For decades the sexual abuse of young athletes by their coaches lingered just beneath the surface in American swimming’s otherwise golden waters.
In 2005, USA Swimming president Ron Van Pool decided it was time to bring the issue to the surface.
Giving his annual State of Swimming address, Van Pool pushed for a more aggressive approach within the sport to taking on sexual abuse.
“USA Swimming is frightfully behind the curve in this process and there are those who would have us continue to lag,” Van Pool said.
The speech, however, didn’t make much of an impression with Chuck Wielgus, then in his eighth year as USA Swimming’s executive director.
“There was nothing that struck me,” Wielgus said later in deposition.