Sports Opinion: In death, former Olympic coach John Geddert once again causes harm to the gymnasts he abused
COMMENTARY: How can we not boycott the 2022 Beijing Games?
Canadian athletes may be off to Beijing in 12 months for the 2022 Olympics, but that doesn't mean it's the right move to send them there, Rob Breakenridge says.But that doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to send them there.
John Geddert had one act of cruelty left.
against the former U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach, including human trafficking and sexual assault, Geddert .
The justice that finally seemed within reach Thursday morning for theis now gone. So, too, whatever answers he could have provided about how all those years.
Maybe boycotts don't work, but that doesn't quite end the debate about the 2022 Olympics in China
The debate about whether Canadian athletes should boycott the winter Olympics, scheduled to take place in China in 2022, ultimately rests on a series of questions about the efficacy of such action, the morality of proceeding with the games and even who should get to decide whether or not to launch a boycott. But if the Olympics do proceed with most of the world's nations represented, the question might then become whether its grand stage could be used to air the political and humanitarian concerns that now encircle the games.
“This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved,” Dana Nessel, Michigan’s attorney general,.
For the girls and young women for whom justice will be forever denied, it’s also gut-wrenching. Incomprehensible. Infuriating.
Of the more than 500 women who have said they were sexually abused by, very few were Olympians or elite-level athletes. Most were ordinary girls and teenagers who simply loved gymnastics. Geddert enabled their abuse, they have said, where he could “treat” gymnasts.
For almost five years now, they have asked what Geddert knew and what he saw. What didn’t concern him and what he chose to ignore.
Letters to the Editor: Canada at the Beijing Olympics: 'A shocking act of political cowardice'
‘A profound failure of leadership’ Re: Do athletes really want Olympic medals that have been soaked in blood? , Terry Glavin, Feb. 10 It is the federal government’s responsibility to decide whether or not Canada attends the Beijing Olympics. That Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would defer the decision to the Canadian Olympic Committee is a shocking act of political cowardice and a profound failure of leadership. Hugh McCoy, Toronto No Canadian It is the federal government’s responsibility to decide whether or not Canada attends the Beijing Olympics. That Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would defer the decision to the Canadian Olympic Committee is a shocking act of political cowardice and a profound failure of leadership.
But only one of the 24 charges filed against Geddert on Thursday morning was related to Nassar, a count of lying to police. The rest were the result of his own alleged monstrosities. The physical, verbal, emotional and, in the case of one teenager, sexual abuse that drove the gymnasts who’d been entrusted to his care to starve themselves, hurt themselves and, in some cases, try to end their lives.
“These charges against Mr. Geddert are for his actions and his alone," assistant Attorney General Danielle Hagaman-Clark said. "(The charges are about) his behavior in his gym related to his coaching."
Geddert was charged with 20 counts of human trafficking, with Nessel alleging that his excessive training was the equivalent of forced labor that resulted in injury to 19 athletes, all of whom were minors. There were also two counts of sexual abuse, one first-degree and one second-degree, involving an athlete who was between 13 and 16 years old.
Olympics gymnastics coach kills himself after being charged
LANSING, Mich. — A former U.S. Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar killed himself Thursday, hours after being charged with turning his Michigan gym into a hub of human trafficking by coercing girls to train and then abusing them. John Geddert faced 24 charges that could have carried years in prison had he been convicted. He was supposed to appear in an Eaton County court, near Lansing, but his body was found at a rest area along Interstate 96, according to state police. "This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
The last charge against Geddert was for racketeering. The fame and renown brought to his gym by those athletes he pushed so relentlessly and treated so harshly, prosecutors alleged, resulted in financial gain for Geddert.
A trial, or even discovery, could have provided answers from Geddert that the women have long sought. It also was a means of holding him to account, a way to show the man who stripped them of their self-esteem and self-worth that he no longer had power over them.
In death, Geddert didn’t just evade responsibility. He stole one last thing from the women from whom he’d already taken so much.
Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
Clear IOC signal: thumbs up for the Olympics in Tokyo .
The message addressed by the IOC session to world sport and athletes was unmistakable: Despite the pandemic, the Olympic Games in Tokyo will open on July 23 at 8 p.m. local time. "It will be a heartbreaking moment for Japan and the whole world," said Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, on Thursday. © imago images IOC President Thomas Bach and Olympia OK President Seiko Hashimoto "We can still say that these are the best-prepared games of all time." - John Coates, Head