This weeks gymnastics news that happened off the mat rounded up.
Christian Gallardo to open new gym and Emily Gaskins to join him:
Emily Gaskins was spotted during the week training in Geddert’s Twistars in Michigan which sparked debate whether she had moved gyms. Another familiar face was also spotted in the gym and that was Christian Gallardo, coach of Olympic Champion, Gabby Douglas.
From the speculation of whether both had changed gym’s came the information that Gallardo was actually just coaching in Geddert’s, substituting for another coach and was in the process of opening his own gym and that National Team member, Emily Gaskins will join him.
The opening of his own gym comes after the controversy of the Summer surrounding Kittia Carpenter, Christian and Gabby. Although Kittia is the head coach of Buckeye Gymnastics and both Christian and Kittia had been Gabby’s coaches since her move to the Ohio gym in 2014, Gabby opted for Christian to be her official coach for the Olympic process and accompany her on the floor. Reportedly, following the Games, as a result of this, Christian, at the request of Kittia was forced to leave Buckeye, thus prompting him to create his own business venture.
Of course, much of this is speculation, however with the title of Olympic coach to his name, i’m sure wherever he goes there will be many who follow. One such gymnast is Emily Gaskins who has had quite the amount of changes in recent years. Beginning her gymnastics career in Florida, and then subsequently moving to Cincinatti to train with Mary Lee Tracy, she moved back to Florida in 2015 and began training with none other than Steve Nunno, coach of 1996 Olympic Champion, Shannon Miller. Now, it seems she has opted for another change of coach and feels that Christian will get her to where she wants to be. This comes after her longtime verbal commitment to the University of Florida was changed to Alabama last year.
Speculation is that Kittia’s request for Gallardo to leave Buckeye was prompted by the financial benefits that Gallardo would receive as a result of being the coach of an Olympic Champion, and the lack of benefits Kittia would recieve as a result of not being the official coach of Gabby.
Zoltan Jordanov to retire at end of 2016:
The coach of 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and 2015 European AA Champion, Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland, Zoltan Jordanov will reportedly retire at the end of 2016. Following a stellar year for both Zoltan and Giulia, which included two gold medals and the European Championships, on home soil in Bern, Switzerland and a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro among a plethora of other medals at various World Cup events across the world, Zoltan has been awarded the Swiss Olympic Lifetime Coach Award and seems to be content with his achievements as the coach of two of Switzerland’s finest gymnasts, Steingruber and 2009 World Championships silver medalist and 2009 European Champion, Ariella Kaeslin.
Max Whitlock wins Best British Sports Star at the 2016 BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards:
To prove that gymnastics is really on the rise in Britain even further, Max Whitlock tops off a stellar 2016, winning another award. The double Olympic gold medalist who also took the bronze medal in the all around at the 2016 Rio Games , took the award up against tough competition such as Andy Murray and Anthony Joshua in Wembley Arena last week which saw performances from Niall Horan, Jess Glynne and DNCE during the show.
Peggy Liddick on the way out?
We’ve seen US National Team Co-Ordinator Martha Karolyi step down this year and it seems that the head coach of the WAG programme of Australian Gymnastics will also step down this year. Peggy Liddick, who also coached 1996 Olympic Champion, Shannon Miller has been the head coach of the WAG programme of Australian Gymnastics since 1997 and has previously, upon her time to step down reapplied for the position and of course gotten it. However, amid the controversy that has surrounded Australian Gymnastics in recent times, it seems that Peggy Liddick will indeed step down and it remains to be seen who will be her successor.
Another abuse allegation against Larry Nassar also names Martha and Bela Karolyi in lawsuit:
This week another lawsuit against Dr. Larry Nassar was filed regarding sexual abuse. The lawsuit is the latest in a long line of allegations against the former USA Gymnastics National Team Doctor. I have previously written about my disgust and sadness at these allegations and my thoughts that this whole situation being bigger than anybody ever imagined and will continue to develop in the coming months and years.
Just as the Rio Games got underway in August the Indianapolis Star reported that USA Gymnastics had failed to report abuse allegations. These reports came from several gymnasts and came after Marvin Sharp, coach of 2008 Olympic silver medalist and 2009 World Champion, Bridget Sloan hung himself in his jail cell after being arrested in connection with abuse allegations. Following this report, an unnamed 2000 Olympian, a former gymnast Rachel Denhollander (who originally also spoke to the Indie Star) and patients at Michigan State University where Nassar was previously a team physician for the MSU Gymnastics Team and was also a clinician and a faculty member at the University all came forward with abuse allegations against Dr. Nassar.
Now, this latest lawsuit, filed under the name Jane Doe, not only accuses Nassar of abuse but also names former US Women’s National Team Co-Ordinator, Martha Karolyi and her husband, Bela Karolyi. The famed duo have been widely praised in recent years for producing gymnastics legends such as Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, Dominique Moceanu, Kerri Strug, Teodora Ungueanu, Kim Zmeskal and Betty Okino among others. The duo, especially Martha are also credited with making the US the dominant force it is today in women’s gymnastics. However the two are no strangers to criticism and abuse allegations. The duo have previously come under fire from some of their former gymnasts such as Dominique Moceanu and Kristie Phillips.
The lawsuit comes from a recent National Team member and it is obvious in the detail given who the individual is. Given that she wished not to attach her name to the suit I will not discuss who that individual is however, although the Karolyi’s have previously come under fire for abuse allegations, it was thought that this was a thing of the past. Also the fact that this gymnast was not under the direction of Martha Karolyi on a permanent basis, but only during international competitions and during the National Team training camps, these allegations are surprising. The duo are accused of a number of things including “striking minor child gymnasts” and “scratching minor child gymnasts until they bled”. I was initially shocked by the allegations against Dr. Nassar and am now shocked once again by these allegations against the Karolyi’s. Purely based on the fact that the gymnast who made these allegations was a National Team member from 2006 until 2010. And I thought this was a thing of the past. I sense that this will erupt into something bigger than anybody could have imagined. It is hard to keep up.