Swimming is the fourth most popular activity or sport across the United States, and that would explain why there is an Olympic team dedicated to it. Sadly, some of those women who have joined the USA Swimming team may have regretted it since. Just as the USA Gymnastics team members have suffered, it is coming forth that the women on USA Swimming are also suffering.
Recent reports reveal that hundreds of underage sexual abuse cases are surfacing after being covered up by officials across the board. The Orange County Register newspaper released the report from many of the victims coming forward. The report is filled with details from many cases, making them undeniably bone-chilling. Since Check Wielgus took over as the executive director of USA Swimming 20 years ago, according to Dead Spin, “at least 252 swim coaches and officials have been arrested, charged by prosecutors, or disciplined by USAS for sexual abuse or misconduct against individuals under 18.”
Wielgus died in 2017, and all of the blame is not being placed on him. Since 2010, there have been at least 30 coaches and officials who have been “flagged” for arrest or accused of sex crimes, from rape to child pornography. That isn’t all. Over the years, USA Swimming has been spending a lot of money to keep these abuse cases under the radar. According to the Huffington Post, $7,450,000 was spent on legal fees between 2006 and 2016 to cover up the tracks.
So many women kept quiet for a very long time, thinking only of “survival,” says Ariana Kukors. Kukors was one of the many women to come forward, stating that the abuse started when she was just 13 years old. She realized that she was not the only one with a story like that, so she decided to share her tale with the world, hoping to make a difference.
The Trump Administration is not ignoring this problem. President Trump signed a bill into law just last week that aims to protect young athletes from sexual abuse by regulating the governing bodies of those young athletes. This means that the officials in charge of these athletes will be kept an eye on much more closely, hopefully preventing this in the future.