Simone Biles, the darling of the 2016 Olympics, revealed that her life outside the arena was a nightmare of sexual assault at the hands of Larry Nassar. She’s the third Olympian to be abused.
Biles, one of the Final Five on the team,made the revelations in a moving account published on social media.
“I too am one of the many survivors who was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” she wrote.
More than 140 women have come forward to accuse Nassar of sexual assault.
Nassar is scheduled to be sentenced in a Michigan, following a guilty plea to to seven counts of molesting girls as young as 10.
Simon Biles Full Statement Most of you know me as a happy, giggly, and energetic girl. But lately…I’ve felt a bit broken and the more I try to shut off the voice in my head the louder it screams. I am not afraid to tell my story anymore. I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar. Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper. There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault. It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the “special” treatment. This behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust. For too long I’ve asked myself, “Was I too naive? was it my fault? I now know the answer to those questions. No. No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG, and others. It is impossibly difficult to relive these experiences and it breaks my heart even more to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused. After hearing the brave stories of my friends and other survivors, I know that this horrific experience does not define me. I am much more than this. I am unique, smart, talented, motivated, and passionate. I have promised myself that my story will be much greater than this and I promise all of you that I will never give up. I will compete with all of my heart and soul every time I step into the gym. I love this sport too much and I have never been a quitter. I won’t let one man, and the others that enabled him, to steal my love and joy. We need to know why this was able to take place for so long and to many of us. We need to make sure something like this never happens again. As I continue to work through the pain, I kindly ask everyone to respect my privacy. This is a process, and one that I need more time to work through.
XO, Simone Biles
The sentencing hearing will begin on Tuesday and is expected to last until Friday. Some 88 victims are set to read letters and impact statements.
The assaults took place while he was working with USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University gymnastics team.
The five-time Olympic champion joined gymnasts Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, both of whom leveled similar charges against Nassar.
Biles said Nasser began assaulting her at the nation training facility in Texas.
“Most of you know me as a happy, giggly and energetic girl. But lately…I’ve felt a bit broken, and the more I try to shut off the voice in my head the louder it screams,” Biles wrote on her post.
‘Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper,” she added.
Biles was a standout at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
She won four Gold and a Bronze medal. Her haul included team and individual all-around Gold medals and individual Golds in vault and floor exercise. She won the Bronze for balance beam.
McKayla Maroney was the first to come forward followed by Raisman and Douglas, her teammates at the 2012 London games.
“After hearing the brave stories of my friends and other survivors, I know that this horrific experience does not define me,” wrote Biles.
“I am much more than this. I am unique, smart, talented, motivated and passionate.”
“We need to know why this was able to take place for so long and to so many of us. We need to make sure something like this never happens again,” she concluded.
Biles then asked for privacy while she works through her pain.
‘I am so proud of you. You are incredible Simone. I stand with you. I am shaking reading your post. I know we will all get through this together,’ wrote Raisman in support of her friend on Monday.
Both Biles and Raisman are training for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.