Remembering Linda McNamara, aka IRISH

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Denn

Staff member
Defender
Linda McNamara passed away Sunday. You may remember Linda’s screen names, such as LindaMac, StillLindaMac, IRISH, and OliveOyl. Linda was, in a sense, one of the founders of Gymnaverse: she co-founded our WWGym incarnation back in 2006 along with Robin Taylor (@RedBirdie) and Sue Borschel (@PhoenixRising).

Here’s some things you may know about her, or maybe some things you didn’t, put together by Robin, Sue, and me:
  • She was an avid poster and had a wonderful way of drawing on her extensive memory and background in the US gymnastics world to help others gain context for things happening.
  • She also had lots of pictures that she gladly shared with the gymnastics community.
  • Her daughter Kris Bagiu was also an admin during the first year or two of WWGym. She was also very proud of her son-in-law, Mihai, a '96 Olympian.
  • She knew a lot about managing a gym and was the former assistant director of a major California gym club, SCATS, starting in the 1980s.
  • She felt a deep sense of responsibility to the athletes, their well-being, their rights, and justice. She also took seriously the responsibility of reporting abuse. Here’s an a news article from 2011 with some background.
  • As Robin put it last night, "she was a strong, smart, fearless woman”, was very engaged with the community, and she had a fun, spicy posting style that so many people enjoyed for years.
Her Facebook page has a public post where people shared more reflections, and we invite you to share yours below.
 
Linda quite literally changed US gymnastics. Because of her, people are now being held accountable for reprehensible actions, no matter when they were committed.

More than that, Linda was a true friend, of mine personally and of the gymnastics community as a whole. One of the things that saddens me most about the loss of WWG is it means we lost the enormous about of gymnastics history and knowledge that she shared. It feels even more acute now that we have lost Linda. She was strong, smart, and fearless; she was also warm, funny, and acted with integrity.

May her memory be a blessing to all who knew her and who have been impacted by her.
 
I second all that Dennis and Linda said. She was a great friend and an even greater ambassador of the sport not only on the various gymnastics boards, but in the gymnastics community as well. She stood up for those that could not do so alone and was loyal to a fault. I will miss her humor (both on the boards and in person), knowledge, and love for the sport.

My condolences to her family and friends.
 

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