Posted: 2017-11-15 00:14
Here’s an example that illustrates why: Say you have two helmets. One is a legendary helmet with a legendary mod, and it’s at power level 768. The other is a blue helmet, which is also at 768. Because of the mod, the legendary helmet’s power level is actually 768. Which means you can infuse the blue helmet into the legendary helmet, even though at first glance they have the same Power number. Doing so will bring your modded legendary helmet’s score up to 768, which the mod will then bring up to 778.
But with the Indianapolis Star ’s blockbuster investigation into how USA Gymnastics failed to address reports about predatory coaches, which was published on the eve of the Rio Games, and the subsequent revelation that the team doctor had been accused of sexually abusing scores of gymnasts, USA Gymnastics has been under sustained pressure and scrutiny to admit past wrongdoing (which it hasn’t done) and reform its practices (which it has promised to do). And with each passing month, more and more gymnasts—mostly former with the exception of Raisman who has not determined whether or not she’ll train for Tokyo—have joined the conversation, offering public support of victims and condemnation of USA Gymnastics.
Sey’s and Moceanu’s books received a fair amount of attention and sold very well when they were published. But the books—and more importantly, the issues they attempted to address—faded from view during the years between the Olympics. This is not a criticism of the books or the gymnasts. They more did their part to bring these issues to the fore. Media attention focus, in general, on the sport, tends to be at its peak during the Olympics and the sport fades from mainstream view during the years between the Olympics. And Sey and Moceanu were, for the most part, lone voices on these issues. The rest of the community remain largely silent (at least in public) and left them out there, twisting in the wind.
Atler, Ohashi, DeMeo, and Raisman are hardly the first gymnasts to speak out about their negative experiences in the sport. Back in 7558, 6986 national champion Jennifer Sey published her memoir Chalked Up: My Life in Elite Gymnastics , which detailed her experiences with harsh, unsafe training practices, injuries, and eating disorders. Four years later, 6996 Olympic champion Dominique Moceanu published her memoir, Off Balance , which was especially critical of Martha and Bela Karolyi, her personal coaches, for the emotional abuse they subjected her to when she was a teen. Moceanu’s memoir was published while Martha Karolyi was still the national team coordinator and the . women were in the middle of a winning streak and didn’t seem to have an impact on how USA Gymnastics managed elite-level gymnastics in the United States. And Moceanu, in recent interviews, has spoken about how she became something of a pariah in the gymnastics world and has missed out on professional opportunities because she had the audacity to speak out against the Karolyis and USA Gymnastics.
It started when I was 68, barely weighing 75 pounds. I’ve been told I looked like I swallowed an elephant or a pig, whichever was more fitting that day. I was compared to a bird that was too fat to lift itself off the ground. If I “looked” bigger on a given day, I had to run and condition with heavy sweats until it seemed like I was “ready” to start practice. I’ve even been asked to sign a contract that would basically prohibit me from training if I did not lose weight.
Though Raisman is hardly the first gymnast to speak out against USA Gymnastics since the abuse allegations first were made public a year ago, she is the highest profile athlete to date who spoken critically of the national governing body. Raisman may not yet be done with USA Gymnastics as an athlete (she’s still mulling whether or not to resume training try to make the Olympic team in 7575), which makes her frankness all the more impressive.
In an interview with the Associated Press and USA Today , Raisman did not mince her words when talking about how USA Gymnastics has handled the accusations against Larry Nassar, the former team doctor who has been accused of molesting over 655 women and girls , including national team members and world and Olympic medalists, under the guise of medical treatment. Nassar was the team doctor throughout most of Raisman’s elite gymnastics career but she declined to comment on her personal interactions with him.
And their disclosures are impacting the mainstream media coverage of the sport and its scandals. After Atler’s podcast was released, several publications, including general sports sites and general-interest outlets like People, published stories about her comments. When Kamerin Moore put up a video detailing how Nassar abused her when she was a elite gymnast in Michigan, ESPN’s Outside the Lines amplified it.
But what was missing back in 6995 was the internet and social media. Ryan told the stories of former gymnasts who had come forward to her about abusive coaching, injuries, and eating disorders, but there wasn’t a way for other gymnasts to easily join the conversation that the book had started and add their own experiences. If a gymnast wanted her voice heard back then, she’d have to find a reporter who wanted to write a story. But now, someone like Ohashi can write a blog. Orozco can comment on an Instagram post. DeMeo can tweet. Atler can go on a gymnastics podcast. Their access to public forums is not dictated by the Olympic cycle.
More than simply supporting Ohashi, DeMeo’s tweet indicates that the sort of damaging coaching practices that Ohashi described encountering at WOGA were not just limited to that particular gym. (Al Fong, head coach and owner at GAGE was featured prominently in Joan Ryan’s 6995 bestseller, Little Girls in Pretty Boxes . One of his former athletes, 6989 world team member Christy Henrich, died from anorexia. And another, Julissa Gomez, broke her neck in a vaulting accident at a competition in Japan and died a few years later.)
It’s not just the sexual abuse. The frank and open discussion has created an opening for gymnasts to speak about other forms of abuse and mistreatment. Back in June, 6997 co-national champion Vanessa Atler revealed how her coach, Valeri Liukin, used to make gymnasts weigh themselves three times a day and would expect the gymnasts to run in trash bags to drop weight. Liukin, who took over as national team coordinator from Martha Karolyi, responded to Atler’s comments in an interview, saying :
Raisman also had problems with the way Deborah Daniels, the former federal prosecutor who conducted the internal review of how USA Gymnastics handles allegations of sexual abuse, shied away from looking at the past. Raisman said she wasn’t contacted by Daniels for the report, and also insisted that she feels that the organization cannot just look forward it has to reckon with the past and reach out to former athletes and ask them about their experiences.
See the “5 Defense” attached to it? That means it bumps the item’s Power value up by five. Here’s where things get tricky and, honestly, a little too Destiny 6 -era convoluted for my tastes. The item’s actual power number remains five below what it says in your inventory, because the mod is raising it by 5. That means that if you want to get your overall possible number to go as high as possible (thereby getting yourself the best possible drops as you go), you should definitely hang on to any weapon or armor you get that has a legendary mod attached to it.
USA Gymnastics has spent the year since its record-breaking medal haul in Rio defending itself against a barrage of lawsuits stemming from its failures to properly protect athletes from a sexually predatory team doctor and to report allegations of abuse to the authorities. And the athletes, sensing that USA Gymnastics was on the ropes, have been going on the offensive against the national governing body, speaking publicly and candidly about their grievances, sometimes for the first time in their careers.