Thank You, Rachael and All of the Other Surrviors
As I sit here in tears, tears of rage over what you endured and how many didn’t listen and even covered it up, tears of awe in your bravery, your courage, your resilience, your perseverance, your intelligence and your heart of gold, and tears of gratitude because you are the general of an army, an army that never should have needed to be formed, all I can say is THANK YOU, Rachael Denhollander for doing what those in power didn’t do.
You are the hero in a story that never should have been written, and I pledge to do everything I can to honor your legacy and that of your sister survivors every single day to make the sport of gymnastics safe for every child.
I have more thoughts to share about the tragedy and crisis that faces gymnastics. But for now, I want to let the words of these brave women take the lead.
As a parent of a gymnast who became a coach and married a coach, and a coach myself I appreciate your articles. Would you please consider writing something to reflect that just because of all that has come to light with USAG that it shouldn’t stop a parent from letting their daughter (or son) do gymnastics. I think Shaun Johnson East did this wonderful sport a huge disservice by announcing that she would not let a daughter do gymnastics until the culture changes. Not all children can aspire to be Olympians, National Team members or even get a college scholarship. They can participate–and compete–in it and not be a victim of the sport but as you’ve pointed out so often, there is more to the sport than the skills that they learn. I have ALWAYS told parents to focus on the life lessons that they will take with them out of the sport. The skills are only temporary achievements. I’m just so sorry that Shaun’s statement may keep children from enjoying such a wonderful sport.
I absolutely will get there to write that article. I love this sport. I know what good it can do for kids. Larry Nassar is not gymnastics. Elite gymnastics is not gymnastics. And, in fact, for all the horror we witnessed in seeing these women testify this past week, that they testified demonstrates what good gymnastics can do. it can help kids be strong, resilient, brave and confident. And yes, the life lessons are everything!
You get it Anne. Thanks to all these young ladies, and thank you. Thank you for your caring, your fight and your voice.
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