MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – An emotional keynote address involving a world-class athlete took place at a symposium on preventing sex abuse on Long Island on Tuesday.

Former Olympian Katherine Starr still has a difficult time talking about the sex abuse that she was forced to endure from her coach decades ago, when she was only 14 years old. She said he ruined her life and her dream.

WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported

“It was an uphill battle,” Starr told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs. “It’s devastated my life and caused a lot of pain.”

Starr offered her moving and heartfelt perspective at “Recognizing and Preventing Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports,” a Nassau County symposium on preventing child sex abuse.

“Thirty years later these same things are happening in sports,” Starr said. “I still get choked up. I can’t see another child who has a dream, who has a gift, have to suffer at the hands of a coach.”

The former Olympic swimmer heads a non-profit organization, safe4athletes, that fights sex abuse among young athletes.

What more can be done to prevent coaches from taking advantage of and abusing their players? Offer your thoughts and comments below…

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