Some of the United States’ most decorated and accomplished gymnasts are in Washington, DC, where they are testifying about heart-wrenching abuse and indifference in the aftermath in front of Congress.
Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols, and Aly Raisman testified on Capitol Hill in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee as they spoke to the failures in the FBI’s investigation into former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar is currently serving up to 175 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting hundreds of girls and women, per ABC News.
“We have been failed, and we deserve answers,” Simone Biles said, the first to deliver her opening statement.
“Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable,” Biles continued.
“If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others across Olympic sports.”
In the details of their testimony, these gymnasts laid out the ugly truth of how the investigation failed them and allowed Nassar to continue to abuse other girls.
“Today, I ask you all to hear my voice. I ask you please do all that is in your power to ensure that these individuals are held responsible and accountable for ignoring my initial report, for lying about my initial report and for covering up for a child molester,” McKayla Maroney leveled.
“Over the past few years it has become painfully clear how a survivor’s healing is affected by the handling of their abuse, and it disgusts me that we are still fighting for the most basic answers and accountability over six years later,” Aly Raisman later asserted.
“It took over 14 months for the FBI to contact me despite my many requests to be interviewed by them. I felt pressure by the FBI to consent to Nassar’s plea deal. The agent diminished the significance of my abuse and made me feel my criminal case wasn’t worth pursuing.”
“I want everyone to know this did not happen to ‘gymnast two’ or ‘athlete A.’ It happened to me, Maggie Nichols,” Nichols testified.
“I reported my abuse to USA Gymnastics over six years ago and still my family and I received even few answers and had even more questions why this allowed to occur and why dozens of other little girls and women at Michigan State had to be abused after I reported,” she said.
“In sacrificing my childhood for the chance to compete for the United States, I am haunted by the fact even after I reported my abuse so many women and girls had to suffer at the hands of Larry Nassar.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified as well, apologizing to Nassar’s victims, including those before him.
“I’m sorry for what you and your families have been through. I’m sorry that so many different people let you down over and over again. And I’m especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed,” said Wray, though he wasn’t the FBI director at the time the allegations against Nassar were made.
“That is inexcusable. It never should have happened, and we’re doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again.”