Geddert reveals retirement plans in letter

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DeWitt, Mich. (WILX) -- The following statement was released to the "Twistars Families" from John and Kathryn Geddert.

"Dear Twistars Families,

You know me and you know Twistars. Everything about our work is about safe, successful gymnastics. That's why I am so incredibly disapointed [sic] in USA Gymnastics' recent letter and its false allegations that I have violated Safe Sport Policy. They have imposed a suspension of my membership.

At a time when we should only be paying attention to the courageous young women who who have demonstrated their commitment to the truth, the governing body of our sport is doing everything to upstage their victim statements. I can't express in words the anger, frustration and sense of helplessness we feel with regard to the Nassar criminal cases now going on in court. Our hearts ache for the victims as they deal with this unthinkable situation. Our relative silence should not be construed as a lack of caring as nothing could be farther from the truth. These young women have our support, always have and always will.

I know I'm not perfect. Like all of our coaches, I am deeply committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our students. I know my shortcomings as a coach: I have high expectations and high standards and I am passionate about coaching our gymnasts to realize their full potential. Sometimes the intensity is challenging - both for our gymnasts and their coaches. We have worked hard here at Twistars to make sure safety and the overall well-being of our athletes is our No, 1 priority. In fact, we were among the first members to certify all of our competitive team staff with Safe Sport.

We will fight these allegations at the appropriate time and place - but at this point in time, anything we do will distract and detract from the victims' statements at the Nassar sentencing hearing before Judge Aquilina.

Most of you hav enoticed that I have been taking a back seat this year. This has been part of my exit strategy to retire at age 60. Well 60 is here. The process began last fall and since that time I have been reducing my coaching roles and turning over responsibility to our very capable staff. Nobody can argue with the results thus far (coming off capturing 5 of 6 girls levels an placing 3rd at Boys Level 10 in the extremely difficult Sand Dollar Invitational). Our staff remains committed and the program is strong. Our teams are happy are proudly representing Twistars. I wish those on the outside could see what our families see.

Gymnastics has been my life for 45 years. I really know nothing else. I have poured every ounce of my being into creating a place where aspiring kids could be challenged and directed towards their personal goals. Our goal has always been to produce strong confident and successful young men and women. I take pride in having done so.

At times like these it is your support that gets us through the days.

Thank you Sincerely,

John and Kathryn Geddert."


Earlier an attorney for John Geddert has released this statement on his behalf.

"At this time, Mr. Geddert only wishes to convey his heart-felt sympathy to all victims of Larry Nassar's abuse. Any further comments will distract from the victims' statements at Nassar's sentencing before Judge Aquilina."

On Monday Geddert, owner of Twistars in Dimondale and DeWitt, was suspended by USA Gymnastics while they complete an investigation. Geddert allowed Nassar to treat gymnasts at his gymns in Dimondale and Deweitt.

They released the following statement: "John Geddert has been suspended under the interim measures provisions of Section 10.5 of USA Gymnastics’ Bylaws. USA Gymnastics is unable to comment further as this is a pending matter.”

Twistars has been named in a lawsuit claiming that Geddert failed to protect survivors from Larry Nassar’s abuse.

Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in November.

Over the last week, other survivors who trained at Twistars, told the judge at Nassar's sentencing hearing Geddert required gymnasts to see Nassar for treatment.

Bailey Lorencen spoke at Nassar's sentencing hearing on Monday. She alleges that it was highly suggested that she see Nassar for any injuries, and not her family physician. "In an environment like Twistars a monster like him could thrive," she noted the abuse she says Geddert inflicted upon all of the gymnasts. She says that Geddert's abuse was like "fuel" to Nassar.

Victim 185 says that Geddert would ignore all other doctor's advice, and tell her that only Nassar could fix her.

Isabell Hutchins spoke Tuesday, she reffered to Nassar and Geddert as "the dynamic duo."

News 10 tried calling Geddert, and going to his home, but he was not available for comment.