In what can, and should be viewed as a turning of the page, USA Gymnastics board has agreed on a new CEO. Her name is Li Li Leung, and she is tasked with the monumental undertaking of rebuilding the tainted image of a once distinguished organization.
USA Gymnastics was the poster child for youth athletic development after its founding in the 1960's, and into this century. But the recent Nassar trials damaged the companies image almost completely beyond repair.
The first step in progress is diagnosing what the problem is, then keep that in mind throughout the rebuilding process. I encourage you to take a look at this shocking timeline of Larry Nassar's history of abuse in the athletic medical field. It serves as a chilling reminder of how little resistance Nassar faced from those in charge of protecting youth, and how the powers at be still downplay the seriousness of the case.
SB Nations writes at the end of the timeline:
" January 16, 2019 -The Michigan State University Board of Trustees announces it will hold a debate into the future of interim president John Engler after Engler is quoted by the Detroit Free Press insinuating that some of Nassar’s victims are “enjoying” the “spotlight” caused by their abuse."
Mindful of the past, we move forward. Li Li Leung was described by the USA Gymnastics board member Kathryn Carson as having a "unique combination of business skills, management experience and passion for gymnastics (that) make her perfectly suited to lead our organization at this important time in our history.". Leung's former role in the NBA revolved around driving in revenue and expanding their reach, globally. She was also the shot caller of their marketing team.
A former junior national training team member, Leung felt as if she needed to "return home" and called her new job not only that, but a "personal challenge". “I have bled, sweated and cried alongside my teammates as well as other team members and other gymnasts,” said Leung. Her focus as CEO initially will be the fostering of a culture focused on athlete health and safety.
Check out this throwback of Li Li in her glory days.
Let's not just "hope it works out", turn a cheek and wait for the olympics in a few years. Instead, let's all take it upon ourselves to make the children of the future a promise; To listen when they speak up and always keep their safety in the front of our minds. Today more than ever, it seems we lose sight of the things that matter most, by focusing on the problem, rather then working together to find a solution.
Good luck to you Li Li!