But what was missing back in 1995 was the internet and social media. Ryan told the stories of former gymnasts who had come forward to her about abusive coaching, injuries, and eating disorders, but there wasn’t a way for other gymnasts to easily join the conversation that the book had started and add their own experiences. If a gymnast wanted her voice heard back then, she’d have to find a reporter who wanted to write a story. But now, someone like Ohashi can write a blog. Orozco can comment on an Instagram post. DeMeo can tweet. Atler can go on a gymnastics podcast. Their access to public forums is not dictated by the Olympic cycle.
The FIG imposes a minimum age limit on gymnasts competing in international meets. The term senior , in gymnastics, refers to any world-class or elite gymnast who is age-eligible under FIG rules. The term junior refers to any gymnast who competes at a world-class or elite level, but is too young to be classified as a senior. Currently, female gymnasts must be at least sixteen years of age, or turning sixteen within the calendar year, the male 18, to be classified as a senior. Juniors are judged under the same Code of Points as the seniors, but with further restrictions, and often exhibit the same level of difficulty in their routines.