[ View the story "The high price of Olympic glory" on Storify] The high price of Olympic glory
AJAMStream· Thu, Jan 09 2014 16:01:31
In their quest for Olympic medals, athletes sometimes spend years training with coaches.
I don’t think that the general public understands the sacrifice these athletes make to proudly represent the United States of America, a country where success is measured in dollar amounts. The point of this entry is to remind the country that success isn’t measured in dollar amounts, and that most of the athletes you see performing at the Olympics gave EVERYTHING to be there.latimesblogs.latimes.com
Our Stream community weighed in on what it takes to become an Olympian.
@AJAMStream Well atheletes say they would give life and limb for the Olympics, some of them, unfortunately have, in a bad way. #AJAMStream.Jonathan Ayala
@OmarBaddar @AJAMStream some athletes are willing to endure anything if they feel it's their only shot at college/making it in lifeRachel
However, in the pursuit of glory, the coach-athlete relationship can cross a line. In September 2012, more than a dozen
members filed a lawsuit against their coach, Jae Su Chun, alleging that he verbally, physically and psychologically tormented them.
Below is a copy of the complaint filed by the athletes.
Speedskating Sect. 9 ComplaintSpeedskating Sect. 9 Complaint - Free download as Text file (.txt), PDF File (.pdf) or read online for free. Section 9 Complaint filed by...
The United States Olympic Committee (
), the governing body that oversees all U.S. Olympic athletes and competitions, handed Chun a two-year
. However, the former coach can still be seen at Olympic events.
After clinching #Olympic spot, Smith leaped over padding to high five with suspended coach Jae Su Chun. #Sochi2014Paul Newberry
Allegations of abuse are not limited to the U.S. The infographic below highlights a few international cases of coach-athlete misconduct.
The Stream asked where they draw line between tough and abusive coaching. Below, Stream community member @Apollo2Bohemian explains his opinion.
@AJAMStream That's honestly a tough question because some coaches are real hard asses, yet at the same time the encourage their players.水Apollo水
@AJAMStream Motivating them to be better and at the same time showing tough love. I honestly think it comes down to how the players feel.水Apollo水
Sometimes the psychological abuse led to sexual abuse. Between May 2008 and May 2013, USA Swimming
at least eight lawsuits "involving the behavior of male coaches toward female swimmers, many of them under age."
@marcambinder Speedskating coach story horrible -- thx for citing. Sex abuse in Olympic swimming program is MUCH longer, broader, deeper.Irvin Muchnick
, an organization founded by Olympian Katherine Starr, finds that the problem is
by conflicts of interest when it comes to reporting misconduct.
coaches being asked to judge their colleagues or institutions who would rather protect the reputation of their institution than the safety of the athletes they are serving.safe4athletes.org
The USOC, which oversees all Olympic athlete programs and training, has taken a stand and implemented new procedures. However, critics say the steps outlined are vague.
A Marie Clair investigative report into sexual abuse allegations by U.S. swimmers highlights some of the perceived issues.
There's also no formal policy outlining how abuse allegations are to be investigated, who investigates them, and what punishments are handed down in the event they are warranted. Each sport's governing body is required to inform coaches about the program, but there's no mention of informing athletes.marieclaire.com
All USOC subsidiary programs had until the end of 2013 to
minimum standards addressing issues of assault and harassment.