Former Figure Skater Bridget Namiotka Dies At Age 32

Figure skater Bridget Namiotka has died at the age of 32.

Her parents told USA Today in an interview published Friday that their daughter, who was a national and international medal-winning skater, died in July.

The news outlet did not specify a cause of death, but Namiotka’s parents said she struggled with addiction following sexual abuse she suffered as a teen. In 2019, the figure skater publicly accused her former pairs partner John Coughlin of sexually assaulting her.

“Bridget succumbed to her long struggles with addiction after several very difficult years of dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse,” Steve and Maureen Namiotka told USA Today. “She was a beautiful child and a wonderful athlete, and we are heartbroken. It is our hope that Bridget’s death will bring new attention to the terrible effects of sexual abuse and addiction in our society.”

Namiotka’s public allegations against Coughlin came out after he died by suicide the same year. Before his death, Coughlin ― who had also been a skating coach, commentator and chair of the International Skating Union’s Athletes Commission ― had recently been restricted from the skating world following three reports of sexual misconduct. It was unclear whether one of those was from Namiotka.

Coughlin had told USA Today in an email that the claims against him were “unfounded.”

After Namiotka came forward, another figure skater, Olympian Ashley Wagner, also publicly accused Coughlin of sexual abuse.

Ashley Wagner competing in 2018.

Matthew Stockman via Getty Images

Namiotka, who was from Pennsylvania, skated with Coughlin beginning in 2004, when she was 14, according to ESPN. They skated together until 2007. He was five years older than she was.

Namiotka also skated with a different partner, Alex Merritt, prior to skating with Coughlin. She stopped skating competitively in 2007.

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