Simone Biles is another Olympic gymnast to come forward and share her story about being sexually abused by her doctor, Larry Nasser. And she isn't the first one, either. Her teammates Aly Raisman and McKayla Morony refused to be silenced as well as they have also previously spoken about the abuse they endured. The girls are telling their stories to not only raise awareness but in hopes that no other athlete has to go through the same thing. The trio makes it known that even though they made their dreams come true, it came with a price.
Simone most recently posted a photo on Instagram detailing her story. She captioned the post, "Feelings... 💭" and wrote, "Most of you know me as a happy, giggly, and energetic girl. But lately...I've felt a bit broken and the more I try to shut off the voice in my head the louder it screams. I am not afraid to tell my story anymore.
I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar. Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper. There are many reasons why I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault." She kept on and talked about how she was told trust this man, the questions she has asked herself about the situation, her dreams of competing in Tokyo 2020 and how her friends' coming out and bravely sharing their experiences inspired her to do the same.
Aly appeared on 60 minutes to tell her side of the story. She also spoke on the TODAY show and said, "I want people to know that I really didn’t know what was happening to me. He was a doctor and he told me that his treatment would help heal all of my injuries. He was such a master manipulator, and I think that’s what’s important for people to understand is that these monsters are so good at manipulating you so you’re so brainwashed to think ― I thought he was so nice."
People magazine has also obtained an excerpt from her book, Fierce, which comes out on November 14, 2017. The passage reads, "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.
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, 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."
All of these stories are heartbreaking and fans are able to see the real and completely raw emotions of these gymnasts through their words. Aly continued, "Why are we looking at why didn't the girls speak up? Why not look at what about the culture?" she said. "What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?"
Aly started seeing this doctor when she was just 15 years old. She explained, "I am angry. I'm really upset because it's been -- I care a lot, you know, when I see these young girls that come up to me, and they ask for pictures or autographs, whatever it is, I just ... I can't ... every time I look at them, every time I see them smiling, I just think ... I just want to create change so that they never, ever have to go through this."
It was after the Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio that she talked with FBI investigators about the case and still wonders why all of this took so long to come into the spotlight. However, this is just Aly's story. There are quite possibly many others as Larry was involved with USA Gymnastics for over three decades and attended four Olympic games. Larry is currently awaiting his sentencing for separate charges and could face life in prison if convicted on any of those allegations.
However, this still doesn't bring justice to all of the people that he hurt along the way. He was in a position of power, actually named the national medical coordinator for USA Gymnastics up until the summer of 2015. These accusations are disturbing and completely heartbreaking, but it takes true courage for the girls to get in front of basically the entire world and explain what had exactly been going on behind the scenes.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call 1-800-656-HOPE to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.