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Leung presents cultural transformation journey at FIG Safeguarding Symposium
posted on 11/02/2022

© Ant Clausen

LIVERPOOL, England - USA Gymnastics President and CEO Li Li Leung served as a lead presenter Tuesday afternoon at the "Our Safe Sport Journey" symposium, hosted by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and British Gymnastics in conjunction with the 2022 FIG Artistic World Championships.

The Symposium included registrants from around the world, attending both in person at M&S Bank Arena and virtually via videoconference.

Entitled "Lessons Learned: Leading a Cultural Transformation," Leung's 50-minute presentation shared "The Why, the What and the How" of USA Gymnastics' efforts to reform its culture to one of athlete centricity, prioritizing athlete health and wellness

Describing why culture change was needed, "We did have an underlying subculture, especially at the highest levels, that wasn't healthy, and that enabled and ignored abuse," Leung said. "I wish I could say we undertook change all on our own, but the reality is that everything that happened forced a much-needed change, and it was the athletes who forced that change, and it is making the sport better than it was before."

Recounting what has changed, Leung focused on the people, priorities and policies that underscore USAG's ongoing transformation. Those changes include a new strategic plan and organizational mission, governance reform, a robust educational structure, a first-of-its-kind athlete bill of rights, a new code of ethics, and fully integrating athletes, including and especially abuse survivors, into decision-making roles.

The "How" of implementation and continued progress hinges on the buy-in and support of the gymnastics community, consistent communication to all segments of the community and ensuring every decision aligns with USAG's organizational mission.

"We always tell ourselves while we have done a lot of work, we know more can be done," said Leung, who serves on the FIG Executive Committee and Safeguarding Commission. "We will never be content with where we are, a bit like our athletes, who are always trying to strive to be the best they can be."

The full agenda for the symposium can be found here.