After months of begging the federal government to clean up their sport, Canada gymnastics athlete eventually there will be decks in Ottawa.
Gymnasts will be among the first to testify before members of Congress on Monday when the Standing Committee on the Status of Women begins hearings on women’s safety. Women and girls in sports.
Kim Shore, former member of Canadian gymnastics board of manager. “We’re really optimistic, especially given the bipartisan approach we’ve seen, which is sporty in nature, isn’t it? The power of sport brings people together, even when they have different worldviews.
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“Being together to stand for child protection, human rights protection and the opportunity to make sport better in Canada gives us all a lot of optimism.”
Shore is one of more than 500 former and current gymnasts _ Gymnasts for Change _ who have tirelessly lobbied for the government to open an independent investigation. Gymnastics is one of several sports that have spoken out about the toxic environment of abuse.
The study’s status for women comes after repeated calls from hundreds of current and retired Canadian gymnasts asking for an independent inquiry into their sport.
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Shore hopes the research leads to a national judicial investigation into the sport.
“That is exactly where these first steps must lead,” says Shore. “Gymnastics is just one example of so many sports and so many athletes who are faced with very unsafe and unhealthy environments. And the only way to move forward on behalf of sport in Canada is to fix the system from the top down and from the bottom up.
“And all those people who are saying that we should just look to a positive future and leave the past behind, we can’t do that. Because by not looking at the past, we run the risk of repeating those mistakes.”
Last week, members of Congress continued to check out Canadian Hockey. That national sports body has been embroiled in controversy for months after it mishandled sexual assault allegations involving members of the 2018 world youth team.
An investigation into that sexual assault has been opened by police in London, Ont., and Halifax police are investigating allegations of mass sexual assault involving members of the boys’ youth team in 2003 .
None of the charges were proven in court.
“All we have learned from the Hockey hearings in Canada is that people in positions of power, those who are trying to stay in power, will not come to the table voluntarily, transparently and with all the information we need to know to make things better,” said Shore. “And that is why the judicial investigation is important, because we need subpoena power to force individuals to turn over documents and share what happened in the past so we can may be repaired in the future.”
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