However the documentary, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, is vigilant in widening is lens to seize the broader issues at USA Gymnastics. Nassar continued working for months after the primary allegations, together with these by Maggie Nichols, have been dropped at group leaders. (Nichols was then dubbed “Athlete A” to protect her anonymity.) President Steve Penny, a former advertising govt, was later indicted on felony fees of tampering with proof. In solely a poisonous environment may a predator like Nassar appear to be a pal to younger rivals like Dantzscher.
However the sensational success of the US feminine gymnasts got here at a steep price. This system, gymnasts say, adopted the cruel, militant model of the previous Soviet Bloc. It was overseen by coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi, who defected from Romania in 1981. Their coaching heart in Huntsville, Texas, a wooded ranch the place mother and father weren’t allowed, is the place a lot of the abuse befell. The pervasive psychological abuse — to eat much less, to carry out via ache — survivors say made Nassar’s actions all of the extra complicated. A number of the Karolyis’ selections — like dropping Nichols from the Olympic group shortly after she made the allegation — are additionally plainly doubtful.
Other than the important problems with who knew concerning the abuse however did not contact authorities, there’s the query of whether or not the big stress and advertising equipment arrange round USA gymnastics must be borne by younger women. Many start severe coaching as 10-year-olds at nationwide facilities. Predators, former gymnast Jennifer Sey says, have been “in every single place.”