Things Are Happening – August 11, 2020

I wasn’t planning on doing one of these today, but…things happen.

Texas Nightmares

This week, Ashton Kim and Kennedy Baker both wrote about their experiences at Texas Dreams—or as Ashton (and everyone’s legs) refer to it, Texas Nightmares.

Both statements are worth reading in their entirety, especially as several of these tales take Texas Dreams from the territory of “ah, these are adults who did not realize the damaging effect their words and actions had on the minor gymnasts they coached and could perhaps learn…” to the territory of “OH GOD.”

I mean, I’m not sure there’s any coming back from the HARROWING story of Kim cutting Kennedy’s hair right before nationals. Dear gymnastics coaches: why are you psychotic? Asking for an everyone.

Given the gym’s injury history that we’ve all seen play out over the years, it’s not shocking news to hear about overtraining and injury problems (doesn’t make it any better, but just…duh), but what’s clear from these accounts is that the problems have run much deeper than a mismanagement of physical health. The racism. OH the racism.

If gymnasts are coming out of your gym feeling like this about their experiences, you did it wrong.

As I always say, this is far from the last we’ll hear. Texas Dreams is not an unusual gym and Kim and Chris are not unusual coaches or out of the ordinary in their approach. Keep the stories coming. It’s the only way.

Also, I know it’s not the biggest headline here, but since it’s in my wheelhouse and I’ve discussed it so much in the past…let’s get into Kennedy’s discussion of the Florida floor lineup strategy.

I always defended Florida’s floor lineups because of strategic efficacy. All those 9.925s and 9.950s that Bridgey Caquatto got anchoring floor—were they truly based on the merits of the routine? Not always! That was effective use of lineups and effective awareness of lineup bias and college judging nonsense.

But Kennedy is accurate in pointing out what I hadn’t seen, that it typically was the black women being put in the position of lifting up the scores of others. It’s Kennedy Baker, it’s Kytra Hunter, it’s Alicia Boren, it’s Trinity Thomas. Admittedly not always always—I think Bridget Sloan was used for the same purpose on floor and there was a time at the end of her junior year when Kennedy was anchoring floor—but the overall trend is there. She’s not imagining things.

And it’s very valid to ask why this strategy wasn’t undertaken in a couple other circumstances. Alex McMurtry was the best vaulter on those Florida teams, and she too could have scored a 10 at other positions in the lineup, but she had that anchor spot sewn up and was not used to lift up the vault scores of, say, a Kennedy Baker in the same way that Baker and Hunter were used on floor.

Now, it may well be a situation where those coaches, like me, legitimately didn’t see it until this exact moment when it was pointed out by someone who lived it, but that’s why a main issue Kennedy brings up with regard to Florida is so important. There must be an environment where, if someone says, “Listen up buttheads, the floor lineup is racist,” she isn’t treated like the squeaky wheel who’s causing drama.

If there are 17 of the CLOSEST SISTER TEAMMATES on one side of a team issue and 2 on the other, it doesn’t necessarily mean that those 2 are the “problems” that need to be addressed. It might just be the 17. And if the “team issue” in question is obvious racism like in these stories Kennedy relates, then it’s definitely not the people experiencing the obvious racism who need to be met with so that TEH CHAMPIONSHIP can be won.

So, anyway. There’s that.

I leave you with the palate cleanser of Chellsie Memmel doing a pit-manar.

72 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – August 11, 2020”

  1. Thanks so much for this. F*ck Kim and Chris, with his Marvin the Martian ass haircut. Their best days are behind them.

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  2. and to think that we praised texas dreams for their progressive coaching and love for gymnastics… yikes. i know that ragan decided not to get ankle surgery and that kim/chris had nothing to do with it, but if we look at the patterns of td elites and injuries it’s quite shocking. the speculations about the girls being overworked are now true. my heart breaks for every gymnast that’s gone through abuse. you’re worthy and we stand with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Personally I’ve always taken “Ragan chose to not have surgery” with a grain of salt and after hearing these stories I’m even less convinced. Even if the medical advice was to not have surgery (which isn’t unrealistic), I highly doubt any medical advice would have been to train essentially uninterrupted afterwards.

      Even if Ragan’s experience at TD was 100% positive – if you were in an environment like Ashton and Kennedy have described where injuries were consistently dismissed, then it probably wouldn’t feel like much of a choice if that’s the attitude you are surrounded by in the gym every day.

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      1. To me, Ragan‘s surgery choice is like Riley‘s rhabdo (before we knew for sure that Haney was abusive). I don’t know if the coach or the gymnast is responsible for the overtraining or the training on an injury – some gymnasts can be very determined and intense – but the coach is 100% the one responsible for preventing it. Doesn’t matter if your athlete is over 18.

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  3. also friendly reminder that the tweets about gymnast alliance aren’t tea that’s being spilled! it’s their trauma that they’re putting out on the internet and they are in no way trying to become famous because of that. be respectful y’all!<3

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    1. Thank you! So true!

      It sounds like for many, it is painful for them to speak up, and they are doing so selflessly out of a feeling of responsibility to current/future gymnast safety.

      I give props to these women for the tone of their letters. They respectfully state the facts of their experience, with no blame or vitriol. I’m impressed by the maturity and courage shown not only in the choice to speak up, also in the WAY they choose to tell their stories.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Right!?! But it’s so apparent now that I’ve heard it.

      I actually wouldn’t put B Sloan in the same category on floor as Baker, Hunter, and Boren. The latter 3 had power and difficulty that Sloan lacked. While she had the name recognition 10 machine (racial bias there?), she did not have the wow factor to her floor the others do.

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      1. Didn’t McMurtry anchor bars for Florida instead of Sloan, even when she had that routine that was so basic they basically changed the rules to force her to do more difficulty? And clinched a freaking championship with that bars routine? Those Florida lineups were bullshit, but I’m not sure it was necessarily racist.

        Everything else at Florida was apparently racist though.

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      2. I think it’s possible that there are legitimate, non-racist reasons for the lineup decisions. Florida did do those lineup decisions on other events (bars with McMurtry as noted and occasionally beam, such as with Leah Clapper anchoring). But it’s most definitely not a good look. And that there was no change when the concern was brought up is more than a little disconcerting.

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      3. Anon at 4:27: I think it’s a reach to pin Sloan’s name-recognition glitter-scoring on racism. It was because she was the first world AA champion (first world champion period?) to compete in college gymnastics. Gymnasts from all kinds of backgrounds on shiny teams with that kind of name recognition get fancy scoring.

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      4. @Mary 11:08. Anon here. I agree. Maybe my post was confusing? I think Spencer was saying she was put into the 5th-up slot on floor to boost the 6th up score, putting her in a category with Baker, Hunter, etc. To this, I disagree. I think that although Sloan gets high scores/lots of 10s, I *don’t* put her in that same score-boosting category because her floor lacks the same amplitude and Wow-factor as theirs. I think it is more fair to put her 5th up.

        This is largely because, as a fan, what bothered me watching UF floor was that 6th routine was super anti-climactic when following powerhouses like Baker.
        I 100% agree that Sloan’s “bonus” came from name/team recognition as well as having excellent technique and execution, and had little to do with race.
        Does that make sense?

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      5. @Mary – Oh, my bad. I actually said racial bias. Guess I wasn’t wholly sold on that thought, as I had completely forgotten until I went back and read my op. 😜

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    2. @Mary I think that Ashley Postell was the first World Champion (2002) to compete in NCAA as she competed in the 2005 season. Courtney Kupets was also WC in 2002 and 2003 but didn’t go into NCAA until 2006 season.

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      1. Sloan was AA world champion though, and the others were event world champions. Maybe it shouldn’t make a difference, but it does.

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  4. Interesting to look at who mentored these two TD coaches over the years. Who influenced their abusive manner? Their racist manner? Where did they develop their coaching psychology or lack there of? Technically they’ve produced some admirable high level gymnasts, but who could dream that it was so costly?

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  5. Yes, coaches like Kim and Chris are absolutely responsible for their actions. I expect to see them held accountable. Please, parents – pull your children from their gym. NOW!

    Let’s also remember that Kim and Rhonda are products of the Karolyi system. Bela and Martha may have left gymnastics, but their legacy of abuse lives on, and I want to see them brought to justice for all the trauma they inflicted directly or indirectly to nearly every national team member the past 20-40 years.

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    1. This echoes what I was getting at with my Terin post from the previous Things Are Happening. If virtually all elite gymnasts in the US are abused in one way or another, and many of them grow up to be judges, coaches, and/or administrators in the women’s program, how do we make sure the cycle of abuse gets broken while still handling these victims with the kid gloves that are called for in these situations?

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    2. Kim Z. had to hug and kiss Marta after every practice…what does that say about her behavior? See Ashton Kim letter, she mentions same about TD.

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  6. I do think that floor is the apparatus where “put the best gymnast at #5” is most likely to work as a strategy because the combination of (1) crowd engagement and (2) floor being at the end of a meet makes it more likely that the judges will go full CAROL on everyone. But Kennedy was right to call Florida out on it.

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  7. I’m sorry, but the lineup order is a reach. Everything else Kennedy brings up is completely valid. And Chris Burdette has always given me the creeps.

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    1. She might not be right about the intentions but it’s totally fair to bring it up.

      I feel like if you truly feel at home and respected by people, you don’t wonder if they have racist motives. Florida CLEARLY did not earn that kind of trust from their Black gymnasts in other ways, so it seems fair for Kennedy to question whether the lineup strategy is also disadvantaging her.

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      1. Agree 100% with the Anom at 4:34 am. Kennedy acknowledges that she may be reaching with that example. But the environment existed where it seemed like a possibility. That’s a problem.

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    2. I don’t necessarily think it is a reach. I think it is more a case of if Borden was being used to lift someone else’s score on floor, why wasn’t the same courtesy extended to her on bars for example?

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  8. The demonization of US coaching is obviously in full swing. Really curious to see how US gymnastics does at the 2024 Olympics. Crucify the coaches now, say it’s not all about medals. We’ll see soon enough how the “everyone deserves a sticker”, you hurt my feelings I’m suing, culture influences results.

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    1. Shut the fuck up you dim-witted narrow minded nimcompoop it doesn’t even make sense to go there with TEXAS DREAMS. They have NO elite results to say their bullshit is worth it. And you know what? Even if they did, success comes DESPITE abuse and not because of it. You piece of shit. I’m sure you are a Trumpist too with this kind of talk. Dumbass.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. @Anonymous Are you that same little dRUMPfazoid BITCH who posted similar drivel on Twitter in a comment on Baker’s letter–and got eviscerated fifty ways from Sunday for it? I think you are. Just couldn’t spew your toxic shite in one place, could you?

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      1. I don’t have an account on twitter and definitely NOT a Trump supporter. Verbal and emotional abuse are never ok, but everyone is different. People have different levels of sensitivity, I think you can agree about that. The question is, when should USA gymnastics step and in and do something about it. Waiting for Ragan Smith, Bailie Key, or Emma Malabuyo to come out and verify these claims about Texas Dreams. Either way, as the parent of a child who continues suffer crippling injuries, you’re going to continue to send your child to the same gym? Sorry, but you can’t solely blame coaches for this type of abuse. This girl’s parents should take some responsibility if her claims are true. If a child is injured or healing from an injury, why would you as a parent even drive your child to the gym, knowing that gymnastics is probably the most demanding sport physically. It’s mind boggling to me.

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      2. @Anonymous I was addressing the previous Anonymous who trots out drivel about ‘the demonization of US coaching,’ but since you chose to spout your own nonsense, I’ll gladly school YOU. a) Parents are not the experts in gymnastics; coaches are, or are supposed to be. Parents are frequently misled by things like KZB’s history as a gymnast, which was highly successful, into believing that such a gymnast will have any interpersonal skills or concern for her athletes’ health and well-being when she turns to coaching. Parents have been blackmailed for decades into never complaining about any atrocity committed by a famous coach (and the Karolyis, who, surprise, surprise, trained Zmeskal…) were among the most famous blackmailers) because the response will be ‘you want your daughter kicked off the team right now? Say one more word to me.’ Thus, your crap about how it’s incumbent upon PARENTS to diagnose, treat, and assess their kid’s injuries and decide whether they can train or not is utterly illogical. b) As gymnastics IS a demanding and often highly dangerous sport, and is also brutally competitive, gymnasts are *never* in wonderful divine perfectly healthy physical shape any more than ballet dancers are. They always have at least one chronic serious physical problem or injury they’re dealing with, and usually several. Therefore, your bullshit about ‘if your child is injured or recovering from an injury’ would mean that no elite gymnast would ever set foot in a gym, because they are all either injured or recovering from injury, period. As Brandy Johnson said in an interview, ‘you NEVER come into the gym and feel great and like there’s nothing wrong with your body. That would never happen.’ c) Why exactly are you waiting for Smith, Malabuyo, or Key to verify what Baker and Kim say? Smith and Key had their bodies utterly destroyed beyond repair–the epitome of the ‘broken elite’–by Zmeskal’s and Burdette’s maniacal overcoaching and concentration-camp approach, and Malabuyo hasn’t been seen in competition in ages. It’s insulting at best and racist at worst that you don’t find a Black or Asian gymnast’s accounts convincing.

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      3. Why does everyone need to have had a bad experience for one person’s experience to be real…? Maybe Key and Smith had a wonderful time with Kim and Chris. Maybe their coaching style appealed to them. But that doesn’t mean Baker and Kim also had a good experience.

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      4. @ Anon 2:08 – Yes, exactly! Also, coaches don’t treat all their gymnasts the same. There are favorites who don’t bear the brunt of the abuse. Think Weiber/Geddart. And if I’d pick anyone that maybe Kim and Chris shielded from their abusive ways, it would be Bailey, Ragan, and Emma. Though obviously they fell victim to the injury machine of TN as all their athletes did.
        Each athlete’s experience of abuse is valid and speaks to who that coach truly is, regardless of others’ experience.

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    3. Having a strict demand for excellence and consistency does not require abusive behavior. And nobody is saying everyone should get a sticker. But also, who the fuck cares? Give them a participation sticker! You know who doesn’t care about participation stickers? Fucking champions. They want medals, and they will throw that sticker in the trash if they came in 4th. You want to talk about the good old days? Go back to Atlanta ‘96 TF and you look at Kerri’s whole world collapsing because she knew she wouldn’t be able to do the all around. It ended her entire career. And it’s all over her face. Now, I don’t think that every gym everywhere needs to fire everyone. I think coaches need to crack open a damn book and find ways to demand excellence and consistency that don’t involve CUTTING A KIDS HAIR! In 20 years of teaching I have never even heard of such a thing. Kim and Chris have a simple task ahead. Give information and critique without being a garbage person. If a kid is hurt, take a damn second and check in. I am from an activity that has even worse behavior from staff. I have been totally demeaned and belittled and for 6 years that’s how I taught. But I realized that I could still be unflinching in my standards and demanding without the unnecessary rudeness. I still shame kids. But it is a conversation. Shame is a byproduct of correction and making mistakes. It’s already there. No one is saying that coaches need to not correct kids. But these are children. And while their parents signed in the dotted line, the kids are not able to consent. And parents aren’t allowed to be in the gym. So the kid thinks that the parents are complicit with this behavior so they think it is normal. We have been operating under the assumption that a gymnast has a 3-4 years in elite. Because we have such a large country that we can chew through athletes. We wrap them in horse tape and myoflex and just pray that they can make it a couple years on the national team before their ankles shatter. Instead of building towards consistency over many years, we overtrain them so they compete like an adult when they are 14. And it is unnecessary. If you are trying to prevent a kid from having a growth spurt, that’s a red flag. Puberty should not be a death sentence for an athlete.

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    4. Honestly this is not a question of “demonizing” coaches. The behaviours mentioned are clearly out of line. If my coach had out of the blue decided to cut my hair right before a meet it is not acceptable. Especially, as pointed out by Kennedy that the other girls were given the option to put their hair in a bun. This is clearly not a case of “hurt feelings” or being oversensitive. The racist jokes are not ok. Especially when it is a grown man to a pre-teenage to teenage girl and he is in a position of power of them.

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      1. Okay so where were Kennedy’s parents. Oh right at Kim and Chris Christmas party each and ever year after this with Kenny…. But go off virtue signal away hunty!

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    5. THANK YOU! Kennedy WAS SO TRAUMATIZED SHE WENT TO YEARLY KIMS HOLIDAY PARTIES after she was out of TX after she graduated college etc, because of the trauma, of her hair being cut. Which is one side. I want the full side. This isn’t sexual assault. so it’s more nuanced. But victimization is in these days. You hurt my feelings, you didn’t know my Achilles would break, we were so abused. God critical thinking skills is so looked down upon these days. Believe everyone, never question… stfu!

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      1. Why is it hard for people to imagine that gymnasts would have mixed feelings about their coaches…? They’ve craved their approval for their entire career. Kim obviously demonstrates some support and kindness to her gymnasts – that doesn’t mean she’s not also capable of abusive behaviors. If anything, abuse is more scarring and harder to accept when it comes from someone you respect or love.

        I think your critical thinking skills are the ones that need some work.

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      2. I would never attend my coach’s holiday party after the coach cutting my hair. Bah humbug, I hope your chestnuts burn on your open fire!

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      3. If I’d spent my entire childhood pushing myself physically in order to be at the top of my sport with a coach I believed could get me to the Olympics while my family made tons of sacrifices to enable it, I would be bending over backwards to come up with a way to justify their abusive behaviors to myself rather than abandon my dreams and walk away.

        Hilarious that people (probably just our resident troll) are like oh IIIII wouldn’t stand for that! I wouldn’t go to their holiday party if they really made me feel bad! 14-year-old me would just tell an extremely highly-respected adult to fuck off and give up the sport I spent 90% of my time and energy on, which my parents invested tens of thousands of dollars into!

        Sure you would.

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      4. I don’t know enough about Kennedy Baker to know what her professional aspirations are, but if she wants to coach or otherwise work in the gymnastics world it makes sense to me that she’d suck it up and play nice, at least until such time (now) as it’s safe to burn bridges with certain people.

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  9. I don’t know how you can come out of the Karolyi regime still in contact with them and coach with any sanity. Watching Ragan’s later Elite performances was just so upsetting because she was clearly in too much pain. You notice a REAL change in her during the later meets of the year at OU. She starts REALLY smiling, not this sort of grimace that she used to do in Elite.

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  10. While I don’t agreed with Kim cutting her braids, when I look at videos of Kennedy from the 2009 Championships her braids ( pulled up into a ponytail) are exactly the length we were all told was the maximum allowed before judges gave deductions. If they could be construed as toughing your eyes, the judges were deducting. She was going for National Team, so that deduction could have cost here. Should that have been caught before going to Dallas, yes. Should she have handled it differently – absolutely. But I don’t see it as a random act against a black girl. In the scope of things they did, it shows their view of having absolute control and lack of need to explain anything, but otherwise is pretty minor. IMO

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      1. Lock Kim Up! HER HAIR WAS CUT! RACISM! WHITE PRIVILEGE! WHITE FRAGILITY! INTERNALIZED MISOGYNY! WORDS ARE VIOLENCE! NCAA LINEUPS RACIST, HELD UP BY POOR BLACK WOMEN, LIKE SLAVERY TIMES!

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      2. Okay but even if you don’t want to bring race into it, I’m not sure how you see “Kim burst into the hotel room the night before the meet, woke up Kennedy, dragged her into the bathroom, and just started cutting her hair” and think that’s all fine and normal and if you take issue with it you’re just too sensitive

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    1. All the other girls were apparently given the option to put their hairs in a bun. I strongly doubt that, no matter the length of Ragan’s hair, it would have even occured to Kim to reach out for the shears.

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    2. It’s cool that YOU don’t see Kim‘s behavior as a random act against a Black girl but that doesn’t really matter. Kim‘s Black gymnast is saying that the experience was horrible and demeaning and felt racist and abusive, and took place in a context of racism and abuse.

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      1. Its also fair to question Kennedy as her black gymnast BECAUSE in a current political climate, where RACISM is now a common word thrown around and victim mentality and identity politics is being used as a lens to see EVERYTHING OUT OF. So yeah…. ITS FAIR TO QUESTION! GTFO!

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    3. Kennedy stated clearly that having her hair cut, with zero discussion, was the point she started to feel she did not have control over her body. That’s not only a huge psychological impact, but affects her future choices wrt injuries and such.

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    4. Reading back over this I should amend to say minor compared to the other egregious things they did. I do not think cutting anyone’s hair in this manner is appropriate or “not a big deal”. I just think it is representative of how the gymnasts were things and not people to TD. Things whose accomplishments reflected the coaches self worth, so anything to maximize that self worth was not even questioned. Probably was a sign Kim thought she could make national team, otherwise she might not have bothered. So much wrong there.

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    5. The judges can’t apply random deductions that aren’t in the Code or event rules. Even if they did, though, a coach needs to discuss this with the child and not just show up and chop off her hair.

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  11. Cutting a black gymnasts hair without consent is definetely not minor and is massively overstepping and if I was Kennedy`s parents, I would have made her switch gyms. That is so massively disregarding cultural and racial issues which are connected to hair. She would NEVER EVER have cut a white gymnasts braids off in this manner, I assure you. I was so furious when I read that.

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    1. Whats the full story? Cutting any gymnasts hair is! Her being BLACK DOESNT MAKE IT WORSE! Like stop with your virtue signaling!

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  12. Kennedy’s reference to line ups as being racist in denying her the anchor spot is one thing , but the bigger issue that would have maybe led to line up shuffles would have been to give Bridget Caquatto something other than a 9.95 …. like the score she deserved if she were 3rd in the line up … going after Kennedy shouldn’t be an automatic boost in score for a routine that wasn’t in the same wheelhouse as Kennedy’s.

    If Caquatto has gotten a few 9.85 -9.875 range , then the line up order would have been dealt with … the issue was the judges not doing there job and somehow thinking Caquatto always deserved the big score just because she was last.

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  13. Can’t wait for the day that elite gymnastics continues to be as fun as level 5 for these literal teenage girls. I cannot imagine the toll that abuse takes on literal children- not to make this about me, but I grew up in the most healthy environment possible and gymnastics still affects my need to be perfect and precise. I love that the culture is shifting and we can’t be any more grateful to the survivors that are speaking up!
    Also, I am in no way trying to victim shame but how did their parents deal with all of the injuries? I know that parents don’t know a lot about gymnastics but it’s so scary that the brainwashing reached so far that parents were fine with sending their children to practice with a torn labrum. (If anyone has answers please be respectful!)

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    1. Labrum tears are painful, but you can still do a lot on them. We’ve seen Nia Dennis and Maddison Kocian compete in NCAA for long periods of time with torn labrums in their shoulders. A lot of figure skaters have competed for years with torn labrums in their hips before finally getting surgery. It tends to not be an acute injury, but one that appears gradually over time. I personally had one and kept running up until the day before my surgery to repair it.

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      1. That’s true, I forgot about Nia and Madison. I was concerned with how far TD brainwashing reached if parents were okay with sending their children to practice either during or after lots of major injuries.

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  14. I’ve always seen the position before the anchor as the most prestigious as it’s the position where you are judged more harshly and you need to do well to boost the anchor’s score. Likewise, I’ve always seen the anchor position as someone who is very clean but has a lower difficulty routine that needs the benefit of the previous routine(s) to get the 10.

    You can of course make the argument that being in the spot before the anchor costs you several 10s throughout your career. However, the 10 has been fetishized in NCAA when it’s actually a score that’s not often representative of the individual routine itself. A 10 is a product of multiple factors including the location of the meet, the scoring environment, the lead up routines, and of course the actual routine itself. A 10 therefore really should be viewed as a team accomplishment rather than a purely individual achievement.

    Sadly, it’s common everywhere (including this blog) to publish lists and counts of the 10s received each season and we don’t ever think of the circumstances leading up to that 10.

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    1. I’ve seen three approaches to using the last slot. Depending on the school, the last routine can be either (1) the best one, (2) a good clean routine that can get a boost from the right routine going #5, or (3) the bad one that you want to hide and/or scratch.

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  15. But Kennedy is accurate in pointing out what I hadn’t seen, that it typically was the black women being put in the position of lifting up the scores of others. It’s Kennedy Baker, it’s Kytra Hunter, it’s Alicia Boren, it’s Trinity Thomas. Admittedly not always always—I think Bridget Sloan was used for the same purpose on floor and there was a time at the end of her junior year when Kennedy was anchoring floor—but the overall trend is there. She’s not imagining things. – OMG really? Are we gon do this? So wait let me guess… NCAA GYMNASTICS IS THE MAGICAL GHOST OF SYSTEMICALLY RACIST AS WELL? Spencer has been hanging around Giggle Socialist Jessica just a BIT TOO LONG!

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    1. kennedy herself said it was a reach, and it’s possible that it is. however, judging by the state of things at florida in that era, i wouldn’t count it out. listen to minority groups when they say that something is off and see if there’s anything we can do to help change the culture (and no, we’re not saying that you need to blindly believe them, but being comfortable enough with your own team to call out possible microaggressions is the bare minimum and it sucks that she wasn’t able to do so.)

      also there’s nothing wrong with being socialist :)) respect each other’s political views as long as their beliefs don’t hurt anyone!

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    2. Systemic racism means… it’s ingrained in systems. Everywhere. Systems include things like NCAA gymnastics. There’s no reason that would be an exception. It doesn’t mean that all the NCAA teams got together and were like “oohhhh let’s be racist.” It means that it isn’t inconceivable that coaches subconsciously think of their Black gymnasts as team players who can help boost end-of-lineup scores, but never think of them as individual “stars” who deserve lineup position score boosts themselves.

      (This isn’t really for the benefit of yell troll, who either already knows these things or is incapable of comprehending them and only comments to rile people up, but maybe someone else will read it).

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  16. When everything is racist… you know shit ain’t racist! Lineups are now racist! Lord help me. Did Kim also cut some of this chicks brain cells out as well?

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    1. Well- if Rhonda didn’t want her decisions to be questioned on racial grounds, she should not have tolerated racism. And Kim and her husband could have looked in a mirror and recognized they were both damaged people before acting out their craziness. But if it’s all craps and giggles for you, you have every right to treat this as a how good for professional and personal conduct. Feel free to check in five years from now with your results…

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    2. How dare you have a nickname such as “hairweaveking” and spout shit like this? You’ve been around for YEARS doing this same shit nobody cares about. You have nothing good to add anywhere. Find some value to your life and go the fuck away until that happens.

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  17. slow mo frame by frame replay of chellsie pit manar shows she definitely got enough rotation and power for a safe DTY. way to go!! I really hope she can get an AA program back.

    Liked by 1 person

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