Olympic figure skater, world silver medalist and three-time national champion Ashley Wagner: I was sexually assaulted at 17. Here's why I’m telling my story now. https://t.co/DBK4OKLvaO @USATODAY @AshWagner2010— Christine Brennan (@cbrennansports) August 1, 2019
Ashley Wagner, the most successful US lady of the last three Olympic cycles (three-time national champion, World silver medalist, Four Continents champion, Olympic team event bronze medalist), has added her voice to an ongoing story about the predations of deceased US pairs skater John Coughlin.
Coughlin committed suicide in January of 2019 following reports that he was being investigated by SafeSport for inappropriate behaviour. Subsequently, one of Coughlin's past partners, Bridget Namiotka, revealed that she had been abused by Coughlin, and she indicated there were other victims.
Wagner was not among the three who initially reported Coughlin, but says she began discussing the matter with the USFSA earlier in the year, in particular out of concern for young athletes like current US national champion Alysa Liu. Wagner was assaulted by Coughlin at a USFSA training camp in 2008, shortly after she turned 17.
Believe women. In 2008 I was sexually assaulted. I didn’t understand what happened to me or what it really meant. I feel so strongly that people need to talk more about these experiences, that they need to have a bright light turned on the dark corners where they thrive. This happens all too often to both men and women, and we need to do better for our next generation. Talk about this, make this feel real so that we can help out those who need it! Read more about my story in the link in my bio 💕