The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – November 16, 2018

A. Ron Galimore resigns…now?

Esteemed breaking news organization USA Gymnastics announced this morning that it just realized Ron Galimore might be bad, starting today and never once before that.

64 months late on the button, that’s our USAG.

Announced via tweet (because of the gravity of the situation), USAG informed us that Ron Galimore has resigned his position as chief operating officer. Not fired, mind you. Because I can’t possibly think of any basis on which to fire him. Just resigned. Innocently. For innocent reasons. Per USAG, he resigned voluntarily. For whatever that’s worth, or even means. Heaven forbid we think USAG might have done the right thing and forced him out.

“You can’t resign me in disgrace! I resign MYSELF in disgrace!”

As the COO, Galimore should have been on our rage radar from the beginning of this USAG barf parade, but he only moved to the forefront once emails showed his involvement in the scheme to create a cover story about why That Guy wasn’t attending nationals in 2015. Galimore was assigned the important job of lying to the medical staff and saying That Guy was just sick instead of being investigated for sexual abuse.

So that’s pretty bad. That’s “how many people might have been saved a lifetime of trauma if not for your actions” bad.

At the very, very least, it’s “oh, we definitely can’t have you working here anymore” bad.

And yet Galimore was kept on by USAG. And the FIG. Through this news. And months more. Past the MLT debacle. Outliving Kerry Perry. Even past the initiation of the decertification process last week. Only (voluntarily) resigning in disgrace now.

There must have been a reason. Was it just that he had been running the entire show for the last year because Box o’ Scarves was too incompetent to do so? (Which has been the assumption.) Or was there something else?

Anyway, we definitely only need a 16-word tweet about his resignation. No explanation or accountability necessary.

So this resignation is…good. But also…now? Finally? Of all the times to do it? Doing this six months ago might have been one thing. Now, it barely counts. It’s like brushing your teeth on your deathbed. Sure, it’s a healthy thing to do, but also like…you dead.

Galimore’s performance in the sickness-cover-up travesty really drives home one of the many fundamental failings of USAG—commitment to the idea that lawyers, administrators, and former athletes are the best, most qualified people to handle sexual abuse. They definitely know the right thing to do at all times. No professional experience required. “This random lady I golf with sometimes can probably handle it.”

B. Alyssa Baumann

To emphasize that point of USAG’s fundamental incompetence and skewed priorities, the story of Alyssa Baumann, who along with Kennedy Baker, told her survivor story this week.

Not only does Alyssa tell about the month-long mandatory “treatments” alone in a hotel room with That Guy during worlds, about him handing her undefined pills to take (which is some 1970s East German horror), and about USAG being like, “[scene missing]” the entire time. But then in the aftermath, USAG officials got in the mix. Great. Alyssa says that some unnamed character came to Florida in November 2017 and questioned her about the abuse in front of other people (?!?!?!) and that USAG emailed her parents about it before she had even told them (!?!?!?!).

I am at a loss at this behavior.

They never stopped viewing people like Alyssa as issues to be managed. Problems to be bulldozed. Just a little personal respect would have been nice, but that’s not the USAG way. If you’re the athlete, at least.

C. Competitions!

Back at it, people. This week, some brave and exhausted souls participated in the Arthur Gander Memorial in Switzerland, a selected-event competition where the women participate on three apparatuses (if they advance to the final round) and the men participate on four apparatuses.

On the women’s side, Brazil continued its Making a Statement world tour with Barbosa and Saraiva taking the top two spots. Saraiva didn’t have to do bars, Barbosa didn’t have to do beam, and everyone went home happy. Excitingly, Eythora Thorsdottir is back and placed third overall, which means that woodland creatures can talk again and the Light World has been freed, I think. Thorsdottir competed some lower difficulty on vault, bars, and floor, and hit all three routines.

Several of the other competitors probably just needed a nap. Melnikova competed because of course she did, missing on a couple routines to take 4th, and De Jesus Dos Santos fell on both bars and beam, not advancing to the final round.

Speaking of people who need a nap, Oleg was here for some reason despite his entire body being just a wish at this point. It did not go great. Bart Deurloo and Artur Nory also missed the final round, so was there even a point?

There was, kind of. Marcel Nguyen took the title by a fairly solid margin ahead of Nikita Nagornyy in 2nd, who also seemed a little Melnikova in his need for a sleepy-sleep.

In “you still do that event?” news, Dragulescu competed pommel horse, and Chuso competed floor. Learn something new every day.

On that note, holy crap at the bars draw for Cottbus, with qualification starting next Thursday:

It’s going to be hard even to get ranking points (top 12 get Olympic qualification ranking points), let alone win this thing.


The ESPN family of networks has released its TV schedule for the upcoming NCAA season, and it’s excellent. Coverage is expanding from the typical two-SEC-meets-per-Friday schedule to include some three-meet Fridays as well as many more out-of-SEC-conference competitions.

UCLA will be live on ESPN or ESPN2 three times during the season, the Nebraska/Michigan clash will join the UCLA/Oklahoma meet live on big ESPN, and the Big 12 Championship will be live on ESPNU.

1.5 months.

E. GymCastic

On this week’s episode, we talk about decertification (inevitable or not?), rehash further news in the case of the missing documents (including a play about what maybe might have happened), nerd out forever about the WTC rules clarifications, and talk to Will Graves.

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