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Aly Raisman Says No Such Thing as a 'Girl Sport,' Do You Agree?

Disappointed at dropping of boys high school gymnastics competitions in Massachusetts, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman tweets about her disgust.

Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman heard about plans to drop competitive high school boys gymnastics in Massachusetts and she was not pleased.

"Extremely disappointing that boys gymnastics is being dropped by MIAA. This quote upsets me," the gold-medaling gymnast from Needham tweeted Sunday. She posted the quote included in a Boston Globe story from Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association spokesman Paul Wetzel:

"It's a girls sport," said Wetzel, referring to the lopsided [gymnastics] participation rates. "When was the last time you watched boys gymnastics? They don't get on the cover of the Wheaties box. They don't get the endorsements."

Raisman's next tweet: 

There is absolutely no such thing as a "girl sport" #ridiculous

The MIAA's decision to drop boys gymnastics centers around statistics that show declining interest by boys in gymnastics as a sport.

Attleboro High School is among seven school in the state with active boys gymnastics programs. The others are at Newton North, Newton South, Burlington, Andover, Attleboro, Braintree, and Lowell. Coaches, students and others have expressed their disappointment.

So, if there appears to be declining interest in boys gymnastics, is the MIAA right to drop it? Is gymnastics a "girl sport?" Or is Raisman correct that there is no such thing? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

deb of see-attleboro January 30, 2013 at 06:18 PM
I wonder if this has something to do with title IV. I also thought I heard a recent decision coming down from the Feds that will surely affect interscholastic sports. Maybe someone else heard the same thing and can verify. If I understand the ruling correctly, public schools are now required to provide interscholastic sports to it's special needs population equal to that which is provided for those without special needs. Is this true?
deb of see-attleboro January 30, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Sorry. Title IX. Not IV.
deb of see-attleboro January 30, 2013 at 06:47 PM
More specific, I think the ruling is for those with disabilities (ie physical limitations) Sorry. I know this is kinda off topic, but I am just learning of this decision from the Department of Ed. and think it is hugely important, if true.
paul January 30, 2013 at 07:23 PM
She's correct, and cute!
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) January 30, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Thank you Paul for keeping the conversation at a high level.
Amy January 30, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Syncronized swimming?
deb of see-attleboro January 30, 2013 at 08:12 PM
paul is a Bill Clinton democrat.
Amy January 30, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Deb, I heard the same thing. They may be allowed to have a seperate sports program for special needs students.
Jerry Chase January 30, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Who weighs heavily "the tweets of a twit", anyway?
deb of see-attleboro January 30, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Patch?:)
Emcee of Seekonk February 01, 2013 at 05:53 PM
"There is absolutely no such thing as a "girl sport" #ridiculous..." Really??? In the olympics, sports are divided between men and women competition. I would think, Aly as cute as she is, would have noticed that she competed with other women or girls because the boys/men would have beat them. A well-trained man is stronger than a well-trained woman unless someone is taking steroids, and even then.... Only in the US military can a woman carry a wounded 200lb. man off the battlefield. If a few years, Aly will realize her statement/tweets were flawed.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) February 01, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Emcee, her statement was not that men and women can compete against each other. Her statement was that there are no sports exclusively for men or women, which is in opposition to what the MIAA spokesman said.
Emcee of Seekonk February 01, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Okay, I see the difference. After just seeing a 'Cirque de Soleil' production, I'd say gymnastics for both sexes is alive and well.

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