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Canadian Gymnasts Call For Independent Investigation Into Emotional, Physical, And Sexual Abuse

Canadian gymnasts, past and present, including Olympians and national team members, are calling for an independent investigation into abusiv...


Canadian gymnasts, past and present, including Olympians and national team members, are calling for an independent investigation into abusive practices.

A group of no less than 70 gymnasts sent a letter to Sport Canada's director general Vicki Walker disclosing the ongoing toxic culture and abusive practices within Canadian gymnastics.

Fear of retribution and results of other athletes prevented them from speaking out about the abuse but now they will no longer be silent hoping to force change. 

"We ask Sport Canada to take action to ensure the next generation of Canadian gymnasts is not subject to the physical and psychological trauma that we have had to endure," the letter reads.

"Over the past five years alone, there have been multiple complaints about and even arrests for various forms of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. The subjects of these complaints have been Canadian coaches, many of whom we were exposed to as minors at GymCan sponsored training camps, provincial/national competitions, and national team assignments. We know that there are many more examples of harm that have not yet come to light, and we know that abusive behaviours continue in gyms across this country today," it continues.

The letter accuses the current Board and CEO of GymCan of failing to earn the trust and confidence of athletes, giving the example of putting GymCan CEO Ian Moss, who has significant power over athletes’ careers, in the position of receiving their complaints.

It also mentions that they have pushed GymCan to investigate issues internally and to change policies to ensure athlete safety but to no avail, leaving them no choice but to call on 'Sport Canada to fund an independent, third-party investigation into the ongoing toxic culture and abusive practices that persist within Canadian gymnastics.'

The letter stresses that the ongoing abuse has caused many athletes ongoing psychological and physical consequences, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and chronic pain.

"We continue to suffer harm while participating in programs run by GymCan, the very organization entrusted with developing and protecting us."

Want to help! You can sign the open letter here.

Photo by Silvia Vatteroni



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