Does french figure skating have a culture of rape ? FFSG in the storm

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Nmsis

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L'Equipe newspaper is publishing an investigation about sexual abuse of girls in the sport, targetting figure skating and swimming.
3 (older) female figure skaters are accusing several veteran coaches.
The stolen youth of female figure skaters

And, other than the 3 figure skaters ....
Sarah Abitbol accuses her ex coach of rape

Sarah Abitbol has written a book whose sale starts tomorrow.
She has given an interview to L'Obs
The club of sexual predators (which alludes to a rape culture within figure skating)
I've been raped by my ex coach when I was 15yo (video of her interview)
You trampled on my soul

Most of theses articles have limited access.
The french version of the HuffPost doesn't.

2 (ex-very important, still influencial) members of the FFSG are among the 3 named coaches.
They are denying.
Gailhaguet isn't answering the journalists.

Sh*tstorm is coming.
 
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PRlady

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L'Equipe newspaper is publishing an investigation about sexual abuse of girls in the sport, targetting figure skating and swimming.
3 (older) female figure skaters are accusing several veteran coaches.
The stolen youth of female figure skaters

And, other than the 3 figure skaters ....
Sarah Abitbol accuses her ex coach of rape

Sarah Abitbol has written a book whose sale starts tomorrow.
She has given an interview to L'Obs
The club of sexual predators (which alludes to a rape culture within figure skating)
I've been raped by my ex coach when I was 15yo (video of her interview)
You trampled on my soul

Most of theses articles have limited access.
The french version of the HuffPost doesn't.

2 (ex-very important, still influencial) members of the FFSG are among the 3 named coaches.
They are denying.
Gailhaguet isn't answering the journalists.

Sh*tstorm is coming.
Oh, my. I’m still an A/B fan, their Angels and Demons program was really memorable. What a terrible story.
 

Finnice

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Oh all the curses in all the languages FSU members do speak. It is good that this is finally spoken about, but I am afraid @VarBar is right.
 

Zemgirl

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This is disgusting. I'm heartbroken for the skaters who lived through it and felt like they had nobody to turn to.
 

cs.berlin

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Sh*tstorm is coming.
A sentence in the introduction to the article by Nouvelobs:
"The parents know it. My mother always said that he [the coach] was brilliant," said the figure skater.

That's where it starts: The parents as part of the slanderous world of adults, who, in their greed for fame and money, do not hesitate to instrumentalize their own children. And in doing so, not only allows the abuse and overlooks it, but even excuses it. The far from unknown aspect of the fact that raven parents are possibly the biggest dirty pigs in this context is something the "shitstorm" could focus on for once to show the evil from the root. It should be clear that this is not just a typical French aspect.
 

Zemgirl

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Without taking away from Cipres's own responsibility, I wonder whether he was aware of the sexually abusive behavior detailed in the reports, and whether it was normalized for him.
 

Sedge

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Didn't some sort of abuse happen to Hubert by the coach she had early in her career?
I just checked her ISU bio and both former coaches of hers were mentioned in the articles in the first post , and already linked to sexual assault accusations by other skaters.
 

Nmsis

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Didn't some sort of abuse happen to Hubert by the coach she had early in her career?
There is a report from 2009 where a blurred skater talked about being raped by her blurred coach.
Blurred coach may look like Gilles Beyer whom Sarah Abitbol says he raped her.

Beyer was Bercy's club boss.
Even when he was forbidden coaching, he went on as an administrator. Still is.
He was the director of the french team tour for years. A tour that was financially broke but that the fed kept funding until some started asking questions, the fed being broke as well. He was the speaker there as well at the french GP gala.
After that, he had (has ?) a tour with girls from the Bercy club.
Event when he was forbidden to coach, he was organizing a big summer camp in La Roche sur Yon where plenty of french skaters were sent (Candice, Mae, pair skaters). Jean Roland Racle was there too and was coaching in Bercy.

Actually, all the girls that counted were sent (losing their time) to Bercy by the fed for years.

Another french champion more or less fled Nancy, leaving a coach convicted for sexual assault on minors, and was sent to the "safe haven of Bercy" by the fed.

Gailhaguet took Beyer into the board of the fed between 2014 and 2018 as élite level coordinator or something of the like. He was part of the sélection committefor the french team
 
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Orm Irian

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Without taking away from Cipres's own responsibility, I wonder whether he was aware of the sexually abusive behavior detailed in the reports, and whether it was normalized for him.
He wouldn't even need to have been specifically aware of these or any other instances, if it was normalised in the culture/clubs he grew up skating in that male skaters were entitled to younger female skaters' bodies. And it seems that it could well have been.
 

BittyBug

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That's where it starts: The parents as part of the slanderous world of adults, who, in their greed for fame and money, do not hesitate to instrumentalize their own children. And in doing so, not only allows the abuse and overlooks it, but even excuses it. The far from unknown aspect of the fact that raven parents are possibly the biggest dirty pigs in this context is something the "shitstorm" could focus on for once to show the evil from the root. It should be clear that this is not just a typical French aspect.
I can't speak to sexual abuse, but I have seen this first hand in the U.S. with emotional abuse - parents of skaters simply looking the other way when a coach is visibly abusive because they don't want to rock the boat and possibly lose access to a "star" coach they think might get their kid to the top. Now, usually they are ignoring abusive behavior towards a skater other than their own child, but the end result is the same - a tolerance for what should be intolerable behavior.
 

kirkbiggestfan

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Didn't some sort of abuse happen to Hubert by the coach she had early in her career?
There was a documentary by Envoye Special a few years ago. They blurred the face, but everyone recognized Laetitia Hubert's skating outfits. Among other things, she was receiving love letters by her coach when she was underage.

I am glad that the cat is finally out of the bag. These pair skating coaches have been PROMOTED by Didier. There was so much going on. Didier and his wife and ex-wives have cultivated that culture of silence. As a teenager, I personally stopped skating and focused on ballet because everyone knew that my skating coach was a pedofile and my parents refused to take me to that rink anymore. Most of the victims that are currently speaking were young girls. The young boys are not yet speaking and that is also terrifying.
 
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Nmsis

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Here is a video of a skater who was abused in Nancy by coach Pascal Delorme who was convicted and sentenced in 2003 with 10 years in jail for agressions on 7 students from age 9 to 15.
She says the french fed never helped her and Gailhaguet in particular supported her agressor against her at the trial.
 

Zemgirl

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I don't know much about how federations and sports administration are set up in France, but the FFSG needs a massive overhaul. The skaters deserve better.
 

VarBar

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Gailhaguet took Beyer into the board of the fed between 2014 and 2018 as élite level coordinator or something of the like. He was part of the sélection committefor the french team
If we go by folk wisdom, we might want to say that birds of a feather flock together.
 

kirkbiggestfan

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If we go by folk wisdom, we might want to say that birds of a feather flock together.
Beyer and Racle know too much about Gailhaguet. They are from the same generation that has been in the same circle for the past 50 years. They know where the bodies are buried. This mafia-style leadership where they are thick as thieves.
When Gwendal ran against Didier, it was heartbreaking to hear the painful stories of the skaters that wanted change.
 

nimi

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I don't know much about how federations and sports administration are set up in France, but the FFSG needs a massive overhaul. The skaters deserve better.
I don't know much about that either but according to this article that I found & posted in the first Ciprès thread, it seems skating/FFSG is not an outlier. All athletes deserve better.
First two paragraphs (machine translation):
Broken podium dreams. Young athletes walled in silence, under the influence of a coach. Children traumatized, no longer daring to run, swim or fight. Hundreds of victims destitute in the face of omerta, denial and ignorance of the great family of sport.

For eight months, Disclose investigated sexual violence in sports. This unprecedented dive into the closed world of amateur and professional clubs demonstrates the failure of an entire system, from sports associations to federations, to the services of the state.
 

taz'smum

as @Jesche says - мама knows best
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I have no words, only disgust.
Me too, this is just horrible!
Sadly, none of it surprises me, after what I personally experienced and saw in the French skating world.
Now the can of worms has been opened, there is no way of putting them back in again.
Tough times ahead for French skating.
 

MarieM

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Yeah but I feel it's the same everywhere. The can of worms is at least opening.
 

attyfan

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This is tragic. What is worse is that it seems to affect multiple sports in multiple countries -- even if (so far) the French and the US are the ones with the (current) coverage.
 

PRlady

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And as bad as this reporting is, in France the legal minimum for consent is 15, not 17 or 18 as in most American states. Meaning there's more victimization than is going to show up in crime reporting because a 30 year old sleeping with a 17 year old isn't a crime.
 

bellezza_fiore

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I can't speak to sexual abuse, but I have seen this first hand in the U.S. with emotional abuse - parents of skaters simply looking the other way when a coach is visibly abusive because they don't want to rock the boat and possibly lose access to a "star" coach they think might get their kid to the top. Now, usually they are ignoring abusive behavior towards a skater other than their own child, but the end result is the same - a tolerance for what should be intolerable behavior.
It also goes the other way around. There are so many parents who are verbally and emotionally, sometimes physically, abusive to their sons/daughters, and their coaches, rink staff, and even USFS just look the other way. The more successful those skaters are, the less likely the adult around them try to intervene because they don't want to lose their elite skaters.
 

PRlady

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It also goes the other way around. There are so many parents who are verbally and emotionally, sometimes physically, abusive to their sons/daughters, and their coaches, rink staff, and even USFS just look the other way. The more successful those skaters are, the less likely the adult around them try to intervene because they don't want to lose their elite skaters.
That’s the saddest thing I’ve read here. It’s bad enough when a coach abuses a child, but abusive parents are the No Exit of human trauma.
 
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Lacey

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If any part of this is true, it is so repulsive and disgusting that it is almost unthinkable. If what is said about Didier Gailhaguet is true, he should be investigated along with any French coaches or skaters.
 
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MacMadame

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That’s the saddest thing I’ve read here. It’s bad enough when a coach abuses a child, but abusive parents are the No Exit if human trauma.
We've all heard stories about elite skaters with abusive parents though. Tonya Harding comes to mind but there are so many others. I don't think it can be totally surprising that this happens.

I think that people don't do anything about it for the same reasons people don't call CPS on their neighbors as much as because they don't want to lose students though. Yes, coaches do have to worry about their paychecks. But it happens with skaters just starting out who aren't considered stars too and there's no incentive within the system not to say something or report it (like there is when you have a student who is winning everything and may go to the Olympics someday), but people still don't. People don't want to interfere in other people's childraising and they don't want to stick their neck out either.
 
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