INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 5, 2017 – FIG President Morinari Watanabe met Kerry Perry, the new president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, at the U.S. federation’s headquarters in Indianapolis to voice the International Gymnastics Federation’s support of USA Gymnastics, understand her vision and goals, especially regarding safe sport, and talk about the partnership between the two governing bodies.
“The USA faces a tough situation. I respect the courage that is needed to become president in that situation. I support your challenging spirit. The FIG supports the USA, like any other country. If you have any troubles, please contact us anytime,” said President Watanabe.
When Perry took office December 1, she sent a message to the USA Gymnastics community in which she explained her focus on “building a culture of empowerment throughout USA Gymnastics.”
“I appreciated President Watanabe’s visit to Indianapolis, and his support of USA Gymnastics and my vision for the organization,” said Perry. “As a life-long fan of gymnastics, I am a passionate advocate for the organization and the sport. As a mom, there is nothing more important to me than the safety and welfare of our athletes and promoting an environment where everyone has a voice.”
USA Gymnastics has and will continue to take specific and concrete steps to prevent future abuse by adopting and vigorously enforcing the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy, which requires mandatory reporting, defines six types of misconduct, sets standards to prohibit grooming behavior and prevent inappropriate interaction, and establishes greater accountability.
Since he was elected at the helm of the FIG in fall 2016, President Watanabe repeatedly voiced that welfare and safeguarding of children and young athletes is fundamental to the sport.
One of the very first measures he took as FIG President was to mandate of a working group led by FIG Honorary Vice President Slava Corn, to review and reinforce existing rules in this respect.
The FIG can also rely on the IOC’s toolkit for Olympic Movement to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse in sport, which provides a solid base upon which to work.