INDIANAPOLIS, May 20, 2021 – USA Gymnastics today announced the lineup for an athlete-driven conversation on mental health, which will take place Monday, May 24 at 1:30 p.m. ET in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month. The panel will feature Steven Gluckstein, 2012 Olympian in trampoline and current T&T coach; Sam Mikulak, two-time Olympian and mental health advocate; and Jessica Renteria, Acro World Championships team member and current Athletes’ Council representative for acrobatic gymnastics. Karen Cogan, sport psychologist for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, will moderate.
This important conversation will explore topics such as mental health awareness, reducing stigma, seeking resources and support, overcoming adversity and managing stress, navigating retirement from competitive gymnastics, and how social justice issues can affect mental health, among others.
The panel is open to the public, and attendees will be able to submit questions in real time. You can register for the live session here. Please note that space is limited to the first 500 registrants. A recording of the discussion will be posted to USA Gymnastics’ YouTube channel for those who cannot join live.
More information about the panel participants is available below.
Karen Cogan – moderator
Dr. Cogan is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC). She works at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) as the Senior Sport Psychologist for acrobat and combat sports and has attended six Olympic Games with her teams. Dr. Cogan specializes in athlete mental health and has actively participated on the USOPC Internal Mental Health Task Force. She has provided resources and training workshops to support athlete mental health for the USOPC and sport national governing bodies. Dr. Cogan received a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Ohio State University, an M.S. in kinesiology from UCLA and a B.A. in psychology, also from UCLA. Dr. Cogan authored “Sport Psychology Library: Gymnastics” as well as several articles and book chapters. She was a competitive gymnast for 10 years and competed for UCLA’s nationally ranked gymnastics team. Her post-gymnastics sport activities have included running, cycling and competing in triathlons.
Steven Gluckstein – panelist
Gluckstein is currently a coach at Elite Trampoline Academy in Red Bank, N.J. During his career, he was a six-time national men’s trampoline champion and five-time synchronized trampoline champion. He represented the U.S. at the 2012 London Olympic Games and six T&T World Championships. In 2010, Gluckstein and partner Logan Dooley made U.S. history as the first American trampolinists to become T&T World Cup Series champions. Gluckstein retired in 2016 before transitioning to coaching.
Sam Mikulak – panelist
Mikulak is a two-time Olympian and six-time U.S. all-around champion. A California-native, he was introduced to gymnastics at the age of two by his parents who both competed at the collegiate level. Mikulak is a Michigan alum and earned NCAA team and all-around championships with the Wolverines. He also served as a student assistant coach before moving to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in 2015, where he continues to train for the Tokyo Olympic Games and 2021 World Championships. Last year, Mikulak announced that the 2021 season would be his last as a competitive gymnast. As a proponent of mental health awareness, he hopes that sharing his mental health journey will inspire other gymnasts to prioritize their mental well-being and help reduce the stigma around seeking resources and support.
Jessica Renteria – panelist
Renteria competed in acrobatic gymnastics for 11 years as a member of the U.S. Junior and Senior National Teams. Jessica and her partner were the first U.S. senior women’s pair to medal at a FIG World Cup event. After retirement, she continued to coach part-time, host athlete clinics and choreograph dance routines for gyms across the U.S. Renteria is currently an elected Acro athlete representative and vice-chair of USA Gymanstics’ Athletes’ Council and serves on multiple committees with both the Acro program and USA Gymnastics. Recently she was a panelist for the USA Gymnastics Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Panel series back in the Fall 2020. Renteria earned her bachelor’s degree in sport psychology and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology with special emphasis in sport and exercise psychology at Texas Christian University.