Sexual Assault of United States Olympic Athletes: Gymnastics, Taekwondo, and Swimming

Chloe Meenan


In this paper, I argue that the distribution of power in American Olympic Sports has made room for the development of a culture of sexual assault. This culture has continued to grow and the organizations responsible for putting a stop to the abuse have done nothing. First, I will address the troubles that victims have when sharing their stories due to the distribution of power within the organizations, namely in gymnastics, taekwondo, and swimming. I focus on the Me Too Movement and the influence that social media has had in making strides towards raising awareness about sexual assault. I will explore the specifics of the abuse within each sport and the brave women who shared their stories to prevent the same from happening to others. I also focus on how each coach abused their power and used their position to manipulate the athletes while using the rules of each sport to their advantage. I spend some time discussing the corruption and neglect of the organizations to put a stop to the abuse immediately. I hope to educate the reader on both the severity of the culture of sexual assault and the importance of taking a stand against the abusers and the organizations that let it happen.