USA Gymnastics Leaving Karolyi Ranch Following Nassar Scandal
USA Gymanstics will no longer use the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas, as its national team training center, responding to fierce criticism in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual assault trial and scandal (Ben Fischer, Staff Writer). In Houston, David Barron notes the team had "held regular training camps" there since '00, in the process "building the most dominant team in women's gymnastics, winners of the last two Olympic gold medals." Once viewed as a symbol of the program's success, the ranch "now stands as a symbol of the system that allowed Nassar ... to victimize a group of young women." USA Gymnastics President & CEO Kerry Perry said that the organization is "searching alternate sites for training camps until a permanent site for a new national training center can be determined." Perry said that the federation has "canceled a planned training camp that was to begin Monday." USA Gymnastics had announced plans in '16 to "purchase the 36-acre portion of the 2,000-acre ranch," but that agreement was "canceled after word of the charges against Nassar emerged later that year" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/19). Gold Medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles said that "having to go back to the ranch would further traumatize her." Fellow Gold Medal-winner Aly Raisman earlier this week accused USAG of indifference, and said that "continuing to use the ranch was proof of it" (USA TODAY, 1/19).