The Gymnast Alliance is forcing a reckoning with abusive practices that have long been at the center of the sport.
… hundreds of gymnasts from all over would post their personal stories of pain and abuse to social media using the hashtag.
They spoke of being forced to train and compete on serious injuries; of being publicly shamed for their weight; of being screamed at and belittled for making mistakes in practice.
Press attention would soon follow, with reports on ITV and other outlets. And the #gymnastalliance would soon spread to other countries, with gymnasts in Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, and the Netherlands speaking up about abuse at the highest level of sports there.
Hotlines have been set up; independent inquiries have been promised; coaches have been suspended. …
Rianna Mizzen talks about how being overworked in training contributed to her ACL tear.
“I have had some terrible experiences at major international competitions and national training camps between 2006-2012 that I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” two-time Olympian Georgia Bonora wrote on Instagram.
“There’s training hard and helping your athlete get the most out of themselves, but then there’s also a very fine line that can be crossed into abusive territory,” said Mary-Anne Monckton, a five-time Australian champion who won two silver medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“A lot of girls, some 20 years later, still didn’t realise that that was abuse. None of us recognised it because it wasn’t just happening to us. It was happening to everybody.”
Unsurprisingly, LGBTQ youth who participate in sports are better in school. Do better in life.
Coaches should be encouraging kids who might feel like outsiders.
Sports participation has been linked to higher self-esteem, better grades and lower depressive symptoms among LGBTQ youth, according to The Trevor Project’s inaugural mental health survey — the largest of its kind ever conducted. …