Gymnastics from the Dutch team made a statement on Monday evening in the discussion about abuse by coaches in the gymnastics world. Sanne Wevers, Lieke Wevers, Eythora Thorsdottir, Vera van Pol, Céline van Gerner, Laura de Witt, Tisha Volleman, Sara van Disseldorp, Naomi Visser, Kirsten Polderman and Sanna Veerman say they do not recognize themselves in the image that has emerged.
"Where in the past there was room for physical and mental flogging, this is a thing of the past as far as we are concerned. Our current team has a healthy top sports climate," write the top gymnasts, among other things, in the statement shared on social media.
"Of course we as top athletes are looking for physical and mental limits to make a difference and to take it a step further. But above all there is room for love for the sport."
Gymnastics association KNGU initiated an investigation on Sunday after allegations by former gymnast Joy Goedkoop against Vincent Wevers and Gerben Wiersma. She told the NOS that she was abused and humiliated by both coaches at a young age.
The story of Goedkoop followed a confession that gymnastic coach Gerrit Beltman made on Friday in an interview with the Noordhollands Dagblad . He confessed to having physically and mentally abused gymnasts and regrets that.
'Gymnastics has gone the right way'
The Dutch top gymnasts believe that something has changed in recent years. "As far as we are concerned, gymnastics in the Netherlands has gone in the right direction. Of course there is still room for improvement and this space must be utilized," they write.
"Let's start the conversation together and continue to discuss how we achieve this together. We call on the KNGU not to block or break the chosen path. Many beautiful things are happening that inspire and help the next generation. to enjoy our sport. "
A week ago, the KNGU announced in response to reactions to the documentary Athlete A - which depicted abuse in the American gymnastics world around team doctor Larry Nassar - to start an investigation into transgressive behavior in the gymnast and its approach.