A message for the USA Gymnastics membership from Karen Golz, Board chair
posted on 11/20/2018

First, I want to thank you for the communications we’ve received over the past several weeks expressing your perspectives about the United States Olympic Committee’s recent action, which is both unsettling and upsetting, especially for athletes, coaches and club owners. We have read the feedback and we understand how difficult the situation and uncertainty are for everyone. We know you have questions and concerns about what this means for you, the athletes, your gym, your invitationals, your club members.

Last week, your Board of Directors spent two productive days together exploring alternatives that are in the best interests of the survivors, our athletes, the entire membership and USA Gymnastics. We have a number of important questions for the USOC, and we’re seeking answers to make an informed decision on the direction for the organization. As you are aware, the decisions are challenging ones, and we will do our best to keep you informed as we go through this process.

To be clear, USA Gymnastics still remains the recognized national governing body, including by the International Gymnastics Federation, and our commitment to the gymnastics community and this sport is unwavering.

It is also important to remember that USA Gymnastics and its staff are here to assist and serve you, our members. We will continue to carry on the day-to-day operations and business of the organization.
  • All sanctions, member benefits, policies and services are still in place.
  • Existing event sanctions are still valid and new ones are being issued. The thousands of young gymnasts who are entered in invitationals this weekend, and in the coming weeks and months, will still have the opportunity to compete.
  • All athlete and professional memberships and educational, judging and background check certifications are still valid, and member requirements and benefits in place.
  • Member club memberships are still valid.
  • Educational courses and programs are available online and as scheduled.
  • Individual and club memberships are being processed and open to interested individuals and clubs.
  • Each discipline will continue to plan and host its events and championships.
We also wanted to provide an update on the progress of our search for a permanent CEO. Last month, an online survey was sent to approximately 250 stakeholders to collect feedback from a range of stakeholders, including athletes, coaches, gym owners and employees, about the priorities, experiences and characteristics they feel are most needed in the new CEO. Nearly 70 percent of the recipients responded, and those results were coupled with responses from Spencer Stuart’s discovery telephone calls to understand priorities for the CEO job specification. Below are some key findings from the feedback process.

Top Priorities for the next CEO
  • Work to ensure the safety of athletes.
  • Lead an organizational transformation to rebuild trust and move the organization forward in a positive and inclusive manner.
  • Ensure transparency in USA Gymnastics operations to build organizational and public trust.
Key Experience
  • Experience leading cultural change, organizational transformation or turnaround in a complex setting.
  • Experience in gymnastics, either as an athlete, coach, parent or administrator.
  • Proven stakeholder management skills; history of working effectively with a board and a diverse constituent base or membership organization.
Personal Characteristics
  • Unquestioned integrity, credibility and character.
  • Strong, transparent communicator and motivator.
  • Knowledgeable about gymnastics and USA Gymnastics as an organization.
  • Team-oriented and collaborative.
Based on this feedback, Spencer Stuart is finalizing the job specification and the full search committee, both of which we plan to announce in the coming weeks. The firm is also sourcing candidates and has received interest from a large number of potential candidates. We greatly appreciate all of the valuable feedback and suggestions we have received during this process, and we are working hard to identify the best candidate for the future of the organization.

We would be remiss if we did not congratulate the U.S. Team that competed in trampoline and tumbling’s World Championships and World Age Group Competition. They represented our country well and brought home silver and bronze medals from Worlds and nine medals (four gold, four silver and one bronze) from the WAGC. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, two-time World medalist Jade Carey, 2018 U.S. still rings champion Trevor Howard and two-time World Cup silver-medalist Marvin Kimble are competing at the Turnier der Meister World Cup in Cottbus, Germany, Nov. 22-25, 2018. The Olympic Channel and OlympicChannel.com will air same-day coverage on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25 from 9-11 p.m. ET.

Thank you again for your hard work and dedication on behalf of USA Gymnastics and our community. I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,
Karen Golz
Board chair