Welcome to Open Court, the newsletter and platform space where we explore the things we need to talk about in sports and life. I'm Joanne C. Gerstner, a sports writer, author, decent tennis player, cat lover and about the April flowers and spring showers. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
Hey all! Happy Tuesday! I am back from my sports media speaking sortie to Las Vegas, doing a thing for the Broadcast Educators Association meeting at the National Association of Broadcasters mega-convention.
Sea of humans. Miles walked.
Things went well with the speaking thing, and I am home from 48 hours in the alternate universe that is LV.
I had wanted to do a FB or Insta Live last Saturday night from the Neon Museum, to show you a little of their collection. I was on a tour, and out of respect for the Museum’s rules (which I didn’t know before!), was not able to do video or go live. So I am sorry. I really wanted to share something fun with all of you. The Neon Museum is a non-profit that is restoring the signage (small to BIG businesses) of Las Vegas. All the pop art, creativity and yes, weirdness, is a sight to see.
Here are a few things I loved this time around:
Anyways, I was still thinking of you, and wanted to share this peek.
FYI: I will be doing a FB Live on Saturday, 1 p.m. Eastern, just to check in with the Open Court fam and say hi. Fire in any questions you want me to answer. Will have a link at @joannecgerstner for you to jump in. Friendly tip, if you follow me on my FB page (that link) - you will get a live notification when I come on. So click on the follow there for all the good things.
All are welcome!
Are you wondering…did we miss whatever came out of the Beijing Olympics ice skating scandal? Like, what is up with the medals, the drug tests and yes, who won the team event? Answers: no clue, still under investigation, and nobody - yet. We’re still in a big-time holding pattern as the powers that be in the International Skating Union, Russia (not Russia) Olympic team, the IOC and others slog this insanity out. Kamila Valieva, the then-15-year-old skater who tested positive but still skated, was seen today at a Kremlin ceremony with Vladimir Putin. The Russian dictator praised her.
"Such perfection cannot be achieved dishonestly with the help of additional substances, manipulations. We very well know that these additional substances are not needed in figure skating," Putin said Tuesday, according to Reuters.
Me to Putin: Dude, really. Good to know your moral clarity. And thanks for playing the denial game.
Me to Kamila: Happy 16th Birthday. (April 26 was for reals her birthday). I’m wishing you peace, love and better adults in your life.
So what is next? We wait. Your guess is as good as mine right now, other than the concept of timeliness and fairness working to help keep sports clean continues to be out of the office.
The reading room: I collect tons of links to read, usually culled through my speed drives through social media.
This one blew me away. Please take the time to sit down and read every word. Journalist Maggie Astor dropped a profound story on gymnast Christy Henrich’s life and death in the New York Times.
If the name does not sound familiar…even more reason you need to read this. Henrich was a rising American star who was on the cusp of being the our Olympic darling. She just missed the team, and then it all went wrong. The systematic ingraining of eating disorders as a norm in the sport led to her death, with the aftermath revealing the dirty secret to the world.
This part of the New York Times story dropped me, because I have heard these exact words from other gymnasts and skaters:
We have a long way to go in getting the eating disorder/body dysmorphia issues out of sports, and I am happy to see this strong look back at a big moment that rocked gymnastics. We need to look backwards a bit to shape the path going forward.
Let me know what you think about the piece. Curious how it impacts your feelings about gymnastics.
HAVE A GREAT WEEK! See you Friday, and for our chat on Saturday. Send in those thoughts and questions!
Open Court publishes on Tuesdays and Fridays, bringing you the stuff we need to talk about with author and sports journalist Joanne C. Gerstner.
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