Olympic runner from MN speaks against female athlete abuse

Kara Goucher supports runner Mary Cain's abuse allegations against Nike Oregon Project.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

An Olympic athlete who calls Duluth her hometown is, once again, taking a stand against the mistreatment of female athletes.

Kara Goucher, an Olympic long-distance runner, left the now-shuttered Nike Oregon Project in 2011 and presented allegations of drug use within the program in 2015, Insider reports.  

The Nike program for long-distance runners made headlines again in October when the program announced its closure. The closure follows a four-year ban and investigation on coach and founder Alberto Salazar by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). 

Since the shutter, another former runner with the program has opened up about her experience with Nike Oregon Project and Coach Salazar. 

Mary Cain signed with the program in 2013 when she was only 17. Cain says Coach Salazar pressured her to become thinner and thinner, until her body started breaking down. 

According to the New York Times, it got so bad that Cain lost her period for three years, broke five bones, and started having suicidal thoughts. 

When the article on Cain was published, Goucher was quick to voice her support. 

Goucher's husband, Adam Goucher, wrote about his experience watching his wife overwork herself for the team. You can read more in this blog post

Moving forward, Goucher says she hopes these conversations will lead to more female coaches, training around abuse and ways to report abuse.

"Women's voices are getting stronger," Goucher tells Insider. "I just really encourage women to come together and to share our stories because the more we speak, the less they can single us out and attach us, and the more we can make change for the future generation."

Goucher was born in New York City but grew up and attended high school in Duluth. 

Next Up

Related

Minnesota runner wins DQ appeal, reinstated in Olympic trials

Gabriele Anderson, a Minnesotan who twice beat cancer on her way to the Olympic trials as a 1,500-meter runner, has won her appeal to be reinstated after being disqualified on the heat sheet for Sunday's final in Eugene, Ore. Anderson had qualified Friday with a time of 4 minutes, 10.08 seconds, seventh-best in two semifinal heats, but was disqualified after another runner claimed Anderson impeded her.

Olympic 'Blade Runner' inspires Minnesota boy who also lost both legs

The South African Olympic runner and double amputee known as the "Blade Runner" is inspiring a Coon Rapids boy to do anything he sets his mind to. Eli Guthrie, 8, has the same congenital birth defect as Oscar Pistorius, and like the runner, had both his legs amputated below the knee as an infant. Guthrie told KARE-TV that Pistorius makes him "want to run around and be in the Olympics and be kind of like him."

Olympic marathon: Duluth native Goucher is in it to win it

Kara Goucher doesn’t believe her running career is reaching a peak in Sunday’s Summer Olympics women’s marathon. At age 34, she thinks the best is yet to come. Only three American women have ever run a faster marathon than the 1996 Duluth East graduate, who has a best of 2 hours, 24 minutes, 52 seconds.