Happy New Year! I hope each of you were able to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends.
I am very excited that 2020 is now upon us. Not only does it mark the arrival of an Olympic year, but also the start of a new decade. Before leaping into 2020, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the past year.
I hope you’ll agree that 2019 was a year of change for our organization. A new Safe Sport Policy was launched and along with it our educational outreach initiatives; mediation with the survivors got underway; team selection procedures were rewritten; and internal reorganizing and restructuring began. As part of this reorganization, we have brought on new team members to lead some key positions. We have appointed Kim Kranz to a newly-created role in which she will be responsible for overseeing the strategy and execution of our holistic athlete health and wellness initiatives, including sports medicine, psychology and nutrition services, as well as athlete-development programs. On February 1, Jason Woodnick will step into the role of vice president for men’s gymnastics and will be responsible for overseeing the men’s program, from grassroots to the national teams. We’re excited to have both Kim and Jason join the organization and look forward to introducing more new team members in the coming months.
This year also saw exciting achievements for our athletes and coaches. The U.S. men joined the women by qualifying as a team, and rhythmic gymnastics qualified for two individual berths for the Olympic Games. And, Simone Biles cemented her place as the greatest of all time with her gravity-defying moves, while also earning the Associated Press and Team USA awards, among many others, for top female athlete of 2019.
As we look toward the future, 2020 will be an important year as we continue to shift the organization to be more athlete-centric, while also focusing on reaching resolution with the survivors and emerging from bankruptcy. For our elite athletes and coaches, this year represents the final leg of the journey toward achieving dreams of making the acrobatic World Championships or U.S. Olympic Teams for gymnastics.
As we continue to move forward, I want you to know that we will never forget the lessons of the past that serve as the foundation for both changing and rebuilding for the future. I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to share your thoughts and perspectives, which have been invaluable these past 10 months. While I have learned a great deal, I will continue to listen and ask questions to make sure we’re serving you the way we should. We are ready and excited for what lies ahead in 2020 and hope you will join us in our pursuit of fostering the best possible environment for athletes and all of our members. Thank you again for coming along on this journey and for the opportunity to continue serving you.
Li Li Leung
President and CEO, USA Gymnastics