Beach Volleyball Star Who Raped 12-Yr-Old Girl Cleared to Compete at Olympics

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Dutch beach volleyball star Steven van de Velde has been cleared to compete at the Olympic Games in Paris next month despite being convicted of raping a 12-year-old British girl.

Van de Velde was sentenced to four years in prison after admitting three counts of rape against a child he had met on Facebook, but served only 12 months, despite his lack of remorse. Van de Velde continues to insist that his not a “monster” or “pedophile” despite his actions.

He was 19 when he flew from Amsterdam to the UK in 2014 to meet the 12-year-old girl, with his defense lawyer stating upon the guilty verdict that his sporting career was over.

However, since his release in 2017, pedophilia has become increasingly normalized in Europe and he has been allowed to rehabilitate his Olympic ambitions, with the Dutch NOC fully supporting his presence at the Paris Games.

“Since 2018, Steven van de Velde has been participating in international beach volleyball tournaments again following an intensive, professionally-supervised trajectory,” it said. “After his release, he sought and received professional counselling. He demonstrated to those around him – privately and professionally – self-insight and reflection.”

Yahoo report: It also indicated that Van de Velde’s reintegration into Olympic sport satisfied the Dutch volleyball federation, which imposes the conditions by which athletes can resume competing after conviction. He had, it said, “met all qualification criteria for the Olympic Games”.

The International Olympic Committee distanced itself from the controversy. “The nomination of individual team members, following qualification on the field of play, is the sole responsibility of each respective National Olympic Committee,” it said.

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In a previous interview in Holland, Van de Velde, now married and a father, said of his crime: “I can’t reverse it, so will have to bear the consequences. It has been the biggest mistake of my life.” But elsewhere he has railed against his portrayal, arguing in 2017: “I have been branded as a sex monster, as a paedophile. That I am not, really not.”

Van de Velde and his beach volleyball partner Matthew Immers, 23, are medal contenders in Paris after recently defeating Swedish pair David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig, the No 1-ranked pair in the world.

An article in Dutch paper De Telegraaf asked: “Can Van de Velde, who was convicted long ago in Great Britain for having sex with a 12-year-old girl, participate in the Olympic Games? In the Netherlands, the responsible authorities think so, because the now 29-year-old has served his sentence and qualified for Paris.”

Baxter Dmitry
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Baxter Dmitry is a writer at The People's Voice. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.