Today is Simone Biles’ birthday, which now makes her the most talented 23-year-old gymnast on the planet, in addition to all the other “most talented” accolades she’s earned for herself over the last two decades on this earth. And while fans have crowded onto social media to wish the many-times-over Olympic medalist a happy birthday today, there’s one organization that Biles expertly, adroitly, and with signature precision rebuffed when it tried to join in on the fun: USA Gymnastics.
As the (now former) governing body for gymnastic competition in the United States, USAG has been wracked with controversy in recent years, after hundreds of young women—including Biles herself—came forward with accusations that Larry Nassar, team doctor for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team, had sexually abused them. Nassar is currently in jail, and likely will be for the rest of his life, having been handed more than 2 centuries of prison time after pleading guilty to numerous counts of sexual assault. Every member of the USAG board resigned in the wake of the reveal of the scandal, and the United States Olympic Committee has moved to de-certify the organization as the official U.S. body for the sport. (They’ve filed for bankruptcy, too.) And yet questions still remain about exactly how the institutional rot that covered up Nassar’s decades of abuse was allowed to form, and calcify, to the detriment of so many young women.
Hence, presumably, Biles’ righteously angry birthday wish: The same independent investigation of USAG’s conduct that she’s been calling for for years. In the meantime, the organization’s social media team can presumably be kindly invited to keep her name, accomplishments, and legacy out of their goddamn mouths—especially since they couldn’t even be bothered to get her Twitter handle right.