The below note was sent to members of the gymnastics community from USAG CEO Li Li Leung on December 23.
Dear USA Gymnastics community,
I hope each of you is getting ready to enjoy some much-deserved rest, recovery, and time with loved ones during this holiday season.
Before we close out 2020 (which I think we are all ready to do!), I’d like to take a moment to reflect on this past year. None of us could have anticipated a worldwide pandemic wreaking so much havoc – threatening the health of our family and friends, forcing postponement of the Olympics, the indefinite closure of a number of gyms, and the end of several collegiate programs. It has been a very tough year for so many of you in the community – physically, financially, and emotionally – and we know that it will take time to recover.
Yet even with such hardships, we should also celebrate the resilient spirit you all have exhibited and how you have come together during this difficult year – sharing resources, best practices, and innovative ways to continue training and celebrating the sport we all love. It is clear how deep the passion for this sport runs, and how the grit, discipline, and flexibility we aspire to teach athletes shows up in all of us in moments like this.
Like so many of you, this year also brought unexpected challenges to our organization. As we sought to understand how to help our community stay safe and informed, we also spent a lot of time working behind the scenes to rearrange our own operations – moving to an entirely virtual National Congress & Tradeshow, launching virtual event sanctions, postponing and eventually canceling major events while planning in parallel for future events, to name a few.
But we were also committed to making forward progress this year, despite the unexpected. During this year:
We are committed to continuing this progress in 2021, and to seeking and incorporating your feedback. As you may have noticed in your membership newsletter, we recently launched a comprehensive cultural survey to assess how we are implementing our mission and values. Please take a moment to share your thoughts with us.
Finally, as I reflect on everything that happened this year, I am also encouraged and inspired by the incredible gymnastics that bookended the year: Morgan Hurd and Sam Mikulak both winning American Cup titles in March, and six incredible gymnasts representing the USA in the Tokyo Friendship and Solidarity Competition in November.
While I am proud of the progress we have made so far, I also know we are not done. 2021 is a new year, but it will still carry some uncertainty. Despite that uncertainty, we will continue to focus on bringing our mission and values to life; we will continue our work to emerge from bankruptcy and reach a resolution with the survivors; we will continue to prepare for competitions and the Olympics in ways we have never had to before; and we will continue to put our community first. We are committed to doing all that.
We also know that 2021 will bring more forward progress within our community, and more gymnastics across the country and the world. And I think we can all agree that we are ready for that!
We are so grateful for your patience and resiliency throughout this tough year, and your indelible passion for this sport. We are excited for what lies ahead, and are humbled and honored to be on this journey with all of you. Thank you for the opportunity to continue serving you.
Li Li Leung
President and CEO, USA Gymnastics