Ex-water jump star makes shocking allegations: 'I was abused by my coach'
Created: 08/19/2022 05:14
By: Marius Epp
Jan Hempel was once one of the world-class water jumpers.
© Stefan Hesse/dpa
A scandal shakes the German Swimming Association: ex-water jump star Jan Hempel accuses his former coach of serious abuse.
Berlin – The former world-class water jumper Jan Hempel says he was sexually abused by his coach at the time for years.
In a documentary by ARD entitled "Abused - Sexualized Violence in German Swimming", the 1996 Olympic bronze medalist in Atlanta reported publicly for the first time in moving words on the allegations against Werner Langer, who has since died.
"I was abused by my coach.
He never missed a moment to give free rein to his wishes and needs,” said 50-year-old Hempel.
He was abused from 1982 to 1996.
According to his own statements, Hempel defended himself against Langer for the first time before the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
The following year he reported to the then national coach about the events.
Langer was suspended at the time, but not because of abuse, but because of an alleged Stasi past, said Hempel.
"Everyone has been silent until today."
Ex-water jumper Jan Hempel was apparently abused by the former coach
Hempel is disappointed by the German Swimming Association (DSV).
"For many years, I had to feel firsthand that only sporting success is important to the DSV and that everything else, whether health or any problems, actually takes a backseat," says the Saxon.
There are still people in the association who used to do it that way.
The DSV announced a statement on request.
The ARD reported that the current leadership of the association stated that it had learned of Hempel's allegations from the broadcaster.
Hempel also reported that Langer abused a stadium toilet before the 1992 Olympic final in high diving in Barcelona.
The coach died in 2001.
Another athlete, who wished to remain anonymous, reported in the documentary that Langer "attacked" him in his sleep.
Abuse scandal surrounding Jan Hempel: Alzheimer's makes memories fade
Hempel was diagnosed with the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
“I find that more and more is disappearing from my head.
I can still remember it now.
I don't know how much longer that will be the case," says Hempel, who wrote down the details of the abuse for himself.
Hempel had previously told his wife Ines about it.
"It was very difficult for him to talk about it, so he wrote it down," reported Ines Hempel in the documentation.
She read these notes and said: "What has broken the soul, I can't heal either."
There was more good news for the German Swimming Association in Rome, where a German couple was able to celebrate double gold.