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New York Times Article

suds

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Jun 26, 2015
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Did anyone else catch the NYT article today by Mary Cain?
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/07/opinion/nike-running-mary-cain.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
In the associated 7 minute video she speaks with brutal honesty about her experience training as an elite runner.
I found both pieces to be poignant, disturbing, and elucidating.

Excerpts from the NYT article:

“When you’re training in a program like this, you’re constantly reminded how lucky you are to be there, how anyone would want to be there, and it’s this weird feeling of, ‘Well, then, I can’t leave it. Who am I without it?’” Goucher said. “When someone proposes something you don’t want to do, whether it’s weight loss or drugs, you wonder, ‘Is this what it takes? Maybe it is, and I don’t want to have regrets.’ Your careers are so short. You are desperate. You want to capitalize on your career, but you’re not sure at what cost.”

(and)

“America loves a good child prodigy story, and business is ready and waiting to exploit that story, especially when it comes to girls,” said Lauren Fleshman, who ran for Nike until 2012. “When you have these kinds of good girls, girls who are good at following directions to the point of excelling, you’ll find a system that’s happy to take them. And it’s rife with abuse.”
 
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Gymx2

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I saw that this morning. So powerful and so many similarities to gymnastics. It's great to see she is speaking out and working to change the culture in elite running. We need strong women leaders to help change the sports culture. So far the men aren't stepping up to do it.
 

bookworm

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Oct 3, 2009
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Did anyone else catch the NYT article today by Mary Cain?
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/07/opinion/nike-running-mary-cain.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Excerpts from the NYT article:

“When you’re training in a program like this, you’re constantly reminded how lucky you are to be there, how anyone would want to be there, and it’s this weird feeling of, ‘Well, then, I can’t leave it. Who am I without it?’” Goucher said. “When someone proposes something you don’t want to do, whether it’s weight loss or drugs, you wonder, ‘Is this what it takes? Maybe it is, and I don’t want to have regrets.’ Your careers are so short. You are desperate. You want to capitalize on your career, but you’re not sure at what cost.”

(and)

“America loves a good child prodigy story, and business is ready and waiting to exploit that story, especially when it comes to girls,” said Lauren Fleshman, who ran for Nike until 2012. “When you have these kinds of good girls, girls who are good at following directions to the point of excelling, you’ll find a system that’s happy to take them. And it’s rife with abuse.”
If I didn't know better, I'd swear the article was quoting my daughter's college gymnastics coach ....
 
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cmg

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So my husband and I talked about this last night. We are both runners, our daughter is a gymnast. Mary Cain was 17 years old and put into an adult system just like many elite gymnasts are at an even younger age. It is very sad that the pursuit of greatness has to also include the possibility of abuse. The situations are so similar and I bet many other sports could add their own stories. Salazar has been around the sport for so long and with the financial backing of Nike very powerful. Just like many powerful gymnastic coaches have been. Salazar always reminded me of Lance Armstrong since he had the same denials for so long until the truth came out. Sometimes I wonder if these guys even knew their own truth and just justified any means for the ultimate goal of winning. It is interesting that with Salazar the coach got banded from the sport before the athletes did. Usually it is the other way around in that one coach's athletes get caught for doping or other band substances and then they get the coach. Rumors about Salazar have been going around in the running community for years. I hope they finally have a solid case and perhaps the runners "Me Too" movement is about to be exposed. I am sure Mary Cain's parents thought they were giving every opportunity for her best shot for the Olympics just like many gymnasts parents get their kids into high performance gyms to give their kids the opportunity. It must to hard to realize what really happened and I hope that Mary Cain can now begin the long road to recovery and do what she was born to do-run like heck. We have seen other come back stories I only hope the best for her. She is only 23 and if she wants she could have a whole running career in front of her if the damage is not too deep. At least for runners, many older athletes still have time for success. Gymnasts don't have the same timeline which only makes the pressure for greatness at an early age greater. I would still like to see the Olympic Committee raise the minimum age for female gymnasts to 18 instead of 16 giving our young athletes time to mature and grow stronger not only physically but mentally.
 

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