I just finished watching the movie, Athlete A, on Netflix and what a very interesting and heart wrenching movie it was!
The movie chronicled the US gymnastics scandal associated with the sexual abuse by Dr. Larry Nassar. The stories that were told during the movie of the abuse they received – sexual, mental and physical – was absolutely horrific to hear about. But in light of the recent events at the Tokyo Olympics, I’m glad I sat down to watch.
Hundreds of young girls were abused – sexually by Dr. Larry Nassar and mentally and physically by the coaching staff. I have never been a fan of Bela Karolyi and after watching this movie, I dislike him and his wife even more. Such cruel practices to these young girls to make them listen and obey them.
I remember back in 1976 watching the Olympics in Montreal and seeing Nadia Comăneci perform and get perfect scores. I became enthralled with gymnastics then and that is one of my favourite sports to watch during the Olympics.
Years later, I read about the horrible circumstances she lived under in Romania and was equally disturbed by Bela Karolyi when he appeared as the new US coach. I did not like him back then – he looks like someone you don’t want to mess with.
Anyway – as I watched this movie and cheered for the women standing up and speaking out, I also felt a deep sense of pride for Simone Biles. She was one that was abused by Nassar, and for her to have the courage and step back during these Olympics to help her mental state, I am so proud that she has shown young girls and her teammates that it’s okay to say I’m not okay. Take a break and come back stronger and cheer her team on. She is a hero in my eyes.
I hope that the US Gymnastics Corporation is held accountable, as well as the former President of USGA Steve Penny, for hiding the atrocities that they did, knowing full well that the abuse was ongoing for many years.
Watch this movie if you can – it will definitely give you a new insight on the intensity that these young girls have to deal with every day of their lives.