To the USA Gymnastics community:
Now that I have crossed the six-month mark in my tenure at USA Gymnastics, I wanted to take a moment to reflect and offer some thoughts. First and foremost, I want to thank all of you for welcoming me back into the sport that I have loved since childhood. Your support, encouragement, candid feedback and honest advice energize me every day and remind me of how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to serve you. I know we still have a lot of work to do, but I think we’ve made some significant strides in charting a new path for USA Gymnastics and the community as a whole.
Since joining in March, I have traveled around the country learning from all of you. More than 500 members of the community have shared their perspectives on how we can build an organization that enables our athletes at all levels to thrive, our community to heal from the horrific events from the past, and to move forward. That learning never ends and it will continue to serve as a cornerstone to our work on behalf of our members.
The last few months have been among the busiest since I started. I was thrilled to be on hand to witness some incredible performances in Gyor, Hungary (Junior World Championships); Des Moines, Iowa (USA Gymnastics Championships); Lima, Peru (Pan American Games); and Kansas City, Mo. (National Congress and Trade Show and U.S. Gymnastics Championships). It was an honor to meet and cheer on our awe-inspiring athletes throughout the competitions. And back in Indianapolis, the work never stops as we continue to implement critical changes and reforms, including the following.
- To guide our daily work, I have instituted an organizational value system steeped in safety, accountability, integrity, listening, respect and transparency.
- We are building a new leadership team and are actively recruiting for several senior roles. To that end, we just appointed a new chief programs officer and will soon name a vice president of safe sport and a vice president of athlete health and wellness. The position of vice president of athlete health and wellness is modeled after several professional sports leagues that support the holistic development of athletes so they are better equipped for success beyond the sport.
- In late June, we rolled out the revamped Safe Sport Policy, which is our foundation for athlete safety and protection. We look to include robust educational outreach as that is an essential component for prevention.
- We continue to work through the bankruptcy process as part of our efforts to reach a fair and equitable resolution with survivors, and mediation is underway..
- Selection procedures for the teams that will represent the United States internationally have been expanded for more transparency and fairness. The procedures now include a new conflict of interest clause, an independent observer to monitor the selection process, and a written follow-up report that will be made available to athletes, coaches and the public. All of the selection procedures are online for each competitive discipline: acrobatic gymnastics, men’s gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, and women’s gymnastics.
While we’ve made significant progress, there is still much more to be done. Your continued participation will be critical to fully realizing our shared vision of a safe, positive and encouraging environment where athletes and all members alike can thrive. We owe it to our amazing athletes and the overall community to return USA Gymnastics to an organization of which we can all be proud, and I want to thank you for being a part of this journey with me.
Looking forward to working together more in the coming months!
Li Li Leung
President and CEO