by Irvin Muchnick
In our chronicles of global amateur sports sexual abuse, we’ve given you the Irish-American axis (George Gibney), the Brazilian-American axis (Alex Pussieldi), and the Irish-Canadian axis (John Furlong) — among others.
Now two separate appeals to Canadian Member of Parliament Carla Qualtrough, the country’s new minister for sport and persons with disabilities, tie them together.
In the first, advocates for native children who allege that Furlong abused them as a teacher at a missionary school in British Columbia have turned to Minister Qualtrough. Decades after these long-buried incidents, Irish native Furlong would become the celebrated chief executive of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Along the way, Furlong also appears to have crossed paths, at Dublin’s Newpark School Sports Centre, with Gibney, the unofficial most-wanted at-large pedophile in global sports, who is now living north of Orlando, Florida.
Before contacting Qualtrough, the Furlong victims’ friends had tried new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. And most recently, Laura Robinson, the Canadian freelance journalist who exposed Furlong’s past, wrote to Ralph Goodale, the minister of public safety. (For her exhaustively documented article on Furlong in the Georgia Straight newspaper, Robinson got sued for defamation in a questionable trial presided over by a judge, an ex-Olympian who didn’t include the accounts of victims — in one fell swoop both delegitimizing their testimony and disenfranchising their voices.)
Robinson’s March 11 letter to Minister Goodale can be viewed at http://nebula.wsimg.com/ace009410c55de1dd7dee67f70f0f334?AccessKeyId=90D3837150F7A72C70F2&disposition=0&alloworigin=1.
I encourage Concussion Inc. readers to read the full background of the Furlong cases at http://justtrylistening.org and to join the public petition, “Support Unheard Stories of First Nations Day School Abuse,” at https://www.change.org/p/justin-trudeau-support-unheard-stories-of-first-nations-day-school-abuse?utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_week_one.
In the second appeal, Sports Minister Qualtrough heard from Carolyn Cote, the mother of Florida swimmers who complained about Alex Pussieldi after viewing the coach inappropriately touching one of his swimmers at a meet three years ago. This sighting dovetailed with our comprehensive coverage, which established USA Swimming and Fort Lauderdale police and city government and media cover-ups of Pussieldi’s abusive practices dating back to the early 2000s. In the midst of our reports, Pussieldi was suspended and fined by Florida Gold Coast Swimming, and his team was disbanded, on the basis of unanswered charges of technical violations for the dozens of swimmers he trafficked into his programs from throughout Latin America and the Middle East.
Carolyn Cote and her husband Jean-Pierre, a former Canadian national team swimmer, are both still Canadian citizens, and they are asking their sports ministry’s help in denying Pussieldi media credentials at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Pussieldi is a swimming commentator for the country’s SporTV network.
Qualtrough did not respond to our inquiries regarding either Furlong or Pussieldi.
Meanwhile, in our Freedom of Information Act litigation for fuller disclosure of George Gibney’s American immigration records, the Department of Homeland Security — after losing a motion to dismiss the case — is on a deadline imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer to file a more detailed explanation of the 98 withheld pages out of the 102 known pages of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services file on Gibney.
Complete links to our coverage: