Todays post is not a light topic, but super important. I am going to try and lay out what has been happening for those who aren't so immersed in it. Part of this will be timeline, and part will be some outside reading.
My hope in writing this is to break down a) what has been happening, and b) educate people on the extent of this - from the actual abuse to the attention it has been getting, etc.
Note: this is all from my perspective, and this is purely educational.
My Story Last Summer (July 2021)
I wrote a post last summer very briefly detailing the abuse I suffered and witnessed throughout my career. This is where my public journey started.
Public Stories (2020 to Present)
Since then, I have connected with many other people who have lived similar experiences. Here are some impactful stories that have been shared publicly -
Open Letter from Gymnasts4Change (March 2022)
In in March of this year, a group of Gymnasts, Parents and Supporters put out an open letter asking for an independent, third-party investigation into the leadership and culture of Gymnastics. I signed and supported this letter, as I believe this is the main thing that will change the culture - something big, widespread and goes beyond just a few coaches.
When the letter went public, there was 70+ signatories, which has now risen to over 500.
Important Press Pieces (March 2022 to Present)
The letter got a lot of attention, and the movement has since as well. Here are some of my favorite, and most important pieces that explain what we are dealing with.
ESPN : Abby Spafadora details Sexual Abuse
CBC The National : Rosie Cossar (early March stories)
Gymnasts for Change go to Ottawa (Summer 2022)
During the Hockey Canada hearings, Gymnasts for Change went to Ottawa and met with different leaders. Read more below.
Another Coach not a part of the GymCan Registry (September 2022)
GymCan has a registry in which they list people who are under investigation, suspended or banned. You can see that HERE . An article came out earlier this week detailing more members slipping through the cracks - read that below.
Abusive Coach slips through...
Provincial Bodies Call for Resignations (September 2022)
Today, an article came out stating that two Provincial Organizations have requested the resignation of the GymCan CEO and Board Chair - linked below.
Provincial Organizations Article
Other Important Pieces for Reference
Gymnastics Canada publicly lauded coach who was fired after multiple complaints
Canadian Gymnastics Coach a member of Olympic Team despite Abuse Allegations
Alberta Coach facing Sexual Assault Charges (2022)
The Whyte Review - an investigation into the culture of Gymnastics in the UK
Athlete A - a documentary regarding Sexual Abuse in USA Gymnastics
So I feel like that is a good summary. I will keep this post updated as things come, but this the jist of the story so far.
If you are looking for further resources, including Mental Health support, please check out Gymnasts4Change Canada .
If you have a story, or want more information, I would be happy to chat.