McKayla Maroney said she thought she “would have starved at the Olympics” in 2012 if Larry Nassar didn’t bring her food.
“Your coaches are just always watching you and wanting to keep you skinny,” Maroney said in an interview with Savannah Guthrie that will air in full on an hourlong “Dateline” special Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. “There’s just other things about the culture that are also messed up that he used against us.”
Past U.S. national team coordinators Bela and Martha Karolyi also gave interviews for the Dateline special “Silent No More.”
Maroney laughed when she said Nassar bought her a loaf of bread.
Her comments were shown on TODAY on Thursday, less than a day after her 2012 Olympic champion teammate Jordyn Wieber testified at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing to discuss the roles of national governing bodies — like USA Gymnastics — in protecting athletes following the Nassar case.
“We couldn’t smile or laugh in training,” Wieber said at the hearing. “We were even afraid to eat too much in front of our coaches, who were pressured to keep us thin.”
Maroney, Wieber and other U.S. national team gymnasts had personal coaches and convened multiple times per year at the Karolyi ranch in Texas for national team camps. Wieber’s personal coach, John Geddert, was the 2012 Olympic team coach.
Geddert was suspended by USA Gymnastics in January and is facing a criminal investigation after Nassar, who molested girls at Geddert’s gym in Michigan, was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison on Jan. 24. Geddert said he had “zero knowledge” of Nassar’s crimes.
“Our athletes, like McKayla, are the heart and soul of USA Gymnastics, and every effort has been made to support our athletes’ development and provide the opportunities for them to achieve their dreams.” USA Gymnastics said in a statement to NBC News.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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