Athlete A

Discussion in 'Random' started by Sterling von Shimmer, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    For those of you who haven’t watched it, I highly recommend watching the documentary “Athlete A” on Netflix about the sex abuse coverup at USAG. It’s very well done and, while difficult to watch at times, very informative and compelling.


    There were a few things I wasn’t aware of but majorly related to, specifically the emotional blackmail and brainwashing of athletes to make them compliant. Like being told by your coach that you’re lazy and unfocused when you’re giving your best, and believing it. And still being too scared to speak up even when you’re sure the coach is out of line because you don’t have faith that the people in charge will prioritise you, a child, over an adult coach who should know not to bully kids. And also fully expecting to be punished for your trouble by having opportunities taken away from you, and accepting this as normal. And only realising how messed up this was in your late twenties.

    It’s a very insightful look at training young athletes and definitely offers a lot of parallels to the cheer world. Worth a watch.
     
  2. CoachTamara

    CoachTamara Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I thought it was amazing. Watching those women give their statements was truly powerful and made me cry... It's insane the abuse they went through and how Larry worked his way in as the "good guy".
     
  3. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    Another good watch about the Nassar case:

    At The Heart Of Gold on HBO.
     
  4. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    Sidenote:

    Mark my words, I fear/predict a major abuse scandal is coming in the cheer world sooner than later.

    There's so few oversights, so many coaches not maintaining professional boundaries, owners not not insisting on boundaries, parents who don't promote bpundaries, etc.

    It's coming.
     
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  5. Lisa Seye

    Lisa Seye I'm an announcer on CBS for Worlds (or should be)

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    Yes this is why closed practices should be done away with and gyms need to figure out how to deal with susie moms that come with open practices. Open practices protect both the athlete and the coach.
     
  6. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    Also, I think the whole mantra of "this program is a family" can be problematic and potentially (in some cases) contribute to an abuse culture.

    (Not even just singling out all star programs here, there are school cheer programs who are big on this, too.)

    Ex: After 12 years of being at a program and internalizing "Shady Athletics is family" or "Shady HS cheer is family", a cheerleader is not going to "tattle" on a coach she loves when he or she does something to her that is abusive.
     
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  7. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    I'm sure many gyms and schools have thorough vetting for staff and this doesn't apply to everyone but my last point

    Another big abuse factor = failing to understand that not everyone with extensive/successful/high level cheer experience is coach material.
     
  8. Keep_Believing

    Keep_Believing Moderator

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    It's awful how people turned a blind eye instead of protecting & helping the victims.

    The Netflix doc. “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich" is different circumstances, but again people looked the other way. :(
     
  9. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    It was such a perfect storm of circumstances that led to him getting away with it for so long. I totally get why it went unchecked when you consider: 1) these girls had no clue what sexual touching felt like, and 2) even if they felt something was weird, who were they to question a world-renowned doctor? They were constantly being told their natural instincts about their own bodies were wrong (“You’re not hurt, you’re just lazy”). And even if they felt certain that something was amiss, who were they going to tell? I would’ve been mortified to say the word “vagina” in front of my mom at that age. And I sure as hell wouldn’t go to the adults who yelled at me all the time to make an ugly accusation about the only adult who was nice to me. I would’ve totally ignored all of it in favor or pretending everything was fine. The alternative — that you’re being molested by your doctor and that speaking up might cost you your Olympic dream you’ve literally worked your whole life for — would be too horrible to imagine.

    I TOTALLY get where those girls were coming from. Makes me sick.
     
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  10. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    Yeah, probably. It seems like wherever there are young kids, there a predators who will find them. I hate to be so fatalistic about it, but I really do believe it’s true.
     
  11. quietmom

    quietmom Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I know about a few gyms that are problematic.....
     
  12. JerseyGirl112

    JerseyGirl112 I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot

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    What a well done documentary. As a lifelong Maggie Nichols fan, this was a punch to the gut. I never made the connection that her coming forward was why she was left off the team. But that just makes so much sense. Thankfully, shes proven in her NCAA run that she is and always has been the GOAT behind Simone. My prayers go out to all 500 of Larry's victims, I hope they are finding peace knowing he's rotting where the sun cant shine.
     
  13. Eyes On The Prize

    Eyes On The Prize Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Also, the NPR podcast "Believed". I felt it rounded out the perspective and struggles of the parents during all of this. Completely disappointing how many people/groups/organizations/etc failed to protect children.
     
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  14. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    My blood was boiling watching that scene where they cut her. Admittedly I don’t know much about how gymnastics scoring works, but seeing her put aside for athletes who scored lower than her was infuriating when we now know she was most likely being punished for outing a pedophile (And I LOVE the adorable little spark plug that is Gabby Douglas, but Nichols outscored her fair and square). She never had a shot. I can’t imagine how powerless and voiceless she must’ve felt in that moment, especially when the coaches conveniently blamed her injury for cutting her. This despite the fact that she’d still outperformed other athletes at Trials after recovering, and had a history of coming back stronger after a recuperation period. I was so wound up over that I couldn’t sleep. It was just so wrong.
     
  15. UCFKnights07

    UCFKnights07 Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I knew a lot before watching the doc but I did not know Maroney was forced into signing an NDA. Explains why she has never come forward, or has she ever made a statement?