Former figure skater Bridget Namiotka dead at 32 after coming forward as victim of sexual abuse

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Bridget Namiotka, a former national and international medal-winning pairs figure skater who was the first person to publicly accuse the late two-time U.S. national pairs champion John Coughlin of sexual abuse, died July 25, her parents confirmed to USA TODAY Sports Friday. She was 32. 

“Bridget succumbed to her long struggles with addiction after several very difficult years of dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse,” her parents Steve and Maureen Namiotka said in an interview. “She was a beautiful child and a wonderful athlete, and we are heartbroken. It is our hope that Bridget’s death will bring new attention to the terrible effects of sexual abuse and addiction in our society.”

On May 19, 2019, Namiotka announced in a Facebook post that she was sexually abused for two years by Coughlin, her pairs partner, when she was a teenager. 

Former figure skater Bridget Namiotka has died at age 32.

Replying to a post in support of Coughlin, who died by suicide at the age of 33 on Jan. 18, 2019, Namiotka wrote, “I’m sorry but john (sic) hurt at least 10 people including me. He sexually abused me for 2 years.”

Namiotka teamed with Coughlin from 2004 to 2007, when she was between the ages of 14 and 17 and he was 18 to 21. They won three medals on the Junior Grand Prix series and finished ninth in the senior (Olympic) level at the 2007 U.S. national championships.

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