Olympic Athletes Fear Retaliation If They Speak Out

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Starting next month, Sarah Hirshland will officially take over as CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee. One of the big issues she will have to deal with is ongoing sexual abuse scandals.

In recent months, athletes have come forward in sports like swimming, gymnastics, diving, and taekwondo with allegations of sexual abuse or assault. Many athletes don’t go public until years after the alleged assaults take place. They stay silent in part because of the taboo around sexual abuse. In some cases, young people can’t identify what has happened to them as a crime.

But a major reason athletes stay silent is fear that publicly criticizing sport governing organizations could derail their athletic career.

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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