Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Behind the Aly Raisman interview on 60 Minutes

US Gymnastics Men's team Ezra Shaw Getty Images
Lucia Summers | 13 November, 2017, 20:55

Six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman has joined the list of USA gymnasts who say they were sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the team's longtime doctor.

"It doesn't matter if you're the Olympic champion or you're an 8-year-old that goes to gymnastics in OH, or wherever you are in the United States", Raisman said in a joint interview with USA TODAY Sports and The Associated Press in August, when she and her Final Five teammates from Rio were inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

That childish display came shortly after Raisman spoke with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and detailed how she was allegedly abused by Dr. Nassar under the guise of 'treatment'. I was like, 'I don't even know what to think.' You don't want to let yourself believe that, you know, I am a victim of sexual abuse. "It's really not an easy thing to let yourself believe that".

Raisman, the captain of the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold-medal winning team, details the abuse in her book "Fierce", which will be released on November 14. McKayla Maroney said in October that Nassar began sexually abusing her when she was 13 years old. He also faces charges related to the sexual abuse alleged by gymnasts he treated.

"I wanted to make sure that I did everything I could to not make things worse", he says of the four-hour interview with Raisman for 60 Minutes. 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.

Because the athletes were instructed to keep a strict diet while they were training, former gymnast Jeanette Antolin says Dr. Nassar would sneak them snacks and candy. "I see these young girls that come up to me, and they ask for pictures or autographs, whatever it is ... "Treatment sessions" with him always made me feel tense and uncomfortable", Raisman wrote in the book being released this week.

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Nassar, who is in jail after pleading guilty to child pornography charges, has not publicly commented on Raisman's allegations of sexual abuse, although in 2016 he denied all allegations of sexual abuse.

In a statement, USA Gymnastics said it was "appalled by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused, and we are very sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career". You know, you don't think that of someone.

Raisman's parents also spoke out about their daughter's abuse, saying that parents should educate their children on sexual assault and give them the tools to speak out if they are ever victims. Now that Raisman has blatantly accused the USA Gymnastics organization of not doing enough to protect its athletes, the organization has pledged to do better in the future.

See something entertaining on social media that you think deserves to be shared? "I just want to create change so that they never, ever have to go through this", said Raisman during a 60 Minutes interview. So I really thought he was my friend.

"I think it's important for people to know too I'm still trying to put the pieces together today". She also said that she spoke to FBI investigators about him after last year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"Why are we looking at 'why didn't the girls speak up?' Why not look at 'what about the culture?'" she asked.

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