Alyssa Baumann said she is a Larry Nassar sexual-abuse survivor, joining many fellow former U.S. national team members in coming forward.
Baumann, a member of the U.S.’ gold-medal team at the 2014 World Championships, filed a lawsuit in August against Nassar, USA Gymnastics, the International Gymnastics Federation and World Sport Chicago as a “Jane Doe.”
It will now be amended to include her name.
Baumann released a statement on social media and through a public relations firm Thursday:
“I feel like I have reached a point where I can share my truth. Even though it makes me feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, I believe sharing my story will help me heal, and more importantly, help others who are still dealing with this trauma. I, too, was sexually abused by Larry Nassar. He betrayed my trust and took advantage of me for years.
“You may ask why I didn’t speak up earlier. I was in denial and I was scared. I even hesitated to share my story with my family because I didn’t want to upset them or be a burden. It took a long time to face what happened and it will take even longer to overcome, but by sharing my story I know I’m on the path to healing.
“My hope is that my story will encourage others to speak up about their own situation—so they too can begin to heal. May this also serve as reminder to those in authority to take the appropriate actions to completely change USAG’s culture and hold every Nassar enabler accountable so that future generations of gymnasts can feel safe and enjoy the sport again.
“Finally, yes, I am a survivor of sexual assault, but I refuse to let that define or limit me. I pray that people will still see me as Alyssa. A strong person who never gave up even after a severe injury. A loyal friend and an even better teammate. As someone that loves to laugh but loves to make others laugh more. A former U.S. National Team member who was proud to represent my country, a World Champion, and a Florida Gator through and through.
“To all the other survivors, I stand with you and your bravery inspires me. To those who have chosen to remain private, you are not alone, we will get through this together. #MeToo.”
Baumann, 20, is at least the fifth member of the 2014 World team to come forward as a Nassar survivor, joining Simone Biles, Kyla Ross, Madison Kocian and Ashton Locklear. She moved to college gymnastics this year, competing as a freshman at the University of Florida. Overall, hundreds have come forward as Nassar survivors.
Baumann said she was abused by Nassar at every national team camp that she attended from 2013 through 2015 and at meets including the 2014 U.S. Championships and 2014 World Championships.
Nassar is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison.