Struggling Towards Recovery, USA Gymnastics Files for Bankruptcy


Ron Jenkins

The bankruptcy is not a move towards liquidation of USA Gymnastics, but rather a way of maintaining power. As shown, USAG continues to sport its logo with pride.

Emily Ito, Section Editor

In 2016, a horrifying story about USA Gymnastic National Team Doctor, Larry Nassar, was uncovered. Since 1992, the now convicted sex offender had been assaulting, molesting, and taking advantage of the hopeful gymnasts who came to him for medical treatment. Since the breakout of the scandal, USA Gymnastics have been facing 100 lawsuits filed by over 350 victims. In wake of the hefty lawsuits, USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy on December 5.

USAG hopes that by filing for bankruptcy, they will “expedite those survivor’s claims” as stated by USA Gymnastics Board chair, Kathryn Carson. While the organization claims this strategy has been in the works since the break of the scandal, many believe their choice to move forward with this plan has something to do with the US Olympic Committee’s complaint and proposition. USOC has considered removing USA Gymnastics as the official governing board for the sport. USAG has been followed by scandal after scandal, with a number of criminal charges against former employees coming to light. It is becoming a highly controversial organization, and many are claiming that members of USA Gymnastics were aware of the abuse, even protecting the serial perpetrator. The Olympic committee is trying to act in the best interests of the athletes, wanting to ensure their safety and comfort.

Despite claims that USAG has plans to rebuild and improve since the revelation, its leadership is faltering with several high profile officials and directors leaving their jobs. Reasons behind their departure is being kept silent, forcing the controversy surrounding USA Gymnastics to develop even further.

The motives behind the bankruptcy are becoming clearer and clearer. While the claim is that they want what’s best for their athletes and the victims, the move is more meant to maintain their status as the governing body of gymnastics. The attorney for many of the survivors, John Manley, remains skeptical of USAG’s newest move. He is in disbelief, and feels that “the leadership of USA Gymnastics has proven itself to be both morally and financially bankrupt. They have inflicted and continue to inflict unimaginable pain on survivors and their families.”

Filing for bankruptcy is an attempt to rise above an enormous scandal, but it is done in a fashion that is insensitive to those who have suffered at the hands of the committee. It has become evident that USA Gymnastics failed to do its job of protecting its athletes and putting an end to such criminal conduct. US Olympic Committee and several survivors hope to change the world of gymnastics, starting the transformation by instating a board that is capable of protecting its athletes from abuse and misconduct. So many girls were hurt by someone they thought they could trust, and for that many students, including Jayden Hawley (11), believe that “what was allowed to occur was terrible and should never have happened in the first place.” Filing for bankruptcy is a symbol of the greater problem regarding USAG. It is a move that illustrates the true values of a group that has been in power for so long and how they are incapable of providing the very thing their athletes need, protection.