US Olympic Medalist Details Sex Abuse

Swimmer Hoelzer goes public in hopes of helping other victims
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2008 10:00 AM CDT
"I didn't connect the dots other than feeling uncomfortable," Hoelzer said of the abuse at the hands of a friend's father. "I think on a subconscious level I knew it. But consciously, I didn't."   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Olympic medalist Margaret Hoelzer was sexually abused, she tells the AP in the hopes of helping other victims. The abuse by the friend of a father started when she was 5 years old, the swimmer says, and did not stop until the family moved 2 years later. The abuser was arrested after Hoelzer told her mother years later, but was never charged.

“Some days I feel great about it, and I'm completely at peace with it, completely calm and ready to do this,” said the 25-year-old Alabama native, who won two silvers and a bronze in Beijing. “Then, there are other days where I'm like, ‘Oh my God, do I really want to do this?’” Counseling slowly helped her regain her self-confidence, she says, as has volunteering for the National Child Advocacy Center.