The coach who invited me to drop everything in Canada and move across the continent because he would make me an Olympian, is also the coach who forced me to run through injuries and then stopped talking to me when I couldn't train. He body shamed me, told me to lose 6-7 lbs. so I would come under 130, and said that 8.5% body fat percentage was ok, but 7.5% would be better. He once told the entire group to stop eating carbs and go for an extra 40-minute run after practice. He ignored me for months at a time (e.g. he stopped answering my calls and texts leading into the World University Games), excluded me from team events (e.g. he took the team to a training camp without telling me) and constantly threatened to kick me out of his group. He verbally abused me (e.g. yelling, “fuck you”), intimidated me (e.g. “stop asking questions, shut-up and just do as I say”), humiliated me (e.g. “you're soft, you're too emotional, your boobs have disappeared”) and dismissed me (e.g. walking away when I tried talking to him). This coach wanted total control and was not afraid to say: “this is a dictatorship”. He would dictate our every move at practice, one drill at a time, and often got mad if we stopped for water. At the start of the pandemic, he sent us an article about the risks of having sex during COVID but didn't take or institute any public health measures at practice. He constantly invalidated my racial identity (e.g. “that's because you're white”). This coach provided zero support and was always quick to put me down. When I walked onto the track the day after Canada had pulled out of the 2020 Olympics, he greeted me with, “How does it feel to be a quitter?”
The physical therapist I entrusted with helping me with my chronic back issues, is also the one who sexually assaulted me.
The people I reached out to for help as I started to notice that I was: a) not ok; and b) trapped in a toxic pattern, are also the people who told me that I was the problem. For instance, when I finally mustered the courage to leave one of these coaches, I was told by my strength coach that “You are taking the easy way out – you may be happy with another coach and possibly even run well, but you’ll never learn anything.”