BOIC Athletes Committee: “Very shocked by testimonials in gymnastics” | Gymnastics

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(Former) athletes such as Evi Van Acker, Dirk Van Tichelt and Hans Van Alphen are members of the Athletes Committee of the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee (BOIC). They too have been quite impressed by the stories of abuse in Flemish gymnastics.

“We are deeply shocked and concerned about the seriousness of this. We empathize with anyone who has had such negative experiences.”

“As Olympians, we know better than anyone that the road to peak performance is long and hard. The limit of what is acceptable is hard to define. But it is very problematic when many gymnasts face mental problems both during and after their top sports career. . ”

In general, we would like to emphasize that abuse, bullying, belittling, and other ill-treatment of athletes is in no way justifiable. These practices are not part of sports and should never be used as an excuse for peak performance! ”

“Over time, a culture may emerge in which certain unacceptable behavior can be considered normal and even necessary. Given the international revelations, this seems to be the case regularly in the gymnastics world.”

“The athletes committee wants to take a clear position that physical or psychological abuse of athletes absolutely does not belong in the (top) sports world. Such practices should be investigated and rejected.”

“The well-being of the athlete must be paramount and is a primary requirement for a healthy top sports climate. Delivering top performance and respect for integrity can go hand in hand, there are plenty of top athletes who can testify to that.”

“The athletes who have had the courage to come out with their testimonies have done so with the hope of lasting change.”

“We call on the various competent authorities to recognize this and to work on it so that it no longer happens.”

“We also want to let you know that every top athlete can tell his story to the athletes committee if they feel they cannot go to their own sports federation.”

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