On Tuesday, USA Gymnastics announced that it was hiring Mary Lee Tracy as the elite development coordinator for its women’s program.
During the early stages of the Larry Nassar scandal being exposed, Tracy, a coach and owner of the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, spoke on Nassar amid news that a coach who had worked at her gym in the early 2000s was found guilty of multiple sex crimes against children.
Tracy defended Larry Nassar in 2016
While she condemned that man, Ray Adams, in an interview with WCPO in Cincinnati, she spoke well of Nassar, who was later sentenced to 175 years in prison for serially abusing hundreds of young gymnasts over the course of several years.
“My Olympians have all worked with Larry,” Tracy told WCPO in the Dec. 2016 interview. “We were all defending him because he has helped so many kids in their careers. He has protected them, taken care of them, worked with me and worked with their parents. He’s been amazing.”
At the time of Tracy’s interview, more than 50 gymnasts and patients had accused Nassar of abuse.
Aly Raisman calls out USAG for associating with Tracy
When the news broke that USAG was hiring Tracy, Aly Raisman, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and one of Nassar’s many victims, lashed out at the governing body for the decision.
USA Gymnastics has appointed someone who, in my view, supported Nassar, victim-shamed survivors, & has shown no willingness to learn from the past. This is a slap in the face for survivors, & further confirmation that nothing at @USAG has changed. What a profound disappointment! https://t.co/lklLiqsOCJ
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) August 29, 2018
Raisman also retweeted a post reminding USAG of Tracy’s statement and how many people had accused Nassar when she made it.
— Becca (@LaLaBex22) August 28, 2018
Raisman has been an outspoken critic of USAG and the U.S. Olympic Committee in the wake of the Nassar scandal, accusing USAG of sweeping the scandal under the rug.
Raisman not alone in criticizing USAG
She was not the only Nassar victim to condemn the Tracy hire. Chelsea Kroll Williams, a former gymnast abused by Nassar as a teen who testified at Nassar’s sentencing hearing, also blasted USAG for associating with Tracy.
Mary Lee Tracy is one of the most controlling, domineering coaches I have ever met. At USAG sanctioned events and camps, at least one of her athletes was abused by Larry Nassar. She supported him even when it was very clear that she shouldn’t. This is maddening. https://t.co/AxckLD7VEl
— Chelsea Kroll Williams (@chels327) August 29, 2018
Tracy will work with young gymnasts in new role
In her new role, Tracy will work directly with young gymnasts seeking to compete at the sport’s highest level.
From the USAG announcement:
“Tracy is the president and head coach of Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, who is well-known throughout the gymnastics community for her passion for inspiring and developing self-esteem, confidence and courage in young women.
“As the elite development coordinator, Tracy will oversee the developmental pipeline for women’s gymnastics.”
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