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Olympic spirits: Pride and shame

February 08. 2018 10:08PM

Athletes from around the globe will be celebrating the opening of the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games as most of us are getting out of bed.

NBC will broadcast the ceremony this evening, and as we watch the many Granite Staters on Team USA marching under the American flag, we will be filled with pride and hope.

Yet we will also feel shame for a U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) that appears to have ignored allegations from athletes of abuse at the hands of a team doctor.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has joined Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst in calling for an investigation into the USOC and USA Gymnastics’ handling of allegations against Dr. Larry Nassar, sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison for abusing women and girls in his care.

Shaheen and Ernst point to reports that USOC CEO Scott Blackman was aware of allegations against Nassas as far back as 2015, but failed to act on them. They have called for Blackman’s resignation.

The USOC is a federally-chartered nonprofit organization, not a government agency. The same is true for the national governing bodies of each sport. But the athletes competing under the American flag represent us all. If the USOC knowingly left them exposed to a predator, the nation should demand justice.

We wish our Olympians good fortune as they ski, skate, and slide over the next two weeks. They deserve an Olympic committee that looks out for their best interests.

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