All Olympia Gymnastics Center, the Hawthorne gymnasium that produced Olympic and world championship medalists but found itself at the center of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, is shutting down.
All Olympia caught the world’s attention with the rise of Olympic champion McKayla Maroney, who revolutionized vaulting and became one of the most recognizable female athletes on the planet after the London Games of 2012. Mattie Larson, 2010 World Championships silver medalist, is also an All Olympia product.
But All Olympia and its directors Artur Akopya and Galina Marinova have been named in several lawsuits related to the Nassar scandal, alleging that Akopya and Marinova helped create a culture of abuse within USA Gymnastics that allowed for rampant sexual abuse. Nassar.
Maroney and Larson were both sexually assaulted by Nassar while training and competing for the United States in major international competitions, in Maroney’s case including the Olympics at the training site of the U.S. National Team at Karolyi Ranch in Texas and while competing for All Olympia.
One of the lawsuits filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges that All Olympia and Akopya and Marinova “fueled an abusive, harassing and degrading environment.” This environment “allowed, concealed and encouraged abusive behavior” on the part of Nassar and former US national team managers Bela and Martha Karolyi.
“It is with great sadness that we inform you that we have made the extremely difficult decision to close the AOGC gymnasium at the Hawthorne site,” Akopya and Marinova wrote in a November 3 letter to gymnasts, parents and coaches of the AOGC. “It is the most difficult and painful conclusion we have to make in our life.
“As you know, these few years have been difficult in the world of gymnastics. Rumors and accusations in the gymnastics arena create an unhealthy environment for our children and staff, especially for us. The negativity surrounding our sport which we love very much has touched us so much that we no longer feel that we can do our jobs well. ”
The decision to shut down the AOGC comes just days after the AOGC filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Nassar, USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee and the state of Michigan, where Nassar was a member. long-standing faculty. The lawsuit alleges breach of contract and a fiduciary duty and failure to protect members of USA Gymnastics from known dangers.