Kim Chace's Amateur Status Reaffirmed

By Bill Pinella

The Palm Beach Times

June 25, 1976   The United States Olympic Committee has cleared Lake Park gymnast Kim Chace of any wrongdoing and reaffirmed her amateur status following an investigation last week.

In a letter to The Times dated June 22, the committee's executive director F. Don Miller stated:  "This is in response to the letter dated June 10, 1976, in which you forwarded information relative to Kim Chace's amateur eligibility.

"After a thorough review of the matter, the United States Olympic Committee concurs with the 1974 findings of the United States Gymnastics Federation which certified Miss Chace's eligibility for Federation competition.  Further, submission of documents and sworn statements by principals indicates that Miss Chace's amateur standing has not been affected.  Accordingly, Kim Chace will be able to compete as a member of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team in the Summer Olympic Games in Montreal."

Miss Chace's amateur standing was questioned in a story in The Times June 9 when her ex-husband, Chuck Boyle, revealed the existence of Kim Chace Gymnastics, Inc., which he said was in operation from September to December of 1974.  Boyle also verified the existence of the school with bank drafts totaling $1,930.40 while the two were still married.

Boyle also claimed Miss Chace taught 40-50 students at the school on Forest Hill Boulevard in West Palm Beach, and some of the students were competing at the time.

If the allegations had proven true, Miss Chace would have been in violation of at least two International Olympic Committee rulings which state in part that an athlete cannot teach competitors and may not use his or her name for advertising purposes.

Contacted Thursday, Miller indicated that was the findings of the committee.

"We found through our investigation that Miss Chace had never been connected with the business or made any money at it.  Furthermore, we found she instructed only beginners and intermediates," Miller said.

Miller said the investigation was handled by Doug Dunlop, director of special projects for the committee.  As far as Miller knew those contacted in the probe were Miss Chace's father Louis C. Chace; Frank Bare, U.S. Gymnastics Federation; Shirley Bryan, chairman, U.S. Olympic Women's Gymnastics; Rod Hill, manager, U.S. Olympic Women's Gymnastics; and Dale Flansaas, coach, U.S. Olympic Women's Gymnastics.

"The committee asked me for all that I had on the case, the legal documents, and I showed them everything," Lou Chace said.  "It only justified Kim's amateur status like I have said all along.  At no time has she ever violated that status and I thought the case was closed back in 1974," he said.

Miss Chace, who is currently working out with the six-woman squad in Geneva, N.Y., could not be reached for comment.  Her workouts at the Wells Recreation Center in Riviera Beach prior to leaving for Geneva reportedly had been affected by the publicity concerning her status.

"You're human.  You ought to know it affected her," Lou Chace said.  "She trained the last nine days, but only halfheartedly," he added.

"I don't know what kind of investigation they had," Boyle said, "because no one ever contacted me or any of the students we taught at the school that I know of."

"There were at least six advanced students competing while they went to the school in addition to the intermediate and beginner students.  The records in Tallahassee show the existence of Kim Chace Gymnastics, Inc., and we made money, nearly $2,000 while the school was under the name," he added.

"I've gotten some adverse reaction and criticism over releasing the facts of the school.  But I did it because, although I'm sure I'm not the most righteous person in the world, I think she (Kim) was wrong and it was the right thing to reveal the information.  And secondly, I'd hate to have some one or some other country uncover this after the Olympics, especially if she or the team wins a medal.

"I still feel Kim's father is the one to blame for the whole mess.  One thing for sure, though, she's proven to me and a lot of other people that she is one of the best gymnasts this country has ever had and that's what really counts," Boyle said.

Miss Chace, who finished 18th overall in the Munich Games in 1972 as a 16-year-old, won a spot on the U.S. team this year in May at the Los Angeles trials.  For the first year and a half following the Munich Games, Miss Chace quit competing in the sport and had a son, Chris, in April 1974.  Then she got back into competitive gymnastics and for the last two years has aimed at getting back on the team, a goal she realized in May.

"It looks like we will have a very fine team in Montreal," Miller said, "and I hope we can win some medals."

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