Olympic Medalist Margaret Hoelzer Shares Sexual Abuse Story In TEDx Talks Video

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama, October 3. OLYMPIC backstroke medalist Margaret Hoelzer has been very vocal about the sexual abuse she suffered at young age with speeches and charity work in the past few years. Recently, she participated in a TEDx event – an offshoot of the popular TED Talks lectures – in her hometown of Huntsville, Ala., to share her story and offer advice to the event’s attendees.

In the video player below, Hoelzer discusses the time when, as a 5-year-old, she enjoyed being at her friend’s house and playing games with her friend’s dad. The man would eventually become the person who sexually abused her for a couple of years, and Hoelzer talked about the secret she was told to keep until she was 11 years old.

Hoelzer is now a spokesperson for the National Children’s Advocacy Center, which she said was a vital part in helping her and her family many years ago. Swimming was also a “healthy outlet” for Hoelzer as she took out her frustrations and anger in the pool. That translated to two appearances at the Olympics and three medals in 2008. The success in the pool “wasn’t always coming from a good place,” as she felt her need to be better than others in the pool came from thoughts that she was a below-average person.

Her advice: “Be that squeaky wheel. Tell somebody. Get help.”

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9 years ago

Very powerful message.

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