Canadian gymnasts demand investigation into abuse and ‘toxic culture’ in their sport

orn group of More than 70 Canadian gymnastsSome of them are current competitors and others are retired, who have called for an independent investigation into what they described as “abusive practices and toxic culture” within their sport in the country.

The gymnasts, from the Olympic team as well as the national team, said in a letter Monday to Sport Canada CEO Vicki Walker that For nearly a decade, fear of retaliation kept them from speaking out.

“We can no longer sit quietly,” the letter said. “We speak out about our experiences of abuse, neglect, and discrimination in the hope of bringing about change.”

“We are asking Sport Canada to take steps to ensure that the next generation of Canadian gymnasts does not experience the physical and psychological trauma that we have had to endure.”

According to the message, there was Multiple complaints and arrests for various forms of emotional, physical and sexual abuse and that the subject of those complaints were Canadian coaches, many of whom exposed the athletes to being underage.

“We know there are many examples of harm that has yet to be disclosed, and we know that abusive behavior continues today in gyms across the country.

Excerpt from the letter sent to Sport Canada

“We know there are many other examples of harm yet to emerge, and we know that abusive behavior continues today in gyms across the country,” the letter read.

“The failure of the Board of Directors and the current CEO of GymCan to address these issues and failure to earn the trust of the athletes. Their failure to respond adequately to ongoing systematic abuse, abuse and discrimination is troubling.”

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Canadian Gymnastics CEO Ian Moss did not immediately respond when asked to comment on the letter.

Amber Cross

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