Dear Members, First and foremost, I'd like to extend my thoughts and prayers to the families who lost their loved ones on September 11. These tragic events have touched us all in indescribable ways. Mari-Rae Sopper, a member of our gymnastics community, perished in the Pentagon plane crash. A fund has been established in her name and I hope that many of you will contribute to this very worthy cause, just as I plan to do. Please see page 16 for more details.
Ron Froehlich Chairman of USA Gymnastics
I want to assure all of you that the safety of our athletes is always a top priority. Following the events on September 11, we have significantly increased our safety awareness and taken steps to more thoroughly analyze the risks of traveling abroad. This increased sensitivity has caused the national office to make certain changes for our national team over the past two months. USA Gymnastics made the decision to curtail certain international trips, including sending a delegation to the 2001 Rhythmic World Championships. And, finally, great precautions and security plans have been installed to increase the safety of our athletes competing at the 2001 Artistic World Championships. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the hard work and prep-aration of rhythmic world team members Jessica Howard, Olga Karmansky, Shayna Javornicky and Danielle, Lord. USA Gymnastics is very proud of these girls and I know the future holds many more opportunities for them.
Many of you have most likely heard about the recent passing of a young and very talented gymnast, Ricky Oeci. Ricky was ranked second on the USA Gymnastics men's junior national team in the 12-13 age group, and collapsed during training at the Junior National Team Training Camp in October. He leaves behind two loving parents, Richard and Robin, and a younger sister, Hannah. You can express your support by visiting www.rickydeci.com. I extend sympathy on behalf of USA Gymnastics to Ricky's family, friends, coaches and teammates in this difficult time. Moving forward, I'd like to inform you about the recent business activities and developments within the organization. I have been working very closely with Bob Colarossi to gain a full understanding of the business operations of the organization. Recently, I joined Bob and other staff on a visit to New York City, where we met with television and marketing executives from the major networks and ad agencies. The past year has been very challenging due to the downturn of the stock market, and the tragedy of September 11. I am very proud of the way USA Gymnastics has responded in maintaining a commitment to a tight budget, and feel that the business is being managed with great prudence and consideration for continuing as much support for our athletes as possible. Related to the future budget, we recently conducted a Finance Committee meeting, chaired by our Treasurer, Mr. Bob Wood. I am very impressed by the input of the entire committee, consisting of Harry Bjerke (past-chair), Jerry Jaquin, Rita Brown, Mike Burns, Scott Keswick, Jair Lynch, Bob Colarossi and John Hewett. I want to assure all of you that we are working hard to provide stable funding for our programs through the end of this quadrennium. Based on the challenging sponsorship market, we are recommending reductions in all areas of discretionary spending. We look forward to submitting our recommendations to the full board of directors at the Fall board meeting. (continued on pg. 6)
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TEe H N IOU E â€˘ NOV/D EC 2001
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