keeping gymnasts safe

The front page headline where I’m at was the Indianapolis Star investigation on how USA Gymnastics handles allegations of sexual misconduct.

If you want to follow-up on this discussion I recommend GymCastic episode 210.

“IndyStar tracked down four cases in which USA Gymnastics was warned of suspected abuse by coaches but did not initiate a report to authorities. Those coaches went on, according to police and court records, to abuse at least 14 underage gymnasts after the warnings.”

GymCastic and our twitter account @GymCoaching are the only two sites I know of consistently linking to stories of coaches accused of abuse.

It’s an important issue.

That said, let’s put the risk of coaching sexual misconduct in perspective.

I’m far more worried about motor vehicle accidents driving to the Gym than I am of sexual abuse.

I’m far more worried about injuries in the Gym than I am of sexual abuse.

Fact is that female gymnasts are the best protected children in town, on average.

The GymCastic audiocast mentions Larrissa Miller as an example. In 2015, Larrissa revealed that she had been sexually abused by an extended family member from the ages of 5 to 16.

Not a coach.

If you worry about child sexual assault take a close look at friends & family of those kids you feel are vulnerable. Protect your own.

USA Gymnastics could do more to safeguard their members. I agree. This media attention will help.

But it’s far easier for independent watchdog sites to track past offenders. Suspected potential offenders. The best we have so far is GymCastic’s List of Gymnastics Coaches In The News for Alleged Abuse database.

If concerned, you should volunteer to help update that list.

Finally, I believe people are innocent until proven guilty. How many innocent coaches will be accused in aftermath of this news story?

related – Bekah – Put down your torches: In defense of USAG

UPDATE – A message from Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

2 thoughts on “keeping gymnasts safe”

  1. The issue is that no one can be proven guilty until someone has been hurt badly. Better to have processes within gyms where there is no chance for abuse like this. Like doctors always have a nurse standing in when doing certain examinations. This keeps everyone safe.

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  2. I find it odd that the person who abused Larissa Miller is referred to as “an extended family member” and not by name. I read in another article that the person is in jail yet the article still did not reveal their name. These people can do what they do because of the silence. that surrounds them.

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