USA Gymnastics Announces Athlete Task Force

Press release via USA Gymnastics.

INDIANAPOLIS,July 13, 2018– USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry today announced five members of the organization’s newly created Athlete Task Force:  Shenea Booth, acrobatic gymnastics; Ivana Hong, women’s gymnastics; Jazzy Kerber, rhythmic gymnastics; Steven Legendre, men’s gymnastics; and Leigh Hennessy Robson, trampoline and tumbling. 

The Athlete Task Force was created to bring athletes into USA Gymnastics’ decision-making process in determining the path forward for the organization. Task Force members will be involved in the search for a permanent high-performance training facility; key athlete-focused initiatives for the organization; an athlete mentoring program; educational initiatives for safe sport; the concept of an ombudsman for USA Gymnastics athletes; and increasing involvement of former national team members and energizing the alumni network.

“USA Gymnastics appreciates the dedication these five incredible ambassadors bring to the sport, both for their history of competing in gymnastics and now for serving on our Athlete Task Force,” said Perry, who joined USA Gymnastics in December 2017. “Athletes are the heart and soul of our organization, and the Task Force will provide important perspective and guidance for making informed decisions and transforming our culture to one of empowerment, especially for athletes. Our athletes’ voices are important for our strategic planning and initiatives, and the Task Force will participate not only in our projects, like identifying a permanent high-performance training facility, but also bringing forth ideas and proposals that are important to them.”

The Athlete Task Force is a voluntary opportunity for up to nine former athletes, including the athlete directors on the Board of Directors for men’s and women’s gymnastics and one former elite athlete per competitive discipline with relevant work experience. Members commit to serving one year, with the option of a second term. The Task Force will complement the efforts of the Athletes’ Council, which is already heavily tasked with serving on the Board of Directors and its standing committees, as well as attending national team training camps and addressing the concerns of current athletes. 

My sole purpose in participating in the Athlete Task Force is to provide insight from a victim and survivor’s perspective. I believe the athletes deserve an independent voice that speaks on their behalf, and that this should be maintained at all costs moving forward in order to assure athlete safety and the equitable treatment to which they are entitled.” – Shenea Booth

“As the Athlete Task Force, we have the opportunity and responsibility to help bring input and feedback in the best interest of our athletes and to help ensure their needs are met. Every decision and project will provide the potential to strengthen and support our current athletes, both those who continue to represent our country with such grace and integrity despite the challenges we've faced and those who participate at every level, from recreation through Junior Olympics.”    – Ivana Hong

“I want to contribute to changes and initiatives within USA Gymnastics that make gymnastics a positive force in the lives of other young athletes.  I gained so much from my time as an athlete, and I believe that with an increased focus on health, safety and a positive culture, USA Gymnastics can help many people find the benefits of sport I experienced and enjoyed.” – Jazzy Kerber

“Through the Task Force, my goal is to streamline communication between the athletes and the senior staff at USA Gymnastics to make their voices be heard loud and clear during important decisions that will impact them directly. My goal from day one as a Board athlete representative is to be a strong advocate for our athletes and help them get the things they need to be safe and successful during their gymnastics careers.” – Steven Legendre

“The need for change hit the gymnastics community hard last year, creating a powerful moment with tremendous expectations and opportunities. The potential the Athlete Task Force can bring to USA Gymnastics is exciting. We have a chance to make an impact, helping USA Gymnastics to drive a new, modern vision for the gymnastics community.” – Leigh Hennessy Robson

“The Athlete Task Force extends the opportunity for us to maximize athlete involvement in making USA Gymnastics stronger, safer and more empowered,” said Perry. “I believe the Task Force will be instrumental in keeping our focus on promoting the highest standards of care for our athletes and members, impactful educational opportunities, and a positive, safe environment for our current and future athletes to thrive, compete and achieve their gymnastics dreams.”

6 Ways For Gymnastics Coaches To Better Prevent Injuries

For any high-performing gymnast, injuries are essentially inevitable. But there are ways that gymnastics coaches can approach their training program — both physical and mental — that can help prevent the injuries that are potentially avoidable, and to create an environment where gymnasts are both safe and empowered. We spoke to some of the country’s top coaches to get their philosophies, their methods, and their strategies.

SEC Gymnastics Preview: Traditional Powers LSU, Alabama, & Florida Reload

As always, the Southeastern Conference is loaded with talent — traditional powerhouses like Florida and LSU, but many more top teams in the nation. This year you'll be able to catch a few of these teams, and much more, right here on FloGymnastics. But before we can start watching the meets, let's dive into each team's standing, who they added and lost, and what may be to come in the 2018-2019 season.

Big Ten Power Michigan Starts Their Gymnastics Season Strong At Exhibition

The University of Michigan Women’s Gymnastics team is usually the team to beat in the Big Ten, and if their exhibition meet on Saturday, December 2, is any indication of how their year will go, this season will be no exception. The team squared off with three other Michigan teams at 2 PM in the Crisler Center, marking the fifth year in a row Michigan has competed against Eastern Michigan for an exhibition meet in this location. The Wolverines competed against Central Michigan as recently as last spring but has not faced off against Western Michigan since 2011.

USA Gymnastics Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

USA Gymnastics has filed a voluntary petition for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. USAG posted the news in a press release along with a post outlining frequently asked questions.

10 Gymnastics Skills From The Past That Aren't Performed Anymore

In gymnastics, it’s no secret that skills go in and out of style faster than you can say “Tsukahara.” Between upgrades that make simpler skills obsolete, changing trends, and banned skills, gymnastics fans know the skills they love seeing performed today will likely become irrelevant down the road.

5 Of The Most Common Gymnastics Injuries & How Best To Prevent Them

We’ve all heard the horror stories: the pop! from a too-short vault, the head-first crash from a beam dismount, the terrifying falls from a release skill on bars. But the majority of gymnastics injuries — 65–70 percent of them, in fact — aren’t dramatic; they happen from years and years of over-use. 

NCAA Gymnasts To Watch At Elevate The Stage Birmingham

Just over one month is left until the NCAA gymnastics season begins, and teams all over the country will compete weekend after weekend in dual meets, quad meets, and even meets on podium — like Elevate the Stage. The 2019 NCAA season includes two Elevate the Stage events with the final one happening in Birmingham, Alabama. 

Roster: November U.S. National Team Training Camp

The 2018 November U.S. national team training camp is underway at EVO Athletics in Sarasota, Florida. Sixteen elite gymnasts are in attendance at the four-day camp led by high-performance team coordinator Tom Forster. 

Arkansas Gymnastics Aims For Success In SEC & Then NCAAs

The University of Arkansas gymnastics team has known no other skipper than Mark Cook. He was hired to build a program to rival to the top teams in Southeastern Conference and compete for championships.

FloGymnastics Is Looking For A Freelance Content Creator

This could be the best news you hear all day: FloGymnastics is looking for a freelance content creator to write articles, cover breaking news, and support our event calendar with the best gymnastics content on the planet.