Considering how many medals U.S.A. Gymnastics brought home from the Rio Games — an amazing 12, including Simone Biles’s three individual golds and the women’s team gold — the federation’s post-Olympics glow should be brighter than ever.
A 36-city tour starring Biles and other standouts is starting Thursday in Spokane, Wash. A rush of money is pouring into the sport. After every Summer Games, gyms typically see a bump in enrollment because kids, including my 4-year-old, watched the Olympics and want to do what their new heroes do.
It’s usually a happy time. But this year is anything but usual: Reports of sexual abuse in the sport, published before and since the Games, are reminders that gymnastics is not solid gold.
The first report, published in August by The Indianapolis Star, revealed that U.S.A. Gymnastics had kept files of complaints involving more than 50 coaches suspected of abusing athletes, yet in many cases failed to alert law enforcement of possible wrongdoing.