On record with Aly Raisman, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist, “I believe that Everyone is a Survivor of something.” On January 19th, 2018, Aly a 3-time U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist added her voice to a chorus of countless other women—who have spoken about the sexual misconduct scandal, the biggest one yet in the sports history. Larry Nassar was sentenced up to 175 years in prison following the misconduct.
The Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Aly Raisman’s decision to finally set the record straight about the sexual abuse she received at the hands of former USA Gymnastics team Doctor Larry Nassar was a brave act of fighting against sexual abuse and using her voice to make a difference.
The 23-year-old former captain of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastic team came forwardwith a disturbing account of how Nassar began “molesting” her at the age of 15, first in November 2016.
In a jarring chapter spread over 12 pages in her book “Fierce,” Raisman spelled out how she came to the conclusion that she had been allegedly sexually abused by – USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Read an excerpt from the book below:
“It wasn’t until I started seeing other doctors and athletic trainers that I began to realize that their methods were far different from Larry’s,” she writes.
“When I lay on my stomach to have my hamstrings worked on, towels were draped over my hips and buttocks for privacy and to ensure that there was no inappropriate skin-to-skin contact. They never, ever crossed any lines in where they massaged.
“And there was never a moment when their methods made me uncomfortable. It was different with Larry. I would lie on the table, my hands involuntarily balling themselves into fists as his ungloved hands worked their way under my clothing. ‘Treatment sessions’ with him always made me feel tense and uncomfortable.”
“I would grit my teeth,” she writes, “trying to convince myself that all this was part of the healing process. The truth was he never made my injuries feel any better, but I always obeyed because he had a reputation for being the best doctor.”
She battled shame, guilt and depression in the aftermath.
Raisman spent months urging the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics to get serious about taking a long hard look into how Nassar’s abusive conduct was allowed to run unchecked for so long.She has filed a lawsuit against both organizations, claiming they “knew or should have known” about abusive patterns of Nassar. The filing alleges negligence by the USOC and USA Gymnastics for failing to make sure appropriate protocols were followed in regard to monitoring Larry Nassar.
Aly has been open about dedicating her life to protecting and supporting other sexual abuse victims. Through her valor, she has become an undeniable voice for change and continues to do so with her fight against abuse. She also sharply criticized USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee for failing to protect young, vulnerable gymnasts from abuse.
Read her full statement here.