Netflix film tells troubling case of artistic gymnastics

Observatório do Cinema

Currently, the Olympics are a huge success with the Brazilian public. If you’re interested in the topic, Netflix has a documentary about one of the most disturbing and saddest scandals in the history of artistic gymnastics: athlete A. To this day, the subject of the documentary has extremely sad repercussions for the sport.

Released in 2020 by Bonnie Cohen and John Schenk, the documentary addresses the sexual abuse committed by therapist Larry Nassar against several young gymnasts and the story of journalists condemning these horrific crimes.

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The feature garnered 100% approval on Rotten Tomatoes upon release. This movie is essential for those who want to understand how the heinous actions of a man covered up by a sports organization can forever change the future of a sport and destroy the dreams of many.

Below is everything you need to know about the true story of Athlete A on Netflix.

The sad story of athlete A

Athlete A begins with the story of Maggie Nichols, an athlete who has dedicated her entire life to the United States national artistic gymnastics team. Her big dream was to participate in the Olympics, and the gymnast had the ability to participate in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

However, Maggie’s dreams are completely shattered when she is sexually abused at the hands of official US Gymnastics Physician (USAG) Larry Nassar – seen by all as a dedicated professional and pillar of the community.

Also in 2016, a team of Indianapolis journalists (which included Mark Alessia, Tim Evans, and Marisa Kwiatkowski—reported that hunter gym coaches always turned gyms up, but were never prosecuted for their crimes.

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Journalistic investigations also revealed that USAG protected abusive technicians, and broke the law by not reporting allegations of abuse to the authorities.

After reaching the report, gymnast Rachel Denhollander decided to tell her story.

In an interview with journalists, the athlete reported on all the abuses at the hands of Larry Nassar. Jessica Howard also revealed similar abuses. At the same time, gymnast Jamie Dantzer, who came to participate in the Olympics, also confirmed the allegations.

The big question for journalists was the number of victims in Nassar, as the number of reports was increasing every day.

At the end of the report, the team collected reports from 500 gymnasts, including 9 athletes who participated in the Olympics.

The documentary then examines and analyzes the institutional system of abuse and corruption in the world of gymnastics.

The film also shows the American Gymnastics Organization’s suspicious reaction, and explains what happened to Nassar after the report was released.

Athlete A is available on Netflix. Watch the trailer for the feature below.

About the author: Will Smith

Will covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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