December 3, 2020

British Gymnasts Speaking Out After Netflix’s ‘Athlete A’

4 min read

2016 pg gymnastics championships   day 1

Dilip VishwanatGetty Images

Netflix’s new documentary Athlete A reveals how, after two decades of abusing girls and women, former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was finally caught and brought to justice.

The film’s title is a reference to gymnast Maggie Nichols, who was left off the 2016 U.S. Olympics team after reporting Nassar’s abuse to USA Gymnastics. In an interview with ELLE.com, Nichols said she was hesitant to speak out, but felt that sharing her story might help other survivors cope with their own traumas. “I [wanted to] impact other people,” she said, “and help other people who may have gone through something similar.”

Since Athlete A debuted two weeks ago, athletes have been opening up about their own abusive experiences on social media. Most recently, nearly a dozen elite British gymnasts have come forward with accusations of emotional and physical trauma at the hands of coaches.

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Catherine Lyons, the 19-year-old former British champion gymnast, told ITV that she was hit, struck with a stick, shouted at, and locked in a cupboard by her coach. She also claims that she was starved for a week and struggled to eat normally again after that.

“It’s a broken system,” she told ITV. “There is a culture that allows abuse to occur.”

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Lisa Mason competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She told ITV that her coach made her practice until her hands “ripped and bled.”

“I would also have Astroturf put under the bars, so I would burn my feet if I didn’t keep them up,” she told ITV. “But everyone else is going through it so you think it’s normal.”

Mason also claimed that she was locked in rooms and told not to eat. “It was something that was normalized,” she said. “We didn’t even realize it was abuse. Why would we?”

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Francesca Fox, a former Great Britain rhythmic gymnast who competed at the London 2012 Olympics, said she was body-shamed “daily.”

“I… got told I was fat at age 10,” she told ITV.

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

BBC Sport spoke with several other gymnasts about what they described as a “culture of fear” within the sport. British Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body, is now reportedly conducting an independent investigation.

Jane Allen, chief executive of British Gymnastics, told The Guardian: “It is clear that gymnasts did not feel they could raise their concerns and it is vital that an independent review helps us better understand why so we can remove any barriers as quickly as possible.”

UK Sport, the funding body of all Olympic sports in Britain, is also conducting an investigation. A spokesperson told The Sunday Times: “These allegations are shocking and upsetting. There is absolutely no place for any sort of bullying or abuse in sport and anyone responsible for such behaviour [sic] must be held accountable, with support offered to those affected.”

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Team USA gymnasts, including three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, are tweeting out their support for the British gymnasts alleging abuse.

“Devastating that the sport we all love so much has caused so much pain,” Raisman wrote. “I support the British gymnasts. Thanks for sharing your story. I stand with you all.”

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

“this is heart breaking,” Laurie Hernandez tweeted, “sending Catherine lots of love – i hope she knows her bravery in sharing her story doesn’t go unnoticed.”

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

This commenting section is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information on their web site.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *