Author JULIET MACUR MARCH 17, 2017
After nearly two decades working for U.S.A. Gymnastics, including 12 years as its president, Steve Penny resigned on Thursday, smack in the middle of a sexual assault scandal that involves dozens of young gymnasts.
With his departure, let’s take a moment to marvel at his career, during which he accomplished so much.
Penny, from Mercer Island, Wash., started in the marketing and promotions department of the Seattle Mariners before becoming an Olympic sports researcher for Turner Broadcast System. With a new love for the Olympics, he took a job as director of media and public relations for U.S.A. Cycling in the early 1990s, just as the sport was struggling here in the United States.
Penny was especially successful at hawking the sport and its budding star, Lance Armstrong, and was at his best in 1993, when Armstrong won a million-dollar racing series that turned out to be fixed — as Armstrong admitted in a book I wrote about him. Penny was so good at selling cycling back then that Armstrong started calling him Dime.
Flash ahead to Penny’s career at U.S.A. Gymnastics: One of his responsibilities there was to evaluate sexual assault accusations and determine if they warranted being reported to the police.
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