The Paw Print

Olympic trainers are complicit in abuse

Caitlin Deerwester, Page Design Editor

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News of systematic abuse and sexual abuse over long periods of time in USA gymnastics has been revealed by Larry Nassar’s abuse of 260 woman and girls.
USA gymnastics puts medals over the safety and health of their athletes and allows abuse in the name of winning.
Nassar was the USA gymnastics and Michigan State University (MSU) doctor who was sentenced to 60 years in prison for child porn and 40-175 years for sexual abuse. From 1997-2016 more than 260 women and girls were sexually abused under the guise of medical treatment.
The only way for this type of abuse to happen without anyone knowing, is the failure of these institutions to protect athletes and patients that went to Nassar. Sports Illustrated reported that there were complaints about Nassar all the way from 1997, yet MSU didn’t investigate, allowing his abuse to continue.
“The first one reported was in [1997]. I was born in 1996. But 14 years later when I saw him, he was still doing it,” said Jessica Tarrant to Sports Illustrated.
USA gymnastics has a history of abuse including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse from coaches along with Nassar.
Karolyi Ranch was a famous training camp for USA gymnasts run by Marta and Bela Karolyi. USA gymnastics cut ties with them after many athletes claimed that they were abused by Nassar on the ranch. Former gymnast Jeanette Antolin said that the Karolyi’s knew Nassar was alone with the girls in their cabins as reported by People magazine.
The Karolyi’s also would underfeed gymnasts to prevent puberty (since girls can vault better that grown women) and would harass the girls when they needed to stop due to injury. There have been claims that Bela Karolyi hit a gymnast after she took a break.
The girls learned to train with fractured bones and dealt with the pressure through anorexia and self-harm.
“Both boys and girls are susceptible to stunted growth due to over training, excessive dieting and the extreme stress that is associated with gymnastics,” written by
This culture teaches young girls that they have no say in what happens to their body and that speaking up to coaches will just get them accused of lying. This “culture” what allowed Nassar to sexually abuse so many girls even when there were continuous complaints against him.
But there is good news, the brave survivors of Nassar are speaking out, and most of the woman and girls went to his trial to finally speak out about what they have had to endure.
“The tables have turned. We are here. We have our voices and we are not going anywhere,” said Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman in her in her victim statement, NBC news reported.
USA gymnastics needs to change, it must understand that its athletes are children who have been taught to care more about winning than their health.
For instance, every top administrator needs to resign or get fired, and there needs to be an extensive investigation into why complaints were not reported to police. People need to ask why athletes were told not to report what happened to them.
Every single coach or athlete who has a complaint against them from a athlete should be thoroughly investigated instead of ignored. This is what was needed to stop Nassar.
For the future of USA gymnastics and MSU, there needs to be systematic revision to save future young girls.
USA gymnastics needs to change, it must understand that its athletes are children who have been taught to care more about winning than their health.

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Olympic trainers are complicit in abuse