2008 U.S. Olympic Trials
2018 US National Championships
Why is this still the mission statement for USA gymnastics?
Is “winning medals” really still the first and foremost goal after everything that has come to light?
Aly Raisman on USAG appointing Mary Lee Tracy as elite development coordinator
So how long until there’s a master post full of receipts on MLT?
I’ll start one:
“My Olympians have all worked with Larry. We were all defending him because he has helped so many kids in their careers. He has protected them, taken care of them, worked with me and worked with their parents. He’s been amazing.”
In 1998, U.S. champion Beckerman, then 17, left her family in New Jersey to train at the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy under Mary Lee Tracy, who had been on the coaching staffs for the 1996 Olympics and six World Championships.
Many elite coaches, athletes said, try to control every aspect of a gymnast’s life. “Mary Lee used to ask me to hate my mom,” Beckerman said. “She would always say, `You don’t want to be like your mother, do you?’ She said my mom was wishy-washy.”
Although Beckerman is critical of Tracy now, the coach said they once shared a common goal — the Olympic Games.
“I just want to say that I am disappointed to hear that these are Alyssa’s memories of her time with me in Cincinnati,” Tracy, who coached Beckerman for three years, said in a statement. “We did our best to help her and her family reach Alyssa’s goal of making an Olympic team. Our staff thought we all worked well together during her short time at Cincinnati Gymnastics.”
In the year leading up to the 2000 Olympics, Beckerman said Tracy had her training as much as 10 hours a day while consuming fewer than 1,100 calories — 400 calories less than the recommended daily figure for a moderately active 2-year-old, 25-pound toddler, according to the Baylor College of Medicine.
Beckerman, in fact, said she was downing anti-inflammatory drugs more often than she was eating.
She was taking Advil by the handful, in addition to Vioxx and Celebrex. She also was receiving monthly cortisone shots.
It was a familiar routine for Beckerman, who would suffer nine broken bones and undergo two surgeries during her career.
When her training shifted to the pre-Olympic camp at the Karolyis’ ranch, at the end of a dusty red dirt road deep in a central Texas forest, Beckerman said her wrist throbbed constantly. She said the combination of drugs and nerves worn thin from Tracy’s criticism and the pressure of an Olympic year left her in so much stomach pain she could barely stand.
The only time the pain was close to tolerable, Beckerman said, “was when I was lying in the fetal position.”
She was in the middle of a 20-minute running exercise conducted by Bela Karolyi when she became sick and rushed to the bathroom.
Beckerman had a bleeding ulcer.
“I was worried that they would accuse me of faking it,” she said. So she struggled, doubled over, back into the gym to get a USA Gymnastics staff member to return with her to the bathroom to verify her problem.
“You need to come with me,” she recalled saying. “There’s something wrong.”
Beckerman’s account was corroborated by other athletes.
The USA Gymnastics Women’s Program leadership has named Mary Lee Tracy of Cincinnati, Ohio, as the new elite development coordinator, replacing Tom Forster who most recently held the position. Tracy is the president and head coach of Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, who is well-known throughout the gymnastics community for her passion for inspiring and developing self-esteem, confidence and courage in young women.
As the elite development coordinator, Tracy will oversee the developmental pipeline for women’s gymnastics, which includes Hopes, the Developmental Program and the Talent Opportunity Program (TOPs).
A member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, Tracy has owned Cincinnati Gymnastics for more than 35 years. She has coached more than 25 members of the U.S. Women’s National Team, including four Olympians and five World Team members. Her coaching accomplishments include head coach of the women’s 1996 Olympic Team, five-time Region 5 Coach of the Year, three-time USA Gymnastics Women’s Coach of the Year, and coaching at two Olympic Games and seven World Championships. She has also coached numerous Junior Olympians. Tracy has also been active administratively, serving as Region 5 regional chairman and on the International Elite Committee, and as a clinician and speaker.