WAG Tom Forster "Statement"

gym_dad32608

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Idk, if folks have had the opportunity to see what he posted on facebook, but I encourage anyone to look it up. Really neat, and he definitely earned points in my book. Lord knows I am not his biggest advocate. Maybe he just needs to never give interviews and just release written statements lol. Here is the end of his post:

You would be so proud of our girls throughout the competition. Suni and Jade were cheering for their competitors, fist bumping the Russians, Brazilian and Belgian that were in their rotation. Simone, Jordan, Grace and Mykayla were loudly cheering for, not only our team, but everyone! They demonstrated the epitome of sportsmanship!
When this competition is finally concluded and we can look back on the years since the last Olympics, I believe with my whole heart we have achieved my number one goal since accepting the responsibility of this job: America can remain a world class contender and have fun at the same time. Everyone can feel valued for their efforts regardless of their performance. Don't miss understand me though; fun is not silliness or goofing around. I define fun as enjoying the process of pursuing excellence, allowing people to laugh at themselves when they make a mistake then boldly try again without fear of a scolding. Mistakes will not be held against you so be willing to take risks. No great reward is possible without great risk and to risk means you will make mistakes. To quote Albert Einstein, "Anyone who has never made mistake has never tried anything new."
After the competition Jess and I were talking about Suni's journey and he said something very profound. He said, "We train for gold and compete for fun." WOW! I love that philosophy! Keep your athletes safe both physically and mentally and dare to train those difficult connections in an environment of love an acceptance.
I am encouraging all the coaches that read this post to DREAM BIGGER! Go Team USA!
 

Tweb

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Idk, if folks have had the opportunity to see what he posted on facebook, but I encourage anyone to look it up. Really neat, and he definitely earned points in my book. Lord knows I am not his biggest advocate. Maybe he just needs to never give interviews and just release written statements lol. Here is the end of his post:
I was so hoping his statement would contain his resignation. I get what he's saying but it still seems like he's just trying to satisfy everyone. This is a sport where your mistakes will be help against you, when you fall you lose a 1.0 its in the code. Maybe I'm from a different era but when an athlete falls I don't want to see them laughing about it.
 
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flippin out

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Geesh. Not like I’m his biggest fan, but good lord, he really is in a no win situation! Seems no matter what he says or does it will not make them (internet) happy. He’s not perfect, but he’s doing what he can in a tough job. He’s made mistakes for sure, but a lot have been blown out of proportion just as sure. The “fry Tom no matter what” is exhausting. And I actually liked his statement and what he had to say about the atmosphere he wanted to create. The era of fear of scolding for mistakes was not helpful, most athletes mentally shut down in that environment….it does not usually help. I like that he wants to foster a serious training environment but one that is supportive and encouraging to athletes to enjoy the experience as well
 

Eleven sol

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I feel like despite the criticisms, his team selection ended up working perfectly. This Olympics is a prime example that no one can predict what will happen at the Olympics. No one has a crystal ball. On any given day an athlete can be off, injured., etc.

The team coordinator having all the power to decide got us into a very bad situation, with parents, athletes, and coaches at the mercy of the team coordinators’ whims.

I think choosing the top athletes at Trials was a transparent way to select the team and it gave the athletes’ some apparent control and power over their destiny. Win or lose; it was up to them. That’s the way it should be at the Olympics, and I think that’s what many of the gymnasts mean when they say they are doing it for themselves, as in not because of fear of the team coordinator. They are powerful, not powerless.
 
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gym_dad32608

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I feel like despite the criticisms, his team selection ended up working perfectly. This Olympics is a prime example that no one can predict what will happen at the Olympics. No one has a crystal ball. On any given day an athlete can be off, injured., etc.

The team coordinator having all the power to decide got us into a very bad situation, with parents, athletes, and coaches at the mercy of the team coordinators’ whims.

I think choosing the top athletes at Trials was a transparent way to select the team and it gave the athletes’ some apparent control and power over their destiny. Win or lose; it was up to them. That’s the way it should be at the Olympics, and I think that’s what many of the gymnasts mean when they say they are doing it for themselves, as in not because of fear of the team coordinator. They are powerful, not powerless.
Oh boy, ended up working perfectly is quite the stretch. Not going to rehash the other thread here, but that is pure conjecture. In fact, it wouldn't have mattered who was on the team, the results would have been the same given the nightmare scenario of Biles dropping out. And transparency only applies when rules are clearly communicated and explained in advance. There is as much a compelling argument as to giving athletes control by making the optimal scoring team.

This statement is far from validation of how he or the puppet committee selected the team. But it is a humanizing statement and gives context to the culture that he is trying to create in the USAG program. I support that culture and I appreciate him sharing that with the community writ large. He just needs to improve his interviewing skills :)
 

Eleven sol

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I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Your assumption that something better would have happened if he had chosen different gymnasts is also conjecture. It’s all conjecture because it’s opinion.

Given the circumstances with Simone struggling and the team having to rebound so quickly, the medal count associated with his pick has been impressive. And even more significant and maybe even the driving force behind the excellent performance is the improved general happiness and overall sportsmanship shown by the US gymnastics team. Watching gymnastics at the Olympics this year it feels like a celebration of talent and grit with the world rather than a parade of fearful athletes. And the results just keep pouring in to support my position.
 

Empowered

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There is much to dislike about Tom, but this statement isn't one of those things.

That being said, this statement does not negate all of the complaints about Tom that remain as valid today as they were a month ago.

  1. Lack of transparency regarding selection process and athlete requirements as reported by multiple athletes.
  2. Overt favoritism shown by his repeated visits to some gymnasts while not affording the same to others.
  3. Lack of guidance to national team members in terms of routine construction which leads to the next point...
  4. Incompetence regarding the code and how best to structure routines to maximize their scoring potential internationally.
  5. No desire to adapt to what is required when building a team for today's gymnastics. This man has a mindset from the days of a 7-6-5 environment. That mindset no longer creates the best teams.
  6. His wife's comments on social media that clearly show they've still got an axe to grind regarding the selection procedure in 1996 (25 flipping years ago). Though the comments aren't from him, they have not been condemned by him and that speaks volumes to me. This Olympics isn't about Tom, or Lori, or Theresa Kulikowski, but you wouldn't know that based on Lori's inappropriate comments.
  7. Completely inappropriate behavior when being questioned after all hell broke loose at the start of the games. A team coordinator that cannot take the heat, gets pissy, and storms off from reporters asking absolutely valid questions is not the right person for a job like this.
So yeah, one more day of event finals and the US team shifts their focus to World Championships and ultimately 2024, but there are a lot of questions and issues that should not be swept under the rug.
 
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Tweb

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There is much to dislike about Tom, but this statement isn't one of those things.

That being said, this statement does not negate all of the complaints about Tom that remain as valid today as they were a month ago.

  1. Lack of transparency regarding selection process and athlete requirements as reported by multiple athletes.
  2. Overt favoritism shown by his repeated visits to some gymnasts while not affording the same to others.
  3. Lack of guidance to national team members in terms of routine construction which leads to the next point...
  4. Incompetence regarding the code and how best to structure routines to maximize their scoring potential internationally.
  5. No desire to adapt to what is required when building a team for today's gymnastics. This man has a mindset from the days of a 7-6-5 environment. That mindset no longer creates the best teams.
  6. His wife's comments on social media that clearly show they've still got an axe to grind regarding the selection procedure in 1996 (25 flipping years ago). Though the comments aren't from him, they have not been condemned by him and that speaks volumes to me. This Olympics isn't about Tom, or Lori, or Theresa Kulikowski, but you wouldn't know that based on Lori's inappropriate comments.
  7. Completely inappropriate behavior when being questioned after all hell broke loose at the start of the games. A team coordinator that cannot take the heat, gets pissy, and storms off from reporters asking absolutely valid questions is not the right person for a job like this.
So yeah, one more day of event finals and the US team shifts their focus to World Championships and ultimately 2024, but there are a lot of questions and issues that should not be swept under the rug.
I could not agree more, you said it very well. Amongst my chief complaints about Tom is what in his coaching career qualifies him for this role? He produced a couple of world team members, during a year when top athletes were injured.
 
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gym_dad32608

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I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Your assumption that something better would have happened if he had chosen different gymnasts is also conjecture. It’s all conjecture because it’s opinion.

Given the circumstances with Simone struggling and the team having to rebound so quickly, the medal count associated with his pick has been impressive. And even more significant and maybe even the driving force behind the excellent performance is the improved general happiness and overall sportsmanship shown by the US gymnastics team. Watching gymnastics at the Olympics this year it feels like a celebration of talent and grit with the world rather than a parade of fearful athletes. And the results just keep pouring in to support my position.
Lol, where is the facepalm emoji on this board? Read my post, I never said that something better would happen! I merely pointed out that the results for the USA would not have been different regardless if it was Skinner or Grace on the team. So to say his selection "ended up working perfectly" is not correct, unless you have some other arbitrary way of measuring how the team might work other than medal counts that are only known to you?

Look I agree with the culture change and the more supportive environment and gymnast empowerment. But all of that is quite different from team selection. I think in your zealousness to defend Tom and the culture change, you are also overlooking valid criticisms.
 
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