Competitive swimmer Jancy Thompson is suing her former swim coach, Norm Havercroft, who she claims sexually abused her for five years, starting at the age of 15.
Additionally, Thompson is suing USA Swimming, the body which governs swim coaches, saying they allowed Havercroft to continue coaching even after allegations of sexual abuse were made.
Disturbingly, this comes after 36 coaches were banned from USA Swimming on grounds of molestation.
How was this allowed to go on in the world of competitive youth swimming?
When you're a competitive athlete, you're under a lot of outside influences whether it's your driven parents or a coach. When an adult abuses his power around children who are already being told what to do and how to do it -- and under extremely high stakes -- it's especially disturbing.
Thompson also claims Havercroft forced her to wear a dog collar, while he held the leash, as she swam. Is this how we want our kids to be treated when they engage in extracurricular activities?
Naturally, Thompson ended her swimming career and abandoned her dream to compete in the Olympics due to this abuse. At 28 years old, Thompson was finally brave enough to come forward following another swimmer's allegations of abuse at the hands of the coach.
We trust our children with teachers and coaches. Knowing that not just one, but 36 coaches have been accused of sexual abuse clearly points to a culture of abuse. People outside of those 36 (37 if you count Havercroft) knew what was happening. Why this was allowed to go on is infuriating.
Do you trust your kid's coaches?
Image via David Jones/Flickr