A roundup of this weeks gymnastics news that happened off the mat!
1: Aliya Mustafina married:
Possibly the most Aliya thing to happen ever. I mean we have all become accustomed to seeing her fall over and over in practice before big meets like oh you know, the Olympic Games and be expected to completely struggle in competition only to surprise us all and come away with a million medals. We’re all used to that, we know to expect surprises like that from the modern day Queen of gymnastics (sorry Simone I’m giving her the crown for a while). But a surprise marriage has to be the most Aliya thing to happen ever. I mean, I’m sure it was no surprise to her or those close to her but for us, the gymnastics community it certainly came as a shock. Who knew she was even engaged!? It was reported about a month ago that Aliya planned to take a year off training in order to focus on her studies but it was never mentioned that a marriage was in the works. Well, I suppose some things are best kept quiet. Anyway the Russian gymnast did indeed get hitched during the week to Russian bobsledder, Alexei Zaitsev. Zaitsev is a hopeful for the 2018 Winter Olympics and the wedding was held in his hometown of Krasnodar. I am very happy for Aliya, she is one of the all time gymnastics greats and I’m glad she can relax and enjoy her marriage after a very successful Olympic Games in Rio.
2. USA Gymnastics announces it will launch an independent review of its handling of matters pertaining to sexual misconduct:
It was announced this week that USA Gymnastics will launch an independent review into it’s handling of abuse allegation. The organisation has come under much fire recently as a result of a plethora of abuse allegations against those affiliated with the organisation along with the publication of a report by the Indianapolis Star in August that claimed USA Gymnastics did not properly investigate allegations of sexual abuse by young gymnasts. This independent review will be spearheaded by Deborah J. Daniels who is a former federal prosecutor and now a managing director of Krieg De Vault LLP will review USA Gymnastics’ current practices with regards to investing and repeating sexual abuse allegations. It is important to note that this is a review of their current practices and a project aiming to improve the organisation for he future and protect future athletes.
3. The Final Five took to the red carpet at the CMA’s:
Finally Gabby Douglas walked the red carpet with her 2016 Olympic teammates. Three time Olympic gold medalist, Douglas missed the VMAs as a result of illness. Gabby also missed the Team USA Awards and a trip to the White House with her Final Five teammates. It’s not like it matters anyway, I mean she’s done it all before in 2012 but I was glad to see the whole team together at the CMAs and they all looked beautiful.
4. Laurie Hernandez the newest GK Elite sponsored athlete:
We can expect a GK Elite Laurie Hermandez line coming our way soon. It was announced that in a long line of tradition Laurie Hernandez has become the latest Olympian turned leotard designer. We’ve had the Nastia line, the Shawn line, the Aly line, the Gabby line and most recently in a new move for GK, Simone got one before Olympic glory. Now it seems Laurie Hernandez is the latest to design leotards for little gymnasts to obsess over and make their parents ridiculous prices. Ah yes, Laurie is certainly basking in that post Olympic glory and is certainly making her decision to turn professional worthwhile! It’s an odd one because usually the two American All-Arounders get the big deals but with the returning Olympains being the two big stars from the 2012 Games and already having big deals, Laurie certainly was able to shine and become a big star in her own right. And of course, she does just have big star potential and it’s no surprise she is translating well to the wider public audience.
5. Louis Smith recieves two month ban for mocking Islam:
British Gymnastics have been criticised for being too lenient on the Olympic medalist who is constantly at the centre of controversy. Smith, who has been given a number of warnings from British Gymnastics for unacceptable behaviour has now been really disciplined for his actions. Smith has received a two month ban for a video that surfaced of him and Northern Irish gymnast, Like Carson mocking the Islamic faith. The video which has received much media attention not just in the gymnastics community but in the mainstream British media showed the pair mocking the Islamic faith and was posted online causing outrage from many. Carson who also took part in the video was reprimanded for his actions by British Gymnastics.
6. Laurie Hernandez has written a book:
The post Olympic perks just keep comin’ for Ms.Hernandez and a memoir is the logical next step for every Olympic gymnast that goes pro. The gymnastics world has received many books from Olympic gymnasts and one has to question how much perspective a 16 year old who is homeschooled has on life as a whole. But hey! I suppose she’s done something and gone to heights that most can only dream of so don’t get me wrong I worship the ground these women walk on, they are focused, hardworking, talented and understand the value of hard work more than a lot of adults but I just doubt that there will be many life lessons for the over 12’s of this world. Additionally I do question how much of the book was actually written by Laurie. My guess, given she competes on Dancing With the Stars in California every Monday, performs on the Kelloggs Tour during the week all over the country and is still in school is that not a whole lot was actually written by Ms. Hernandez. But hey! I am willing to support her because it is Laurie. I love Laurie. I can never get enough of Ms.Laurie.