Ashley Wagner has chosen to speak up.
In a video and written piece that she wrote in USA Today, Wagner, an Olympic bronze medalist and US national champion in figure skating, said she was sexually assaulted by former figure skater John Coughlin when she was 17 years old and when he was 22.
Coughlin, a two-time US pairs champion, killed himself in January at age 33.
His death came a day after he was suspended from US Figure Skating by the US Center for SafeSport, which investigates all forms of abuse in sport, amid a pending grievance, to which Coughlin denied wrongdoing. SafeSport closed the investigation after his death.
“What happened to Ashley should not happen to anyone, period,” US Figure Skating spokeswoman Barbara Reichert said in a statement to CNN on Thursday.
“Ashley is incredibly strong; not just to have the courage to come forward with her story, but to share her experience publicly to help others.
“Ashley recently spoke at US Figure Skating athlete safety seminars and her experience and message of empowerment had a profound impact on skaters and their parents.
“Further, Ashley’s perspective has helped us expand the scope of our athlete safety initiatives and education and words cannot express how much we appreciate her sharing her story with our members.”
Wagner won bronze for the US in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winte