|Viljo Nousiainen (left) and Patrik Sjöberg|
It shows there are no time limits on talking about something like this, and that’s one reason why the accounts that were so bravely given by several former footballers late last year are so important in Britain. In my case, I waited 30 years to recount what had happened. Many people have been, and are, in the same situation, so it’s very encouraging to see high-profile athletes come forward and give confidence to others who have suffered similar experiences.
Nousiainen stopped abusing me when I was 14, and after that I tried to forget what happened for many years. But I was an angry kid, and have been angry all my life. I had a successful career in the high jump, winning a World Championships gold and three Olympic medals, but I’ve done things I’m not proud of and wanted to explain why. In my case, I could at least let out my anger through sport, but I have received emails from guys who have ended up in prison – in some cases for killing someone. I’m sure that rage is the result of being abused during childhood. (more...)