Aly Raisman

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Aly Raisman wanted to read this letter in front of Larry Nassar

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Titled “This is Survival,” Aly Raisman shared a testimony letter that she wrote to a judge before Larry Nassar was sentenced Thursday to 60 years in prison.

The full victim impact statement on The Players’ Tribune is here.

“Some days I feel happy and protected for sharing my story,” Raisman wrote. “Other days I have bad anxiety and either feel traumatized from Larry Nassar’s abuse or I fear something else will happen in the future.”

Raisman, captain of the last two U.S. Olympic champion gymnastics teams, first publicly said last month that she was sexually abused by Nassar when Nassar was a USA Gymnastics team doctor.

Raisman said that after Nassar pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges in July, she was told that she could submit a statement for sentencing consideration and that she could read it in court in front of Nassar.

“After some internal back and forth, I decided I wanted to go to the sentencing and read the letter,” Raisman wrote. “I wanted to be present to not only show him I was strong, but also to explain how his abuse still impacts me today. … I needed to mentally prepare myself for speaking in front of this monster.”

Raisman said the judge denied victims the chance to speak one week before sentencing.

“I don’t want it to go unread,” Raisman wrote about her letter. “This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Every time I share my story, it feels like the first time. I relive years of trauma. But this is part of my truth and part of my healing. This is survival.”

Raisman, 23, said Nassar first treated her when she was 15, though she was at first in denial that it was sexual abuse.

“I always thought he was weird, but I just thought he was weird,” Raisman said on TODAY last month. “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. I was so young. I had never really worked with another doctor or trainer before. Everyone said he was the best.”

In her book, “Fierce,” Raisman said she would not get into specifics of what she called Nassar’s abuse, writing “that information is private.”

Raisman noted in her letter published Thursday that she was overcome with anxiety when thinking about what Nassar had done. Once, she lost consciousness while taking prescribed anxiety and sleeping medications.

“I woke up to my terrified mom calling 911,” Raisman wrote. “I was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital, where the doctors realized the issue was a side effect from one of the medications. My doctor has recommended that I try other medications to help me cope, but the trauma of what happened with those medications put me over the edge. It just added to the list of things I was anxious and stressed about.”

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MORE: McKayla Maroney’s testimony letter before Nassar sentencing

Aly Raisman shifts focus from 2020 Olympics to new role

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The people come forward to Aly Raisman almost daily now.

Random strangers. Men and women of various ages, races and backgrounds.

They see the six-time Olympic medal winning gymnast out in public and approach with a hug to give and a story to tell.

It was jarring at first, if Raisman is being honest.

When she pitched her autobiography “Fierce” to publishers last summer shortly after the 2016 Olympics, she intended to focus on her journey from tenacious prodigy to champion.

And while all of that is in there, the part of her experience that’s resonated the most since the book’s release earlier this month is the one she wasn’t sure she’d be able to share.

It’s Chapter 22, titled “The Survivors.”

In it, Raisman outlines how she was abused by former national team doctor Larry Nassar, how he “groomed” her by presenting himself as a friendly ear and how she feels he was empowered to continue over the course of years by those in charge at USA Gymnastics.

Raisman spent weeks working on the section, revisiting it again and again, trying to get it just right. Or at least as close to right as she can get.

“I put in a ton of thought whether how I wanted to come forward about this,” Raisman said. “What I realized at the end of the day is that I want change and I want people to understand what exactly abuse is. It’s very complicated. It’s very confusing. I didn’t know that I was being abused because I was manipulated so horribly.”

In the process, Raisman discovered the abuse Nassar committed against other female athletes — including allegations from Olympic teammates McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas — is a very small part of a much larger problem that extends far beyond the actions of just one man.

It’s why she took those painful memories and put them on paper, to share with the world that, as she said over and over again, “It’s not OK. It’s never OK.”

The 23-year-old’s new calling makes thinking about a return to competition in time for the 2020 Olympics seem trivial.

“This is the focus,” Raisman said.

A focus that has turned her into an unexpected symbol of strength for others who share their experiences.

“Unfortunately sexual abuse is far too common,” Raisman said. “I’ve realized how many people are affected by it and it’s disgusting. That’s why I want change.”

Raisman has become an increasingly outspoken critic of USA Gymnastics, blaming the governing body for a lack of oversight on Nassar’s conduct.

The 54-year-old spent nearly 20 years as the team doctor for the U.S. women’s elite program, often working with athletes one-on-one.

Raisman declined to get into specifics about the abuse she was subjected to but her experience falls in line with what many other have claimed against Nassar: that he touched them inappropriately while describing it as proper treatment.

Nassar pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault in Michigan on Wednesday and will face at least 25 years in prison.

He still faces additional criminal charges and has been named in more than 125 civil lawsuits filed by former athletes.

Nassar’s downfall began following reporting by the Indianapolis Star in 2016 that highlighted chronic mishandling of abuse allegations against coaches and staff at some of USA Gymnastics’ more than 3,500 clubs across the country.

Raisman has not taken any legal action yet against Nassar, though she’s not ruling it out.

Her larger concern is educating young athletes and their parents on the warning signs while also loudly clamoring for change.

She has seen a familiar pattern repeat itself over the last 18 months: another gymnast comes out claiming abuse by Nassar, and USA Gymnastics follows with a press release attributed to no specific individual that praises them for their courage.

One of the most decorated Olympic athletes of her generation doesn’t just want words. She wants action.

USA Gymnastics has taken several steps in recent months.

President and CEO Steve Penny resigned under pressure in March and was replaced by Kerry Perry, who takes over on Dec. 1.

The organization hired Toby Stark, a child welfare advocate, as its director of SafeSport over the summer.

Part of Stark’s mandate is educating members on rules, educational programs and reporting.

The federation also adopted over 70 recommendations by Deborah Daniels, a former federal prosecutor who oversaw an extensive independent review.

It’s not enough for Raisman.

She points out Penny wasn’t fired but instead forced out.

Though Nassar’s relationship with USA Gymnastics officially ended in 2015 after an athlete came forward about potential abuse, he was still allowed to continue working at Michigan State University while also volunteering at a USA Gymnastics-affiliated club.

“That is just unacceptable to me,” Raisman said. “(That gym) is a part of USA Gymnastics. USA Gymnastics is responsible for kids at that gym. Instead of doing their job, they let Larry keep working there.”

Raisman would like to see more extensive change in leadership at USA Gymnastics.

She never imagined being an agent for change as she dreamed of the Olympics while growing up in Needham, Mass., but she’s embracing the role as she comes to grips with her own victimhood.

Chapter 22 wasn’t the end, only the beginning.

“I’m still, as you see, processing it,” she said. “I’m still at a loss for words. I’m having so many people come up to me, telling me they had similar experience, that they filed a complaint and it was ignored. I will do everything I can to make sure those people are heard.”

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MORE: Gabby Douglas: ‘We were abused by Larry Nassar’

Aly Raisman’s advice from David Ortiz after pre-Olympic injury

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It’s Christmas Eve 2015, and Aly Raisman is — where else — at Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz‘s house.

She’s also sporting a black walking boot.

Raisman said in her book, “Fierce,” published Tuesday, that she partially tore left ankle ligaments warming up on floor exercise at a December 2015 national team camp.

Raisman thought about quitting gymnastics during that camp, not only for that injury but also because she was brought to tears — two days before getting hurt — believing that she wouldn’t make the Olympic team named in seven months.

Raisman was told by a doctor to keep pressure off the ankle for four weeks.

Later that month, she arrived at Ortiz’s house for a Christmas Eve small group gathering. Raisman and Ortiz had been friends since she threw a ceremonial first pitch at an August 2012 Red Sox game.

Ortiz asked how she was doing wearing that boot.

“I just don’t feel confident anymore,” she said. “There are all these younger girls coming up, and they’re all better than me.”

Ortiz, then a 40-year-old going into his final MLB season, nodded and offered advice.

“You have to use the moment and not let it use you,” he said.

Seven months later, Raisman made her second Olympic team. A month after that, she won another Olympic gold and two silvers, giving her six career Olympic medals.

Raisman plans to return for a Tokyo 2020 run.

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MORE: How Raisman addressed Larry Nassar in book