player in the NHL era.

The Canadian roster has traditionally been deeper than the U.S. The talent is overwhelming at center, led by Sidney CrosbyConnor McDavidPatrice Bergeron and Nathan MacKinnon. The Canadians must get creative if the likes of veterans Jonathan Toews and John Tavares will join them in Beijing.

Toews, then 21, was the best forward at the 2010 Vancouver Games and Canada’s only one on the all-tournament team. While Toews’ last NHL All-Star selection was in 2017, his last two seasons have been his best in terms of points per game since 2011.

“The one thing that Canada is very good at, they do it extremely well, they select players that fit roles,” McGuire said, noting Mike Richards shifting to the wing during the 2010 Olympics. “When you look at the overwhelming depth that Canada has, that’s going to be the thing that’s going that’s going to be very interesting to watch to see how it plays out at center.”

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