Simone Biles shared that she was a survivor of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse.
Biles, who won four gold medals and a bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016, said she wanted to speak out about the reaction to her admission because it was important. Biles stated she felt a huge relief when she opened up about the ordeal after she had been forced to suppress the trauma for so long.
Larry Nassar was sentenced to 175 years in prison for a long list of charges including: videos of him molesting little girls in a pool, thousands of pornographic images of children and sexually abusing many of the young gymnasts he treated over the years.
Biles took a break from gymnastics to clear her head. She returned to the sport to compete at the World Championships in Qatar this month.
She stated: “I think it was very important to support the fellow gymnasts it had happened to and to speak up for what you believe in and say ‘I don’t think this is right’ and I hope I gave them courage to come out and tell their stories one day if they want to.”
“People do look up to me so if they can see Simone can be strong enough then hopefully I can too — and that’s the message I wanted to give.
“It kind of felt empowering even though I know that is an overused word right now.”
Biles had nothing but praise for Judge Rosemarie Aquilina who sentenced Nassar, and she stated he “got what he deserved”.
“The judge was absolutely amazing on her part, so we were very proud of her, and it is kind of a relief because [Nassar] got what he deserved and he almost got as many years [in prison] as [he abused] girls.
“It’s kind of crazy because I can’t be the one to save everything, but as long as I do my job and everyone is pleased maybe I’ll save something.”
Simone Biles, like many survivors, suffered in silence.
When will the time come when survivors won’t have have to go through this trauma alone What will you do to support them