Tonight, Friday 4/090/10, on “20/20” (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), ABC News investigates cases of sexual misconduct in the world of American swimming coaches. Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross reports on a series of incidents involving girls who say they were abused at the hands of the coaches they turned to for guidance and mentoring in the sport they loved. USA Swimming is the governing body that oversees the U.S. Olympic team and competitive swimming around the country, with many of its members turning professional and competing in Olympic Games. Chuck Wielgus, executive director of USA Swimming, tells Brian Ross that, while USA Swimming is aware of complaints, and at times lawsuits involving its coaches, the organization tries to create a safe environment for the swimmers, including conducting criminal background checks on coaches.
However, he notes that it is the responsibility of individual clubs to fully investigate the backgrounds of the coaches and the staff they hire. In a response to Ross, when asked if he feels the need to apologize to the young swimmers who were abused by their coaches, Wielgus tells Ross that he does not feel the need to apologize personally, or on behalf of the organization, for the misconduct of their coaches towards young swimmers.
Wielgus goes on to say that it is unfair for Ross to ask for an apology when the organization is doing everything it possibly can to create a safe and healthy environment for kids participating in their programs. The victims and parents who speak out in this “20/20” report tell a very different story when they sit down with Ross to discuss their experiences in this shocking and eye-opening report.
Then: When Michigan mom Carri Emmons awoke in the middle of the night feeling ill last April, the last thing she imagined was that she was experiencing labor pains and that a baby was on the way! Moments later, she was in her bathtub positioning herself to give birth, all while on the telephone with a 911 operator. Carri had gone a full nine months without knowing she was pregnant, and the entire surprise labor and birth is heard on a 911 recording. After three children, it was not supposed to be possible for Carri and her husband to have more children; or so they both thought. “Good Morning America” news anchor JuJu Chang sits down with Carri and her family to hear firsthand how it was that a mother of three did not know she was pregnant. Hear the frantic and alarming 911audio tape for the first time on national television when “20/20” tells Carri Emmons’ story tonight.
Elizabeth Vargas and Chris Cuomo are the co-anchors of ABC News’ “20/20.” David Sloan is the executive producer.