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USA Gymnastics overhauls leadership of women’s elite program

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

USA Gymnastics will have a new leadership structure within its women’s elite program. The organization will no longer have one high-performance director but instead will split the job into three separate, “equitable” positions.

In doing so, the organization hopes to provide “further continuity to USA Gymnastics’ High Performance programs while establishing sustainable success based on a cohesive model,” chief programs officer Stefanie Korepin wrote in an email to USA Gymnastics members released to the media.

Each of the positions will report to the program’s vice president of women’s gymnastics.

Tom Forester, the last high-performance director for USA Gymnastics, stepped down following the Tokyo Olympics. The team earned six medals, including silver in the team competition and gold in the all-around by Suni Lee after Simone Biles withdrew from the majority of the competition. Biles has been vocal about struggling with the “twisties” during the meet.

The three new positions to be filled  are tabbed as the technical lead, the strategic lead and the developmental lead. Each will fulfill a role that helps with the overall performance of the program.

The developmental lead will focus on the athlete’s “initial introduction and progression to the elite program.” Meanwhile, the technical lead will oversee the “training, competition and performance” while the strategic lead will be tasked with determining “the overall direction” of USA Gymnastics’ elite program.

Korepin said that having one person in charge of the program “created either the perception or reality of one person having total control over the program and National Team athletes. Such control — whether real or perceived — is not healthy or balanced for athletes or for the sport,” she continued. “Those perceptions also put untenable pressure on a single person.”