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Maltreatment in Youth Sport: A Systemic Issue

Gretchen Kerr, Anthony Battaglia, and Ashley Stirling

of maltreatment in the sport domain, sexual abuse has received the most attention empirically and in the popular press. Jerry Sandusky of Penn State football and Larry Nassar of USA Gymnastics are two prominent examples of coaches and team officials engaging in sexually abusive practices with

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Interview With Leslie King, Senior Director of Communications, USA Gymnastics

Andrea N. Eagleman

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“It’s Our Responsibility”: Examining the Integration of Sexual Harassment and Assault Education in Sport Management Programs

Elizabeth A. Taylor and Amanda Paule-Koba

conversation of sexual violence in sport has revolved around Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics, and Michigan State University (MSU). Nassar, a former team doctor for both organizations, was convicted of widespread sexual abuse of more than 300 gymnasts, some as young as 6 years, who competed for clubs under the USA

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Brazilian Gymnastics in a Crucible: A Media Data Case Study of Serial Sexual Victimization of the Brazilian Men’s Gymnastics Team

Michelle E. Seanor, Cole E. Giffin, Robert J. Schinke, and Diana A. Coholic

sexually abused was recently highlighted when 150 athlete victims came forward to convict inmate Nassar, a former team doctor with USA Gymnastics ( Kerr et al., 2019 ). Post the American scandal, the Brazilian Men’s Gymnastics Team divulged their own horrific abuse story adding male narratives to the

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Comparison of Blocking and Postflight Techniques of Male Gymnasts Performing the 1988 Olympic Compulsory Vault

Yoshiaki Takei

This study compared the techniques used by elite male gymnasts in performing blocking or pushoff against the horse and postflight in the handspring and salto forward tucked vault. Forty-one American gymnasts were compared with 51 Olympic gymnasts on the mechanical factors governing the blocking and body control for salto forward and kickout in postflight. A 16-mm high-speed camera recorded the performance of the gymnasts during the 1986 USA Gymnastics Championships and the 1988 Olympic Games. The results indicated that Olympic gymnasts assumed the tightest tuck position significantly nearer the peak of the parabolic path of CG and thus achieved significantly greater height of CG at the tightest tuck position during the somersault than did the U.S. gymnasts. The superiority of body control by the former after the tightest tuck to landing was evidenced by significantly longer time, larger horizontal and angular distances, greater average moment of inertia, and smaller angular velocity.

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Olympic Sport Governance Structures: The Case of Two National Governing Bodies in Gymnastics

Andrea N. Eagleman, Adam Karg, and Ryan M. Rodenberg

This case explores the complex multi-layered governance structure in the international Olympic sport of gymnastics, describing in detail the governance structures and operations of each layer – the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), which is the international federation for gymnastics, and the national governing bodies (NGB) of gymnastics in the United States and Australia, USA Gymnastics and Gymnastics Australia. While both NGBs highlighted in this case are deemed to be successful on an international level, the case reveals many subtle differences between the two, which can be discussed in both governance and organizational behavior contexts. Finally, the timely issue of age fraud in gymnastics and the response from each level of governance are presented and provide an opportunity for further in-depth discussion.

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Worries and Fears Associated With Competitive Gymnastics

Scott B. Martin, Christy M. Polster, Allen W. Jackson, Christy A. Greenleaf, and Gretchen M. Jones

The purpose of this investigation was to explore the frequency and intensity of worries and fears associated with competitive gymnastics. These issues were initially examined in a sample of 7 female college gymnasts using a semistructured guided interview. From the themes that emerged and relevant literature, a survey including parallel intensity and frequency of worry questions was administered to 120 female gymnasts competing in USA Gymnastics sanctioned events. Results indicated that even though gymnasts worry about attempting and performing skills on the balance beam and uneven bars, more of them experienced a greater number of injuries on the floor exercise. Analysis of covariance for intensity and frequency using age as the covariate revealed that advanced gymnasts had more intense worries about body changes and performing skills and more frequent worries about body changes than less skilled gymnasts (p < .05). Advanced gymnasts also reported using more strategies to modify their worries than did less skilled gymnasts.

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Historical Trends in the Size of US Olympic Female Artistic Gymnasts

William A. Sands, Cindy Slater, Jeni R. McNeal, Steven Ross Murray, and Michael H. Stone

The lay press, scientists, and physicians appear to believe that gymnasts are continually getting smaller and that their “smallness” is a health risk.


To assess the historical changes in the size and age of the US women’s Olympic gymnastics teams from 1956 to 2008.


The official records from the US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics of Olympic team members were assessed at 2 levels: individual height, mass, age, and body-mass index (BMI) and the team performance scores and rankings. Fourteen Olympic teams with a total of 106 team members, including the alternates, were included. Trend analyses were conducted using linear and polynomial models.


Simple linear correlations indicated that since 1956, height, mass, age, BMI, and team Olympic rank have been declining. However, second-order polynomial curve fits indicated that in the last 4 Olympic Games the members of the US women’s gymnastics teams have been getting larger.


Women Olympic gymnasts were getting smaller through approximately the 1980s and early 1990s. Since then the size of these gymnasts has increased. The minimum-age rule modifications may have played a role in athlete size changes along with a shift from the near dominance of the former communist Eastern Bloc.

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Techniques Used in Performing Handspring and Salto Forward Tucked in Gymnastic Vaulting

Yoshiaki Takei

The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanical factors that govern success in the performance of the handspring and salto forward tucked vault. The subjects were the 41 all-around gymnasts participating in the 1986 USA Gymnastics Championships. A motion-picture camera placed with its optical axis at right angles to the runway was used to record the performances of the subjects. Significant correlations indicated that the horizontal velocity at takeoff from the board was an important determinant for successful results, and also that the more the gymnast’s focus was on horse contact or blocking and the more vertical the direction of his effort at takeoff into the postflight, the better the final result. Quite unexpectedly, significant correlations revealed that the greater the relative height of takeoff from the horse and the less the height of CG at landing on the mat, the greater the points awarded by the judges. These relationships were almost entirely a consequence of the landing angle. Rationale for these findings were based on close observations of the filmed performances and the correlational analyses.

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Athlete A

Claudia Benavides-Espinoza

consistently abused while under the care of highly regarded individuals in the sport of gymnastics. To add insult to injury, ill-intended efforts in the name of profits by USA Gymnastics officials to cover up this despicable behavior were discovered during investigations. Athlete A , which is a documentary