Follow Us On
Memmel: USAG President Tells Chellsie to Retire
(7 votes, average 4.71 out of 5)

Despite a backlash from fans of Chellsie Memmel, USA Gymnastics is sticking by its decision to not allow the three-time world champion to compete at the upcoming U.S. championships in St. Louis. Memmel's initial petition was denied after she failed to meet a minimum qualifying score at Saturday's U.S. Classic in Chicago. According to Andy Memmel, the gymnast's father and coach, USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny called  Memmel and asked her to "just retire." Click here to read more in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Comments (12)add comment

brian bias said:

0
...
i think usa gym just took a black eye & i hope it hurts! karolyi has never liked memmel but steve & terin (the other selection members) should be ashamed of themselves. a track record of quick progress & fierce competitiveness shouldn't go away because of 1 beam routine. iv'e always agreed that karolyi's methods work but I think it's time for change. i no longer respect or trust this system. attention all national team members: this could be you next time!!! you are usa gymnastics... not steve penny, marta karolyi or anybody else that agrees with this rude & biased decision!
 
June 01, 2012
Votes: +26

Alie Fowler said:

0
Steve Penny should be ashamed!
It's unbelievable that Steve Penny would think that asking someone to announce their retirement would be a way to avoid bad press! What's even more shocking is that Steve Penny has daughters too. Would he say that to his own girls if they were at that level? "Hey, sorry, you fell twice at Classics, you've been training for a chance to make a go of one more Olympics, but you should really retire?" Are you kidding me?!! Now imagine how Andy Memmel must feel! Here's his oldest daughter who's made the choice to continue training and he's watched her put in the time and the effort and Steve Penny would dare ask her to retire? After all that she's done for this sport?! It's so demeaning. Chellsie is a a gymnastics icon. She's the gymnast that little girls dream to be. There is no harm in letting her compete at Nationals. Steve Penny just ticked off even more fans with this request. Why not try to avoid the bad press, but just siding with the fans? The fans. after all, are the people who buy tickets, enroll in USA Gymnastics meets, pay for merchandise, and fund the USAG salaries. Take yourself down off a pedestal, Steve, and stand up for Chellsie. Put your ego aside and remember that this is a sport where you need more little girls! You'll encourage and inspire more gymnasts by having the fairytale story of Chellsie Memmel at Nationals. Imagine the great press then!! Let Chellsie compete!
 
June 01, 2012 | url
Votes: +21

Quentin Tse said:

0
They forgot what it means to be an American!
I know it's a strong statement but it just as true as the others statements in the previous comments. We American's love the "under dog"...our country started out as such and that means we have a fighting spirit like no other! The selection committee forgot about that spirit. In fact what the current crop of young gymnasts that make up the pool for 2012 really lack that spirit...the same spirit we saw in 2008 and in 1996. The same spirit that was discounted just prior to the Olympic Trials in 2008 until Chellsie stunned the Nation here in Philly! I am angry and disappointed with USAG and the message they just sent to my girls and the tens of thousands of girls who aspire to be like Chellsie, Shawn, Alicia, Brigit, etc. I doubt they will reverse their decision because I doubt they have the fortitude or the strength of character to do so. It's a sad day for gymnastics in the US!
 
June 01, 2012
Votes: +12

Jenni said:

0
...
USAIGC, all the way. THE USAG gymnastics organization is becoming disgusting in their lack of respect towards athletes and coaches alike.
 
June 01, 2012
Votes: +11

dre said:

0
Marta should RESIGN
I am disgusted with the way USA Gymnastics has treated Chellsie. Did she have an off day? YES. Has she had bad luck? YES. But for someone who has done so much for the sport over the last decade....2003 World Championships just to give ONE example...it is ridiculous to not allow her to atleast compete at Nationals and go out with dignity. It should be CHELLSIE'S choice if she retires. Not anyone elses. I won't pretend to know the politics of the sport, and I completely recognize that ultimately only 5 girls will go to London and at some point the cuts must be made. That's life. But to treat someone with such blatant disrespect after leading the way for USA Gymnastics to be put back on the map....frankly it is disgusting. I could care less if she had a shot to make the team or not. She was fighting against all odds and everyone knows, including her, how difficult making that team would have been. But to force her out of the sport she loves and has dedicated her life to, is absolutely inexcusable. She fell off the beam for God's sake. So what?!!!!!!!
It's not as if she took steroids, started a scandal, killed someone, or slandered USAG. For the love of God she had an off competition. And if good 'ol Gymnastike hadn't posted all of the amazing podium training videos of Chellsie in practice, then MAYBE, just maybe, USAG could get away with saying she wasn't ready or prepared. But us gymnastics fans know better. That girl is a BEAST and always will be. SO much love and respect for these incredible athletes...I am an athlete myself.
It's a shame the organization put in place to protect them can't even give a World Champion a proper thank you for her decade of service. The ONLY way to thank Chellsie properly is to LET HER COMPETE AT NATIONALS you wankers!
 
June 01, 2012
Votes: +11

hobbes said:

0
...
EVERYBODY DON'T FORGET TO SIGN CHELLSIE'S PETITION TODAY!!!
 
June 01, 2012
Votes: +15

Fan said:

0
Sad Day in Sport
I have always loved gymnastics, never competed but love to watch the sport. I am an elite coach in another sport at the internatioal level.
There are rules and every situation should be looked at individually.
In this case with Chelsie M, an icon for USA gymnastics has had her decision to stop competing for her, by the upper echelons of the pen pushing hiearchy of USA gymnastics.
I believe the question to Marta should be, " Would you have done this to Nadia Comaneci ? " Well we all know that answer since Nadia's life was taken over by the Karolyi's and no matter what, Nadia was pushed beyond human limits to compete for her country in 1979 at the Word Championships after having surgery for an infection in her wrist!
Remember Marta the United States is a free country and they accepted you here and helped you. Now you have an opportunity to let an athlete have another chance to compete just like you were given a second chance at life in a free country. There is nothing wrong with giving someonea second chance who deserves it ! If you want as much pressure put on the athletes in competition then you need to have the best athletes competing !
 
June 02, 2012
Votes: +11

Robin said:

0
...
I understand the reasoning behind minimum qualifying scores, showing a degree of readiness, and the difficulty of choosing this year's Olympic team. Rules are rules, I get that and I support that. However, Chellsie's unique case does seem like it needed special consideration. The article said she had surgery in February, right? So she's had only 3 months or so to recover and prepare. Would it have killed them to allow her to petition to Nationals? She was named to the Pan Am team in the fall, and she posted competitive scores at last year's Classic (2nd AA) and Nationals (8th AA, even though she dislocated her shoulder), so it's not like she resumed training at the 11th hour.

Either way, they really crossed the line by asking her to retire. Yes, she's had a lot of injuries, but she's never let that stop her. I want to see Chellsie on the medal podium at the 2013 Worlds. Retirement? In your face, USA Gymnastics!
 
June 03, 2012
Votes: +6

Elaine said:

0
outrage
It's disappointing, the amount of politics in gymnastics...what started with politics among different countries, now it's happening within their own country. How do you think other countries will see your athlete when you don't even stand up for one of your own?
If Chellsie was already named to the Pan Am, whether or not she competed, wouldn't she have already qualified for 2012 Nationals? Aside from that, she wasn't even trying to petition onto the olympics team! She just want to be given a fair chance to compete at nationals. In the end it wasn't even just her injuries that prevented her from competing, it's the selection committee, USAG, all those people who are supposed to represent the athletes, that prevented her from competing. And much respect for Chellsie and her dad, for taking this whole situation with so much grace and dignity...not only will you learn great gymnastics from this family, but also how to be a great person in life.
 
June 03, 2012
Votes: +5

Gabriella said:

0
...
I am so disgusted with usag on this issue. I have been an avid follower of gymnastics for 20 years and they never cease to amaze me with theer bad taste in judgement towards the athletes. USA Gymnastics is a dictatorship and should be embarrased by their lack of concern for the athletes. Chelsie Memmel is one of the best gymnastics I have ever had the pleasure to watch. She performs well under pressure and is defiantly capable of winning medals for the USA. BOOO!!! Let Chellsie compete I am sure she would be in the top three in all the events she performs in!smilies/angry.gif
 
June 05, 2012
Votes: +6

gabriella said:

June 05, 2012
Votes: +2

Amanda84 said:

0
...
I think Chelsie is a great gymnast, and she has performed time after time under pressure, however, the score was 14.00 she did not come even remotely close. Off day...maybe, but with only 5 going to London an off day is not acceptable. An off day at the Olympics can lose the US a medal. That said, it is not Steve Penny's place to tell any gymnast to retire.
 
June 05, 2012
Votes: +0

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy
 

Your are currently browsing this site with Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).

Your current web browser must be updated to version 7 of Internet Explorer (IE7) to take advantage of all of template's capabilities.

Why should I upgrade to Internet Explorer 7? Microsoft has redesigned Internet Explorer from the ground up, with better security, new capabilities, and a whole new interface. Many changes resulted from the feedback of millions of users who tested prerelease versions of the new browser. The most compelling reason to upgrade is the improved security. The Internet of today is not the Internet of five years ago. There are dangers that simply didn't exist back in 2001, when Internet Explorer 6 was released to the world. Internet Explorer 7 makes surfing the web fundamentally safer by offering greater protection against viruses, spyware, and other online risks.

Get free downloads for Internet Explorer 7, including recommended updates as they become available. To download Internet Explorer 7 in the language of your choice, please visit the Internet Explorer 7 worldwide page.