Tarah Kayne details abuse allegations against sanctioned coach Sappenfield

Sylvia

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By Christine Brennan:
:(

Excerpt:
Via text message, O’Shea said, “I support Tarah in every way, as I did while we were partners for nine years. Tarah is a strong woman and I am proud of her for coming forward and hope that her strength is a beacon for others. Together we chose to leave a training environment that had become unhealthy for us. I stand by Tarah, and I support SafeSport and their ongoing investigations.”
O’Shea, 30, is competing this season with a new partner and new coaches in Southern California.
Kayne said she had planned to continue skating with O’Shea through the 2022 Winter Olympic year.
“But that all changed because of Dalilah,” she said. “These awful experiences forced me out of the sport I love. Dalilah said multiple times that she wanted to end my career, and she succeeded.”
Instead, Kayne will be touring with a skating show in Europe starting in November.
 
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Karen-W

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Hey folks, just a head's up: This is a fairly detailed article. If you aren't comfortable with descriptions of self-harm and abuse, I would prepare yourself accordingly.
Yes. It has me sitting here teary-eyed after reading it. Sappenfield deserves to be permanently banned for what she did and how she treated Tarah as well as, I'm sure, so many other skaters.
 

thvu

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Wow. Reading Tarah’s account saddens me. Mostly, though, it pisses me the f*ck off. How much of this did USFS know? If we have an account like this, why is it taking so long to permanently ban her in the US?!

Sappenfeld is a monster, an absolute monster.
 

wickedwitch

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Wow. Reading Tarah’s account saddens me. Mostly, though, it pisses me the f*ck off. How much of this did USFS know? If we have an account like this, why is it taking so long to permanently ban her in the US?!

Sappenfeld is a monster, an absolute monster.
At this point, it's out of their hands. Safesport is the only ones who can ban her.

But they should have done something years ago, even before Safesport existed. I'm fairly sure Tarah was not her first victim.
 

jiejie

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At this point, it's out of their hands. Safesport is the only ones who can ban her.

But they should have done something years ago, even before Safesport existed. I'm fairly sure Tarah was not her first victim.
Individual rinks can ban her from teaching privileges and even physical access, which effectively removes her from coaching even without Safesport actions. I suspect with this becoming public, they will probably do so for liability reasons. Or at least rink management is consulting their attorneys right about now. This is not a substitute for Safesport and law enforcement investigations, but it's a start.
 

wickedwitch

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Thank you to Tarah for her courage, her grace, her dignity. We spoke for hours over the past month. Her story is so important. There are at least 11 other skaters who have talked to SafeSport about Dalilah Sappenfield. I would love to hear their stories. DM’s are open.

Hopefully, Tarah, a former US champion, speaking out makes others more comfortable sharing their stories if they want to.
 

Ena Grins

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This was terrible to read. I'm so heartbroken for what Tarah went through, and what this indicates about what so, so many other skaters must have gone through while training with her.

I was so glad to read Tarah has a tour in Europe to look forward to. I hope it gives her joy and healing ❤️
 

haribobo

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I am so angry, but this is basically what TSL has been talking about for a while now. Some new details and now we have a higher profile name and face to her victims. Horrible for Tarah, but I'm very glad she spoke up to provide legitimacy for the others. A permanent ban is not enough, this Dalilah (and anyone who facilitated her horrific methods) needs to be jailed. I'm disgusted that she wasn't stopped before now, and there needs to be more oversight from USFS to prevent trash coaches like Dalilah from ever springing forth again. I'd normally say that I hope she gets help for her sick mental state, but she has caused so much damage over her years as a coach, I'd be fine with her going to jail permanently. And I'm considering every female skate who stepped foot in that rink as a victim of emotional abuse and subpar coaching at the very least. Truly horrifying that she wasn't caught sooner.

And I was side-eyeing the skaters who stayed with her at the end of last season, but anyone spending time with her from this point forward really needs to get a grip. She needs intensive pscyh help before she can be allowed around any skaters. And never NEVER allowed to coach again.
 
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Karen-W

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She wasn't John's coach when he was with Bridget Namiotka.

Treating humans like they're disposable isn't limited to Dalilah unfortunately. She might be one of the more egregious examples in skating, but she obviously isn't the only one. Just getting rid of her is a nice start, but it won't solve this issue.
Exactly. Somewhere, somehow, Dalilah learned this behavior and these methods. It's totally messed her up and she has no business coaching as a result of it, but you have to wonder how many other deeply troubled coaches there are in the US who grew up in the same culture of abuse and misogyny that she did where this sort of treatment was normal and acceptable.
 

VGThuy

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The fact that she and Danny were so afraid after Kayne committed her act of self-harm that they didn’t go to the hospital but instead used superglue to fix the wound says volumes about how these skaters are conditioned to be so afraid of their coaches and other people of authority. This is truly a universal cultural thing that skating needs to truly work on- with the USFS and local rinks needing take accountability and do better moving forward.
 

clairecloutier

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The fact that she and Danny were so afraid after Kayne committed her act of self-harm that they didn’t go to the hospital but instead used superglue to fix the wound says volumes about how these skaters are conditioned to be so afraid of their coaches and other people of authority. This is truly a universal cultural thing that skating needs to truly work on- with the USFS and local rinks needing take accountability and do better moving forward.

This is what scares me the most. :( The athletes need and deserve to have someone that they can turn to without fear of retribution or loss of funds and support. To be fair, this is a problem in most or all workplaces in the U.S.--i.e., the fact that people often don't feel comfortable coming forward despite abusive behavior from bosses. But in skating, it's even worse because there are often children involved. And for elite skaters/athletes, there is the whole issue of the fact that you're being asked to represent your country in order to compete at the highest level. If the skater/athlete is going to take on that responsibility, then the country (in the form of official governing bodies) must take responsibility too for athlete safety, it seems to me.
 

VGThuy

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This is what scares me the most. :( The athletes need and deserve to have someone that they can turn to without fear of retribution or loss of funds and support. To be fair, this is a problem in most or all workplaces in the U.S.--i.e., the fact that people often don't feel comfortable coming forward despite abusive behavior from bosses. But in skating, it's even worse because there are often children involved. And for elite skaters/athletes, there is the whole issue of the fact that you're being asked to represent your country in order to compete at the highest level. If the skater/athlete is going to take on that responsibility, then the country (in the form of official governing bodies) must take responsibility too for athlete safety, it seems to me.
Word! You just touched upon the iceberg here.
 

BittyBug

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Like gymnastics, there needs to be an independent investigation into whether the governance structure at the Springs facilitated this horrific abuse. There are so few secrets in skating, and with this happening at a USOTC, it's really hard to imagine that people within USFS and/or USOPC didn't at least hear whispers about this behavior.
 

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