Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Victor Walk

This weekend's Trifextra challenge concerns the use of hyperbole.


WARNING!!!
THIS ENTRY CONTAINS CONTENT OF A SENSITIVE NATURE. IT MAY BE UPSETTING TO SOME. NO OFFENSIVE IS INTENDED.  PLEASE EXERCISE CAUTION IN DECIDING TO READ THIS POST. IT CONCERNS SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN.


The Victor Walk

Midnight.
First road trip
under Coach's care.
In Coach's room
he takes off my underwear.

A thousand lifetimes ago
Since Dad shook his hand
Thanking Coach for helping to make me a man.




***This poem is written to support the efforts of former NHL hockey star, Theo Fleury.  It is Fleury's story.

     Fleury was a member of several hockey teams over the course of his career but, gained most fame, as a member of the Calgary Flames.  An all-star many times and a member of Canada's Gold medal winning Men's Ice Hockey team at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Fleury was one of the top players of his generation.
     Upon retiring, he published his biography called, "Playing with Fire".  In the book, his revealed that he had been keeping a secret throughout his adult life; the secret being that he had suffered sexual abuse during his junior hockey days at the hands of his coach.  The tragedy of what happened to Fleury fuelled a descent into alcoholism, drug abuse and, almost, suicide.   Eventually he realized that remaining silent was akin to allowing his abuser to escape justice.  So, Fleury came forward and revealed his secret. In doing so, he became the highest profile athlete in Canada, at least, to reveal details of such a sensitive nature about his life.
     Since then, Fleury has begun campaigning tirelessly across Canada for improved protection for children from pedophiles, tougher laws for those convicted and greater awareness and understanding for the victims. In particular, he has started an organization called Victorwalk that acts as an organizational home base for events in support of this cause.
     My own life is blessed beyond belief. I have never suffered the kind of abuse that Theo Fleury has, and countless others, too.  However, if I can help by lending my time as a conduit to get Fleury's message out then, I'll have helped in my own small way.


13 comments:

  1. Great hyperbole but an ever better story. Thanks for sharing this.

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  2. What a sad story but we trust these coaches with our children so willing and especially when a child is incredibly talented. The coach is like a god to them. Horrible story that I'm happy I now know because Fleury stood up!

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  3. Handshake like a nail in a coffin.
    Terrific execution of a hard poem, Tom.

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  4. Living in PA where we got the full brunt of the Penn State scandal everyday, this is certainly something that hits hard with me. There's too much of this sort of stuff (and worse) happening all the time. Thanks for sharing the story.

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  5. Very sad that trust is abused in so many ways & worst when innocent children have to bear the brunt!Great entry from you.

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  6. This is perfectly terse and captures amazingly well the combination of confusion, acceptance and twisted self-definition that can wreak havoc on child sex abuse victims.

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  7. A very poignant piece, and sadly, so timely.

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  8. I wish for the days when such things do not happen to destroy innocents. Great job!

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  9. great hyperbole and the story behind it definitely stirred my emotions.. it's very sad, yet very real.. i'm glad he didn't keep silent.

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  10. i saw him play on tv many times. This piece said a lot. loved it.

    Go devils

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  11. it's my first time to your blog..and while I loved this, wow, your words were heart wrenching and deeply thoughtful.

    in the middle of this stunted Hockey season, I am glad you wrote this, All these young people having moments of their childhood stolen, need someone to help tell their story.

    *NOW FOLLOWING*

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  12. This is a very powerful piece. Tough to read, but real for so many people.

    I had not heard about Theo Fleury or the Victor Walk until now. It is always encouraging to see survivors speak out. The more the silence is broken, and the more people who aren't survivors stand up and support us, the closer we come to real change in this world.

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  13. Very good writing! I remember similar scandals With swimming coaches here. One was even were I used to go as a child! Thankfully nothing happened to me either.

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