Former USA Olympic swimmer hopeful speaks out about sexual abuse in the sport

Former Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors cries during an interview, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 in New York. Kukors says her former coach, Sean Hutchison, “stole so much” from her in the decade she alleges he sexually abused her starting when she was a minor. Hutchison has denied the allegations, saying that they were in a consensual relationship after 2012 Olympics, when she was 23. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

As a young girl, Jancy Thompson aspired to become an Olympic swimmer.  

At age 11, she and her family committed themselves to that dream by spending hours on the road every week to train with a Norm Havercroft, a renowned coach who operated right here in the Bay Area out of Los Gatos.

Thompson says that what followed was years of mental, physical and sexual abuse by the very man she had placed her trust in, all of which she endured for a shot at becoming an elite athlete.

Flash-forward to her second year at Arizona State, where she finally realized that she could no longer be involved in competitive swimming. The years of abuse had taken its toll. She was suffering from depression and realized that she had to abandon her dream in order to save herself.

She joined Armstrong and Getty to share her story in light of a repulsive new investigative report published in the Orange County Register that revealed since 1997, “more than 250 coaches and officials have been disciplined by USA Swimming for sexual abuse or misconduct.”

Armstrong & Getty intend to talk to Thomas again in the future to learn more about the next phase of her life — her recovery — and what parents can do to protect their children from the same fate.

Listen to their conversation below.

 

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