07/19/2013 04:44 pm ET

Dominique Moceanu Talks Body Image In Gymnastics, Says Coaches Can 'Scar For Life' (VIDEO)

Dominique Moceanu wowed the world as a member of the "Magnificent Seven," the U.S. women's gymnastics team that took home a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics. Her talent earned her the admiration of the country, but Moceanu says the path to Olympic glory was littered with attacks on her own body image.

Moceanu talked with HuffPost Live's Dena Takruri about the intense pressure and humiliation she felt from her coach Bela Karolyi, who was extremely critical of her body and blamed Moceanu's mistakes on eating too much.

"The mentality is thin is in," Moceanu said. "Some coaches are not educated at the elite level in health and nutrition. They're not educated in how the body works, from anatomy and physiology perspectives."

The athlete added that she sympathizes with young gymnasts whose self-esteem could potentially be damaged for good.

"We need to educate our elite coaches more and have a better approach to teaching the athletes about how to be healthy rather than berate them, humiliate them, use tactics that could scar them for life," she said.

Watch the whole interview with Dominique Moceanu at HuffPost Live HERE.



Dominique Moceanu Through The Years