Content Warning: Although this article does not contain explicit information, it does contain a link to a podcast trailer that discusses physical and sexual abuse in some detail. It may be potentially triggering for some. Please continue at your own discretion.
In a multipart podcast series, ESPN senior writers Bonnie Ford and Alyssa Roenigk are set to highlight Romanian-born powerhouse coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi’s rise to success in the gymnastics world and, ultimately, their unraveling.
The podcast, broken up into seven episodes, details how the couple made a name for themselves in Romania, their defection, and how their abuse and fear enabled disgraced former national team physician, now convicted sex offender, Larry Nassar to go undiscovered for so many years. It spotlights several athletes formerly under the control of the coaches, the questions that arose following the shocking abuse revelation in 2016, and why it took so long to examine their legacy.
Throughout the series, we will hear original in-depth interviews from 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles and her mother Nellie Biles, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Jordyn Wieber and her mother Rita Wieber, 1996 Olympic Gold Medalists Kerri Strug and Dominique Moceanu, 2000 Olympic team members Jamie Dantzscher, Tasha Schwikert, and Alyssa Beckerman, 2015 US National Silver medalist Maggie Nichols and her mother Gina Nichols, longtime Karolyi choreographer and Romanian defector Geza Pozsar, 1988 Olympic team members Phoebe Mills and Kristie Phillips, 1986 US National Gymnastics Champion, and author of Chalked Up, Jennifer Sey, as well as Romanian Olympic gymnasts Trudi Kollar and Gaby Geiculescu.
All episodes will air on July 14 and discusses physical and sexual abuse in some detail. It may be potentially triggering for some. Please listen at your own discretion. You can check out the trailer here.
If you or someone you know is a victim of physical or sexual abuse, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). The National Sexual Assault Hotline can also be reached 24/7 at 800-656-4673.