Olympic medalist Kellie Wells tells of personal struggle with sexual abuse and tragedy when her parents died in crash horror


 

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

PUBLISHED: 10:22 EST, 8 August 2012 UPDATED: 12:26 EST, 8 August 2012


  • Bronze medalist Kellie Wells was abused as a teen by her mother’s fiancée
  • A month after he assaulted her, both her mother and her rapist were killed in a car accident
  • Miss Wells decided to turn the tragedy into a triumph and dedicated herself to her sport


When Kellie Wells crossed the finish line of the 100m Hurdle Olympic event yesterday, she won more than the bronze.

Miss Wells finally accomplished what she set out to do when she was just a teenager who turned to the track to find herself and overcome the tragedies that befell her.

As a high school sophomore, she left home after her mother’s fiancée raped her – a difficult decision for anyone – but it was compounded by a horrific accident a month later in which both Jeanette Wells and Richard Gomes were killed.

She has used her position in the world of sports to promote empowerment for survivors of abuse, saying confidently ‘I always tell people you don’t have to be a victim.’

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Finish

Finish: When Kellie Wells crossed the finish line of the 100m Hurdle Olympic event yesterday, she won more than the bronze

 

 
journey
journey
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey: Miss Wells finally accomplished what she set out to do when she was just a teenager and turned to the track to find herself and overcome the tragedies that befell her

 

 
Triumph

Triumph: As a high school sophomore, she left home after her mother’s fiancee raped her – a difficult decision for anyone – but it was compounded by a horrific accident a month later in which both Jeanette Wells and Richard Gomes were killed

Miss Wells began her Olympic career as a gangly younger girl chasing her older sister Tonni in her family’s Richmond, Virginia, neighborhood.

She fell in love with track, using the long practices and intense workouts as an escape from her abusive stepfather, according to ESPN.

 

Her talent and determination were the perfect mix and she began competing fiercely, though tragedy was not far behind.

In an interview with NBC, she spoke of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Mr Gomes.

 
Power

Power: She has used her position in the world of sports to promote empowerment for survivors of abuse, saying confidently ‘I always tell people you don’t have to be a victim’

 
adorable
adorable
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Childhood: Miss Wells began her Olympic career as a gangly younger girl chasing her older sister Tonni in her family’s Richmond, Virginia, neighborhood

 

 
Strength

Strength: She fell in love with track, using the long practices and intense workouts as an escape from her abusive stepfather

 

 
Family

Family: When she was 16, she says those abuses escalated to rape. Miss Wells, right, turned to her mother, left, but was met with silence

She said that he would become increasingly intimate with her, demanding that she stay by his side at all times and would insist she be disrobed when receiving a punishment from him.

When she was 16, she says those abuses escalated to rape. She turned to her mother, but was met with silence.

She moved into a friend’s home for her safety. A month later both her mother and her rapist were killed in a crash.

‘I know my story is very common to a lot of people, and it’s swept under the rug a lot,’ she said to theTelegraph.

‘If I can help at least one person and show you don’t have to be a product of your environment, you don’t have to keep secrets, and you don’t have to hide, that would be amazing.’

 
Strength

Strength: She moved into a friend’s home for her safety. A month later both her mother and her rapist were killed in a crash

 

 
 
injury
injury
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trial: She remained very private about her personal life until 2008. While attempting to qualify for the Olympics in Beijing, she was injured and sidelined from competing. Miss Wells used the time to reflect

 

 

The star athlete struggled to cope with the horrific loss and again turned to track to make something positive out of such an unimaginable circumstance.

‘I could go on for hours about the things I wish with her and what could have been different. But… if things would have turned out different, I wonder would I be here,’ she wrote on her blog.

‘I wonder would I be in this position to inspire so many people and to try to help so many women and young girls fight against the rage… the rage that may be inside them and the rage that comes from someone else.’

 
Will

Will: She wrote an impassioned post on her blog and took control of her history

 

 
Center Stage:

Center Stage: Australia’s Sally Pearson, left, Kellie Wells, center, and compatriot Dawn Harper, right, wait for their times after finishing the women’s 100m hurdles final during the London 2012 Olympic Games

 

 
Celebration

Celebration: Kellie Wells celebrates at the end of the the women’s 100m hurdles final at the athletics event during the London 2012

She remained very private about her personal life until 2008.

While attempting to qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, she was injured and sidelined from competing for the year as well as for most of the 2009 season.

Miss Wells used the time to reflect on everything that had happened.

‘People don’t listen to the girl in fifth or sixth place who is not making teams. They listen to the person who is successful, and if I’m successful it means I can share my story with girls and boys and women who will look up to me.’
Kellie Wells

‘When I couldn’t run, I had to figure out another way to deal with it,’ she told NBC.

She wrote an impassioned post on her blog and took control of her history.

‘I am not my past,’ she said.

‘People don’t listen to the girl in fifth or sixth place who is not making teams. They listen to the person who is successful, and if I’m successful it means I can share my story with girls and boys and women who will look up to me.’

The joy of taking home a medal yesterday overwhelmed the gracious athlete.

‘I haven’t slept. And I can’t. I’m still floating!’ she tweeted. ‘ I did it. I got medal. Omgg!’

She finished third behind compatriot Dawn Harper and Sally Pearson.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2185465/Olympic-medalist-Kellie-Wells-tells-sexual-abuse-tragedy-parents-died-crash-horror.html


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