Mistreatment of young gymnasts alleged against Anna Li, USA Gymnastics’ new athletes’ rep, and her mom

When Samantha Medel, distracted by the death of her grandmother, hesitated and then failed to complete a vault in training, she knew what was coming next.

As expected, her coach began screaming at her so loud that the entire gym could hear, Medel and her mother Linda recalled.

“Get your fat ass over the vault! You’re too fat to get over the vault!” the Medels recalled the coach screaming.

The coach was Anna Li, an alternate on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team and named to USA Gymnastics athletes’ council last month.

The selection of Li to represent athletes with USA Gymnastics, the sport’s embattled national governing body, shocked several athletes who have trained under Li at Legacy Elite Gymnastics in Aurora, Illinois, and the gymnasts’ parents.

“I can’t think of anyone who’s ever been a fan of Anna’s,” Samantha Medel said. “Why would USA Gymnastics want the meanest, most narcissistic person to represent athletes?”

Li and her mother Jiani Wu, also a coach in the gym, are routinely emotionally and, in the case of Wu, physically abusive toward young female gymnasts, Legacy gymnasts and their parents allege in interviews, formal complaints to USA Gymnastics, and emails to a USA Gymnastics national team sport psychologist obtained by the Southern California News Group.

Li, a former UCLA All-American, and Wu, an Olympic medalist for China, are both being investigated by USA Gymnastics for verbal and emotional abuse of young gymnasts, according to six people familiar with the investigation.

The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed with USA Gymnastics this month, according to two people interviewed by the investigator.

Li and Wu “adamantly and vehemently deny” abusing young gymnasts, said Sam L. Amirante, an attorney representing the women.

“They’re really sweet people. I’ve never seen anything like (abuse). They really care about the kids and are great coaches,” continued Amirante, who …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

The Latest: 9 killed, at least 16 hurt in Ohio shooting

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on a deadly mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio (all times local):

6:30 a.m.

The mayor of Dayton, Ohio, has weighed in on a mass shooting that killed nine people and injured at least 16 others.

Mayor Nan Whaley tweeted that she was “heartbroken” around 6 a.m. Sunday, around five hours after the active shooter situation began in Dayton’s historic Oregon District.

She thanked first responders and said officials would share updates when they had more information.

Dayton police have yet to identify the suspected shooter, who was shot to death by responding officers.

According to the AP/USA Today/Northeastern University database, the Dayton shooting is the 22nd mass killing and sixth public mass shooting in the U.S. in 2019. It came just hours after 20 people were killed in an El Paso, Texas, shooting.

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5:45 a.m.

A police spokesman in Dayton, Ohio, says the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours took place in “a safe part of downtown.”

Speaking at a press conference Sunday, Lt. Col. Matt Carper said the suspect in the deaths of nine people was shot to death by responding officers in the Oregon District.

Police believe there was only one shooter. They haven’t yet identified the suspect or a motive. Carper said the suspect fired multiple rounds from a long gun.

At least 16 other people have been hospitalized with injuries from the early morning shooting.

No details about the victims have been released. A family assistance center has been set up at the Dayton Convention Center.

Sunday’s shooting came hours after 20 were killed in El Paso, Texas.

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4:35 a.m.

Police in Ohio say nine people have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours.

Dayton police announced that the suspect in the early Sunday morning shooting is also deceased. At least 16 others …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

Family of teens held in Italy says it’s looking forward to truth coming out

SAN FRANCISCO — The family of one of the two California teenagers held in the slaying of an Italian police officer is looking “forward to the truth coming out and our son coming home,” an attorney for the family said Saturday.

“We feel the public has an incomplete account of the true version of these events,” Craig Peters said.

Peters read the short statement in front of the home of Finnegan Elder’s parents in San Francisco in which he said the family also expressed their condolences to Carabinieri officer Mario Cerciello Rega. Peters, who spoke next to Elder’s parents, did not take questions after making the statement.

“We continue to hold his family in our thoughts and pray for them at this difficult time,” Peters said.

Peters also said that Finnegan Elder “was OK. Tired, remorseful and scared. He has our full support, and we stand by his side.”

The statement came after Elder’s father, Ethan, returned from visiting his jailed 19-year-old son in Rome.

Italian prosecutors say Finnegan Elder confessed to knifing Carabinieri officer Mario Cerciello Rega during a July 26 scuffle.

According to court documents, Elder said he thought a strange man was strangling him and he didn’t know Cerciello Rega was a plainclothes police officer.

Cerciello Rega, 35, had returned from his honeymoon a few days earlier and was scheduled to be off work when he and a partner were assigned to respond to a small-scale extortion attempt involving a failed drug deal and a stolen backpack, Italian authorities have said.

He was stabbed 11 times with an 18-centimeter-long (7 inches) military-style attack knife that investigators reported finding in the drop ceiling of the Americans’ hotel room, police said.

Elder’s friend, 18-year-old Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, also is in custody while the investigation continues. Prosecutors say he punched and kicked the officer’s partner, Andrea Varriale, while the stabbing was …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

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