Category Archives: Stuff and Nonsense

Things Are Happening – June 6, 2018

A. That Senate Hearing

You guys. I cannot even begin.

Yes I can. Let’s get into it.

(Watch here. Except probably don’t. Your life is worth more than that. RESPECT YOURSELF.)

Anyway, Rhonda Faehn, Lou Anna Simon, and “Steve Penny” appeared in front of a Senate subcommittee so that a bunch of senators could congratulate each other for how awesome they are for most of the hearing—and then rush the panelists to spit out answers quickly because suddenly they’re running out of time for questions. Oh, I wonder how that happened.

Dear Senators, the thing about your epic opening statement is that nobody cares about you and you don’t have anything to say. You know how annoyed you get when a no-personality youngun is running around making an endless and pointless video about how little personality they have? That’s you, in these hearings. You’re the SnapChat in this situation.

Whatever. The most important thing we have to talk about is Steve Penny taking the 5th and refusing to answer any questions. Well, except for the first question that was like, “Is your name Steve and do you suck?” You know he wanted to take the 5th on that one too, but it was just a biographical statement of fact, so he had to say yes. After that, no answers.

Everyone has to use this opportunity to remind each other that taking the 5th doesn’t necessarily imply guilt. But also Steve Penny. Continue reading Things Are Happening – June 6, 2018

Things Are Happening – June 1, 2018

A. June 5th is the day

On June 5th at 3:00 ET, we will finally see Steve Penny, Lou Anna Simon, and Rhonda Faehn testify in front of the Senate, where…spoiler alert…they might even be forced to answer questions about their actions.

We have a few.

I’m particularly interested to see Bad Penny try to account for why he told everyone they had to shut up about the investigation—and whether he actually has any receipts to show that he was instructed by the FBI to keep everything secret, as USAG has always claimed.

Also please ask him whether there are any other secret NDAs that “don’t exist wink wink.” And a lot about Fran. And though it may not be the focus of the subcommittee, while you have him here, if you want to ask him about his involvement in the Olympic team selection in 2016, that would be cool too. Grill him like a porterhouse.

Sadly, this particular subcommittee is comprised of some of our nation’s more insufferable senators, who may or may not just be sentient melted thumbs in suits. So while we can dream that it will be less nauseating than the House hearing, don’t hold your breath. Still, since all three who are testifying are no longer in their positions, hopefully there will be less BSing about “moving forward we plan at some point to look into blah blah blah.”

Unfortunately, you’ll notice that Martha will not be testifying despite originally being on the list and refusing to appear, just like Steve Penny. While the Senate subpoenaed Penny and Lou Anna Simon to appear, it has agreed to accept written answers to questions from Martha, denying us the opportunity to see Martha try to Karolyi-Method the Senate. A real shame. We’ll need to get her under oath at some point, certainly. We have 40 years of questions built up. Let’s begin with Emilia Eberle…

I think the senators might be scared of Martha, and rightfully so. It would take Martha exactly one second to zero in on all that jealousy and resentment and pit them against each other through shame and eating disorders and inferiority complexes. By the end of the hearing, she would have organized a presidential selection camp for 2020 at the ranch and had them all fighting to be asked to attend.

So let’s make this a monthly thing. Next month can be Martha, Ron Galimore and Fran.

Now, Rhonda. Unlike Penny and Simon, Rhonda agreed to attend and did not have to be subpoenaed. Depending on how the hearing goes, Rhonda’s presence may be overshadowed by Penny and Simon, since they’re both so aggressively terrible that they each need several weeks of individual hearings to even begin scratching the surface, but I’m fascinated to hear Rhonda answer questions about her role in this, starting with “So…like…what are you all about?” What was the deal with you? Rhonda has a lot of timeline and responsibility questions to answer, and now that she’s out at USAG, we’ll see what she has to say. Sitting right next to Steve Penny.

B. Osijek and Koper

It’s that time of year again, when all the event specialists from mid-range countries gather in European cities you pretend you’ve heard of to compete in the World Challenge Cups (event-only world cups).


Last weekend, we were re-introduced to the Diana Varinska Show. Varinska arrived in Osijek to perform in a way that was…not even a little Ukrainian at all. She won three gold medals, you guys! Bars was the most expected of Varinska’s three titles because she had a massive D advantage over the rest of the field, but staying solid enough on beam to win and showing a very respectable 5.4 D on floor were perhaps even more significant feats. Those wins show Varinska to be internationally competitive as an all-around gymnast in a way we haven’t seen from a Ukrainian in almost a decade. Continue reading Things Are Happening – June 1, 2018

Things Are Happening – May 24, 2018

A. KP Duty

Blehhhh. Where do I start? Kerry Perry and other associated NGB heads and USOC and SafeSport leaders went in front of the House E&C Committee this week to do……nothing? Basically?

If you hate yourself, you can watch the entirety of the hearing here.

KP’s performance (no Oscars here…) was particularly irritating in that her opening statement was largely cribbed from her previous apology video—you didn’t view this hearing as important enough to take the time to construct new sentences?—and in her cynical and disingenuous “INSERT EMPATHY HERE” moments intended to portray herself as an emotionally connected figure while distracting from the fact that she was providing no information and avoiding questions entirely.

It was all “I wake up every morning and am sickened…” No. Don’t care. Answer the question. Were you asked about your morning routine, or were you asked about something relevant? Oh, it was something relevant? Then talk about that.

“I think about this every day…” Oh, did you want a standing ovation? I think about this every day too. Doesn’t make me a qualified CEO. Do better.

Someone gave KP the terrible advice that it was most important for her to seem empathetic and bleehhhhhhh (while she has been criticized for not showing that she cares, caring is shown through specific personal actions, not disconnected, empty words in front of Congress). Hers was the wrong approach. To regain our trust that she might actually do something useful, KP needed to cut the figure of an angry, urgent, specific leader—not a mushy, desultory, paper-pushing apologist.

When it came to future actions or progress, all we heard were the most basic, glossed-over, shallow promises. Like this “Athlete Task Force.” What even is that? Who’s on it? How were these people chosen? What are they empowered (AHHHHHHHH) to do? Has it happened yet? When is it happening? You can’t just put words together and count them as accomplishments; you have to explain what they are. Also, that task force sounds like nothing. If that’s the kind of thing you’re hanging your hat on, I’m not optimistic.

KP was also quite ready to claim credit for proactively closing the ranch because she cares so much. Which took a tweet from Simone and public outcry to force her into doing. Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 24, 2018