Below are statements from both Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics, and Chellsie Memmel, 2005 World all-around champion, six-time World medalist and 2008 Olympic team silver medalist, regarding the Selection Committee’s decision to deny her petition to the 2012 Visa Championships. The Committee notified Memmel of its decision at the conclusion of the Secret U.S. Classic on May 26.
“Throughout the years, Chellsie has demonstrated her talent, tenacity and iron will on her way to becoming one of the top five most decorated U.S. women gymnasts in history. Chellsie has overcome many adversities in her career, providing inspiration to many young gymnasts, and has played an integral part in the USA’s success on and off the field of play during those years. Chellsie has always been a great ambassador for our sport, and we celebrate and appreciate her many accomplishments.
“I recognize that Chellsie’s many fans are upset that she will not be competing next week. I understand and admire the outpouring of support that Chellsie has received, and for the most part, her fans have been polite and respectful in expressing their thoughts about the circumstances. Decisions like this are never easy, especially in an Olympic year.
“During the past week, USA Gymnastics has had several discussions with Chellsie about her goals and desires to stay involved in the sport and are exploring many of those options. We look forward to having Chellsie continue to be an important part of the USA Gymnastics family.”
“Gymnastics has been a huge part of my entire life. I am disappointed in the decision that was made and sad that it ended this way. I do understand (the decision), but it is hard to accept and it would have been nice to have had the opportunity to compete at the Visa Championships.
“I have no regrets about trying to comeback. I got back into gymnastics shape after my February surgery, and I am happy with what I have accomplished, my gymnastics career and everything I was able to do.
“The support the fans have given me has been unreal, from the wonderful comments to learning how they have watched and followed my career. It is unbelievable how many people have reached out to me. My family has been awesome this week, and I want to thank my Dad for his faith in me and helping me to achieve my dreams. I know they will always be there for me. I also want to thank everyone who has helped me during my gymnastics career, including the national staff, my dance teacher Laurie (Glazer), my first elite coach Jim (Chudy), and the entire M&M Gymnastics family.
“This has been a hard time for me. Gymnastics is something I have done my whole life, and now it is over. Last November, I took and passed the judges course, and it’s a route I can take, if I like it. It might be weird to be on that side, but it is a way to be involved in the sport. Life goes on and I am starting a new chapter.”