Ashley Wagner on “Today” show

moonvine

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Mar 14, 2007
It's got to be hard on the parents to hang around the kids because training takes so much time and traveling and performing takes so much time and focus as well. I guess your parents and anyone's parents would just try to stay in the background and let the coaches and their children do their thing and not distract them because obviously 100% focus is required.

Rabbit, where you at all surprised to hear about the horrendous allegations against Richard Callahan? Is there anything realistic that could have been done to protect kids from him? If the allegations are true Richard Callaghan obviously had access to his pupils anytime he wanted especially if the parents were not around.

Seems figure skating scandals and the unbelievable gymnastics scandal give these 2 great Sports a huge black eye in the United States. Having never been sexually abused in my life I just can't imagine what some of these athletes go through and people in everyday life. Sadly it's not as rare an incident as I used to think it was when I was growing up.


Not to mention $$$ Unless you're from an independently wealthy family someone has to work to make all that money for training. I've seen gofundmes for parents to travel to the Olympics to watch their kids compete.

Every time I hear about an abuse scandal or rampant eating disorders or anything else in gymnastics or skating, I wonder why the sports I love have to hurt athletes:(
 

dorispulaski

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It does happen but not always. Nathan Chen's mom used to and sometimes still (even though he's not underage) travels with him. There are others and I can't think of them right now. I'm pretty sure the Shibs mom used to travel with them all the time.

Meryl & Charlie's moms travelled with them. AFAIR.
 

Scott512

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Feb 27, 2014
Not to mention $$$ Unless you're from an independently wealthy family someone has to work to make all that money for training. I've seen gofundmes for parents to travel to the Olympics to watch their kids compete.

Every time I hear about an abuse scandal or rampant eating disorders or anything else in gymnastics or skating, I wonder why the sports I love have to hurt athletes:(

Your last paragraph is very upsetting. But sadly very accurate. :( I also think Moon that what we've heard lately about John Coughlin and Richard Callahan is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sad about all of this as well. but this is life and life is sports and sports is life and they interact.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
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Meryl & Charlie's moms travelled with them. AFAIR.
I was thinking the same thing.

Meryl said in a fairly recent interview that "The Moms" (as they were known throughout the fs community) traveled to all their events, as they competed while quite young. Then Meryl said that even when she and Charlie got old enough to travel by themselves, The Moms just kept coming with. The Moms were also at a Nationals I attended after M/C retired, and were included in one of the short features. I suppose it's worth noting that Meryl and Charlie were both from affluent families, and their respective mothers also had the time they were able to devote. It's exactly what made the Davis/White moms a rarity. And such a blessing.
 

dorispulaski

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It was also an advantage that Davis & White trained in the same area where they grew up. They did not have to move away to get top notch training. They did not home school either, AFAIR. Meryl went to public schools. Charlie went to a coed day school. They both went to UMich, a public university.

There were never in that vulnerable, isolated situation that kids who live far away from their parents at a young age do.
 
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skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
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It was also an advantage that Davis & White trained in the same area where they grew up. They did not have to move away to get top notch training. They did not home school either, AFAIR. Meryl went to public schools. Charlie went to a coed day school. They both went to UMich, a public university.

There were never in that vulnerable situation that kids who live far away from their parents at a young age do.

So true! And one of my favorite things about Meryl and Charlie (along with their awesome skating) is that they both acknowledge how fortunate they were because of those things.

Not related and OT, but Meryl has said also that one semester when they decided to take a semester off college because of the competitions they were going to, training schedule, etc., that she and Charlie discovered after that semester that they'd both been unhappy. So it was excellent confirmation that they both thrived when being involved in other endeavours as well as figure skating.
 

Ic3Rabbit

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Not to mention $$$ Unless you're from an independently wealthy family someone has to work to make all that money for training. I've seen gofundmes for parents to travel to the Olympics to watch their kids compete.

Every time I hear about an abuse scandal or rampant eating disorders or anything else in gymnastics or skating, I wonder why the sports I love have to hurt athletes:(

Yes, not all of us are from wealthy families. And while it was difficult, I am glad that I wasn't, because I understand the struggle and am more appreciative.
 

Scott512

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Feb 27, 2014
Not to mention $$$ Unless you're from an independently wealthy family someone has to work to make all that money for training. I've seen gofundmes for parents to travel to the Olympics to watch their kids compete.

Every time I hear about an abuse scandal or rampant eating disorders or anything else in gymnastics or skating, I wonder why the sports I love have to hurt athletes:(

They are brutal sports that require the trimmer you are the better chance you have to do tough moves. In gymnastics you can be tiny but powerful like Si.mon Biles not so much in figure skating.
 

heyang

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Jul 26, 2003
It does happen but not always. Nathan Chen's mom used to and sometimes still (even though he's not underage) travels with him. There are others and I can't think of them right now. I'm pretty sure the Shibs mom used to travel with them all the time.

I'm pretty sure at least one of Michelle and Karen Kwan's parents travelled with them and at least they had each other, as well. I also recall spotting Kristi Y's mother during broadcasts of various events. I think Tara Lipinskil's mother travelled with her, as well - part of Tara's fluff pieces mentioned that her father wasn't with them because his job wasn't where she was training and the family didn't live together full time.

Unfortunately, skating costs money and some parents just can't afford to travel.
 

Ic3Rabbit

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I'm pretty sure at least one of Michelle and Karen Kwan's parents travelled with them and at least they had each other, as well. I also recall spotting Kristi Y's mother during broadcasts of various events. I think Tara Lipinskil's mother travelled with her, as well - part of Tara's fluff pieces mentioned that her father wasn't with them because his job wasn't where she was training and the family didn't live together full time.

Unfortunately, skating costs money and some parents just can't afford to travel.

Yes, I remember those. Skating costs alot of money at the elite stage, my parents couldn't travel with me with that being one of the reasons and I trained far from home most of that time period.
 

heyang

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Jul 26, 2003
That is a massive improvement. I have experience of travelling to international competition - albeit decades ago - and there being no real chaperoning at all. Skaters were left to their own devices. In fact, coming home after the competition was over, one of the coaches said to me, "We know what goes on after a competition. Why do you think we all stay in a different hotel?" I really, really hope that no longer happens. The age range of the skaters was between 13-20 and although the older skaters conscientiously looked after the younger ones in the time running up to and during the competition, the last evening and after party would be devoid of any chaperoning and not something I'd want any vulnerable person to go through.

Think of Oksana Baiul. I remember seeing pictures of her partying after she won the Olympic gold medal in 1994. She was most definitely underage and had no one to look out for her.
 

silver.blades

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That letter starts out well, and then goes downhill fast. To me, it reads as the USFSA trying to cover for the abuse that has happened under their watch that they haven't actually done anything about. It's all about what they have done (which clearly didn't really work) and very little about what they plan to do in the future which is problematic. Clearly whatever was in place to protect venerable skaters hasn't worked. It would have been better if they'd released a statement about how they plan to fix a broken system.
 

Edwin

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Jan 5, 2019
That letter starts out well, and then goes downhill fast. To me, it reads as the USFSA trying to cover for the abuse that has happened under their watch that they haven't actually done anything about. It's all about what they have done (which clearly didn't really work) and very little about what they plan to do in the future which is problematic. Clearly whatever was in place to protect venerable skaters hasn't worked. It would have been better if they'd released a statement about how they plan to fix a broken system.

The knowledgeable US internet gymnastics community have torn this letter apart already. Would be interesting to hear if any of the investigative newspapers will pick up on this and pursue the matter of handling the issue by USFSA to the bottom.
 
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