The gymnast reached a settlement with her parents in April 1999 in a Houston court. The family has slowly reconciled, but the turmoil took a toll on her career. She bounced around the country searching for a coach and hadn’t trained seriously for about two years when she arrived at Tracy’s gym in January. She’d also grown nine inches and gained 40 pounds, and national coordinator Bela Karolyi often questioned her durability and fitness.
But she’d improved steadily in the last few months, and was hoping to make a big move at the Olympic trials. Instead, she’ll be left at home to figure out what her future holds while her teammates head for Sydney.
“She doesn’t need to make any decisions right now. She just kind of needs to grieve this,” Tracy said. “She doesn’t know what she wants to do. But she’s certainly not talking about, ‘OK, this is my retirement.’”