The No. 1 Gymnastics Podcast in the Galaxy

298: Geddert and Karolyis Rage-O-Meter Special




  • A CNN investigation into John Geddert spoke with seven gymnasts/families about their experiences with him, and it wasn’t pretty
    • Physical abuse, verbal abuse, suicide attempts
    • Police complaints dating back to 1986
    • A letter to USAG in 2013 detailing the problems
    • Steve Penny KNEW and chose to do nothing. Because publicity.
  • CNN also has the May 2017 Karolyi depositions. They aren’t pretty either.
    • Apparently the Karolyis had very little to do with the ranch and barely ever met or talked to Larry Nassar. Huh?
    • It was all USAG’s and Kathy Kelly’s fault
    • “I wanted them to be safe, but…”
  • Nassar’s boss, William Strampel, has been arrested for insane 1970s sexual misconduct. That’s the official charge. 
  • Those two MSU trainers who were informed about Nassar and did nothing still work there 
  • MSU spent $500K in January monitoring social media accounts of Nassar survivors and journalists. We definitely can’t think of a better use for that money
  • USAG Athlete Assistance Fund application and the Saving Our Survivors Fund

And in actual gymnastics developments: (1:05:38)

  • The drama over the English Commonwealth Games team deepens
  • Cuba is in the Pacific now, and we’re all for it
  • Giulia Steingruber is playing around with a Yurchenko double back

MEET NEWS (49:08)

  • We break down the key storylines to watch at this Saturday’s NCAA regionals and rage about the scheduling and individual qualification rules, as per usual
  • Professor O’Beirne, PhD brings us a history lesson on the origins of the Commonwealth Games, and we get excited about Wales and dragons. 

FEEDBACK (1:11:13)

  • Why can’t women do NCAA and elite at the same time?
  • Primary source material about the sound in the Georgia Dome
  • When a floor routine might also be a tornado warning
  • A long-time brevet judge on how we can fix NCAA (and USAG) judging
  • 2-hour awards ceremonies (WHATTTT??) and plans for a parent revolt!

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GymMom in Michigan
GymMom in Michigan
6 years ago

I love the long awards ceremony revolt plan. Especially this year, since on the boys\’ side we now have Division 1 and Division 2 in each level and age group. (We don\’t do the elaborate cheers on the boys\’ side.) Division 2 is for boys doing compulsory routines without any bonus skills, and was apparently meant to let non-bonus kids earn some medals, but we watched so many meets where there were only 1 or 2 boys in Div 2, standing there looking embarrassed while they were given medal after medal despite having no competition. A friend\’s son who spent the whole season coming home with 7 gold medals from most meets said he\’d rather not medal against an actual competitive field than keep suffering this way.

So, at my kid\’s Level 7 meets, you might have six events plus the all-around, three age groups for each, and within each age group, Div 1 and Div 2.

Now that our kid has been competing for four years, we have heaps and heaps and heaps of generic USA Gymnastics gold, silver, and bronze medals. There\’s no way to tell what year or meet they\’re from–and really, nobody cares anymore about that one really terrific meet my kid had as a Level 4. I want there to be some kind of recycling program, where we can turn them in to be used again, because it seems like such a waste (like returning soda cans for a deposit!). All those bronze medals are especially burdensome as objects to be stuck with–at L4 and L5, the boys are still excited to get a bronze for 9th or 12th place, but by L6, a lot of them think of anything below third as \”not a real medal\” anyway.

I was also going to say: our family left Twistars a year ago, for various reasons but mostly because of John Geddert. When I read the CNN article about Geddert, I was struck by how many parents saw abusive behavior without recognizing it as such. We got out of there almost as soon as we had any personal dealings with Geddert, but I think one reason we left before Geddert had a chance to get truly abusive with my partner or me, or carry out his threats against our son, is that I have extensive past experience with megalomaniacal control freak egomaniacal narcissists, and it has left me with a very well-developed radar for asshole-ish and abusive behavior, and no tolerance for having it in my life. The challenge, I think, is that people who haven\’t been through it don\’t get it. I want people to understand this, and to protect themselves, without having to live through an abusive situation of some kind, but it\’s very hard to reach people, in my experience. When the victim impact statements and more recent reports of Geddert\’s behavior came out, other gym parents said things to me like, \”Wow, now I understand why you were so mad.\” I told them exactly what our experience with Geddert had been, but without the kind of past experience I\’d had, they didn\’t really understand it.

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