Amanda Malamut
Updated Feb 10, 2018 @ 10:33 am
Picture of Ariana Kukors
Credit: Rebecca Naden / PA Images / Getty Images

The 2018 Olympics are underway in PyeongChang, South Korea. But not all news surrounding the games is celebratory. On Friday, February 9th, Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors released a statement accusing her former coach Sean Hutchison of sexual assault. She alleges that he began “grooming” her when she was just 13 years old, gaining her trust with the goal of making their relationship sexual.

“I never thought I would share my story, because in so many ways, just surviving was enough. I was able to leave a horrible monster, and build a life I could have never imagined for myself,” Kukors wrote on her website. “But in time, I’ve realized that stories like my own are too important to go unwritten. Not for the sake of you knowing my story, but for the sake of the little girls and boys whose lives and futures hang in the grasp of a horribly powerful and manipulative person. That they may not have to go through the same pain, trauma, horror, and abuse. That their parents, mentors, and guardians are better able to spot the signs of grooming and realize its tragic consequences before it’s too late.”

According to an affidavit for a search warrant, Kukors alleges that Hutchison began abusing her in 2005. She also says he took thousands of explicit photographs of her when she was a minor.

Sean Hutchison denies Ariana Kukors’ allegations.

USA Swimming stands with Ariana Kukors.

We applaud Kukors’ bravery and stand with survivors.