Articles by "USA Gymnastics"
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Via USAG
After being denied the opportunity to speak at Larry Nassar's trial by the judge, US Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman shared her heartbreaking testimony letter to The Players Tribune.

The three time Olympic champion began her letter by explaining why she chose to write it. She hopes that "it will help others understand the profound impact Larry’s abuse has had on me, how his betrayal of trust has changed me and how his actions years ago continue to affect my daily life".

Last month, Raisman revealed that she was one of the many gymnasts who fell victim to the disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse. She said that he started treating her at the age of fifteen which was when the alleged abuse started.

Raisman wrote in the letter that she was taught to trust doctors hence believed that "you had my best interests at heart, and you made sure that message was reinforced, insisting your inappropriate touch was for medical reasons".

Nassar manipulated his victims into thinking that he was a good person and their friend " so that we would trust you, to make it easier for you to take advantage of so many people, including me. But you lied to me. You lied to all of us."

She explained that how his abuse took a toll on her that she has a hard time trusting other doctors.

"When I go to the doctor, especially a male doctor, I am scared and uncomfortable. Even if that doctor is recommended as the best, I am skeptical because I was told you were the best, and you certainly weren’t. I am afraid that another doctor will mistreat me and abuse his power like you did. In turn, I feel guilty that I harbor these doubts and suspicions."

She recalled how she avoided certain treatments that gymnasts rely upon, especially during intense Olympic training in the fear of having the abuse happen again.

"I should have gotten massages three times a week or so, but I was too afraid (even if the therapist was a woman). I lost confidence in my recovery, and this uncertainty began to undermine my training. Even today, I find myself scared that something bad will happen to me when I seek any medical treatment."

Larry's abuse made her overwhelmed by anxiety describing how she couldn't breath or even sleep well due to having terrible nightmares. The anxiety was to severe that she had to see a therapist ' a female one' who put her on prescription drugs which resulted in her having a bad reaction and losing consciousness.

She woke up to her terrified mom calling 911. She was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital. Her doctor recommended that she tries other medications to help her cope.

After this experience, she decided she needed to allow herself to feel what she had been suppressing for so long. she had spent so much time and energy trying to block out all the pain and trauma, and I realized it was just too much for me to contain.

"It was the most difficult period in my life. I was exhausted, barely able to do things I loved. I had no energy. I felt sad, anxious and confused. I couldn’t understand how someone could be so evil. And, painfully, Larry and his actions made me hate gymnastics for a time. Larry, you made me feel so uncomfortable and sad, and you made me believe the sport had let me down."

While it is not easy, she fights hard to believe that the sport, she loves, is independent of Larry and those who allowed him to abuse her.

"I’ve decided that I can’t let him take gymnastics away from me."

The 23 year old gymnast also wrote that still has her triggers despite her coping mechanism as finds herself constantly looking around, paranoid and afraid to be alone.

"When I am at a hotel by myself and I order room service, I worry a male will deliver the food."

"I’ve had to develop strategies and coping mechanisms. If a male knocks on the door, my heart begins to race. I hold the door open as he drops off the food and keep it open until he leaves."

"I often wonder if I am hurting their feelings by being so obviously distrusting of them. I always used to give people the benefit of the doubt, but if a decorated doctor who served on the national team for over 30 years turned out to be a monster, then how can I trust anybody? Now, I’ll often catch myself being scared that people I meet are like Larry. And I hate that. I hate that Larry took away my trust of others."

Because of Larry, her friendship with one of her best friends has suffered as she has also fallen victim to his abuse. 

"I thought we would be friends forever because we had gone through the best and worst moments together. But I think I remind her too much of what Larry did to us, and our friendship has suffered."

Written by Gigi Farid





After former US team doctor was given sixty years in prison for child abuse images, gymnast Aly Raisman sharply criticized USA Gymnastics, Michigan state and US Olympic committee in a series of tweets.

"We must look at the organizations that protected Nassar; @USAGym @TeamUSA @michiganstateu Until we understand the flaws in their systems, we can't be sure something like this won’t happen again. This is bigger than Larry. Those who looked other way need to be held accountable 2."


"I fear that there are still people working at these organizations who put money, medals and reputation above the safety of athletes. @michiganstateu @TeamUSA @USAGym."


"I wish @USAGym understood how painful & hurtful it is that they just don't seem to care. I am so devastated and disappointed in how they've handled this."



Raisman is one of the gymnasts who were sexually abused by Larry Nassar under the guise of treatment. 

The Olympic champion spoke about the abuse in her book "Fierce". She has also vowed to keep speaking up against USAG until she sees change. 

The 23 year old gymnast has previously blasted the organization for poorly handling Nassar's sexual abuse.

Nassar worked for USA Gymnastics for three decades and Michigan State University for two decades. During that time, he sexually abused more than 140 female athletes.

Raisman's teammate Gabby Douglas and Mckayla Maroney has also accused Nassar of sexually abusing them.

Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by Silvia Vatteroni



US gymnast Gabby Douglas came under fire when she victim blamed and shamed sexual abuse survivors, on Twitter, including her teammate Aly Raisman who recently revealed that she was one of the many gymnasts who were sexually abused by disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar.

Teammate and the most decorated US Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, who took a screenshot of Gabby's now deleted tweet, called her out on the social networking service for turning her back on her teammate adding that it doesn't surprise her.

"shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me... honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you &  to support her.   I support you Aly ๐Ÿ’• & all the other women out there! STAY STRONG," Simone tweeted.



This is not the first time for Biles to stand up for Raisman. Last week, she publicly supported her after the latter came out as a sexual abuse survivor.



Biles competed alongside Douglas at 2015 Worlds and 2016 Olympic Games.  

Written by Gigi Farid


Photo by Silvia Vatteroni

In a series of tweets, Gabby Douglas has victim blamed and shamed sexual assault survivors.

It all started when teammate Aly Raisman, who came out as one the gymnasts who fell victim to USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse, tweeted an image of text that calls for an end to victim shaming.



Douglas retweeted Raisman's tweet adding "It is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy. dressing in a provocative/sexual ways entices the wrong crowd".


Screenshot via 

After receiving backlash, she stated that she was misunderstood and that she is not blaming the victim but continued to ensure that "it goes both way".





 She then deleted her original tweet and apologized.

 Douglas competed alongside Raisman at 2011 and 2015 Worlds, and 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

It is worth mentioning that Douglas was the only Fierce Five member who did not publicly support Mckayla Maroney when she joined MeToo campaign and revealed that she was molested by Nassar.

Written by Gigi Farid.




Aly Raisman, who recently came out as a sexual abuse survivor, stated that she won't stop speaking out against USA Gymnastics until she sees changes.

In an interview with CBS, Raisman revealed that she was one of the many gymnasts who fell victim to team doctor Larry Nassar's alleged sexual misconduct while competing for the national team.

Nassar, who has worked for the USA Gymnastics for almost three decades, is accused of sexually assaulting more than hundred of women. He pleaded guilty in July to child porn charges and is awaiting trial on sexual assault charges.

The American gymnast said that Nassar started treating her at the age of fifteen which was when the alleged abuse started.

"I was just really innocent. I didn't really know. You know, you don't think that of someone. You know, so I just-- I trusted him," said Raisman. "I didn't know anything differently. We were told he is the best doctor. He's the United States Olympic doctor and the USA Gymnastics doctor, and we were very lucky we were able to see him."

She said that his treatments made her feel uncomfortable but she would brush it off and tell herself "He’s so nice to me and I don’t think he does it on purpose".

Raisman said that he would always bring her desserts or gifts and buy her little things to gain her trust.

"He was such a master manipulator, and I think that’s what’s important for people to understand is that these monsters are so good at manipulating you so you’re so brainwashed to think ― I thought he was so nice," she told NBC's "Today" Show.

In her new book "Fierce", she wrote that when she was alone with him during his so called treatment, he would often distract her by saying how great she was doing in training sessions.

She mentioned that a female coach overheard comments that she and other girls made about Nassar while training. The coach reported their remarks to USA Gymnastics.


"Most of us thought the way he touched us was weird. But he did it to so many of us that we assumed, blindly, that he must know something we didn’t," Raisman wrote.

The gymnasts, who alleged that Nassar sexually abused them, said that they were sent to him for any kind of pain and that he often suggested massage as the treatment.

They claimed that Nassar's treatments consisted of invasive massage, touching them inappropriately as well as vaginal or anal penetration without consent and without him wearing gloves. 

Nevertheless, Raisman did not go into graphic details regarding the abuse as "that information is private".

The 23 year old gymnast believes that USA Gymnastics did not look out for her the way it should have.

The organization has a long-standing policy that adults should "avoid being alone with a minor."  Despite that policy, Raisman said she was alone with Nassar and that he treated her and other athletes in their hotel rooms during competitions abroad.

"Nobody ever educated me on, "Make sure you're not alone with an adult." You know, "Make sure he's not making you uncomfortable." I didn't know the signs. I didn't know what sexual abuse really was," she explained.

In summer of 2015, Raisman was caught off guard when a private investigator, hired by USA Gymnastics, paid her a visit and asked her about Nassar after a coach had raised concerns about his treatment of athletes.

At that time she was still in denial and told the investigator that no one in the organization made her feel uncomfortable, and made excuses for Nassar.

It was only after the investigator left that she began to put the pieces together.

The triple Olympic champion tried to call USA Gymnastics to speak about the things she would have told the investigator after she had time to process what happened to her, she received a text from an official asking her to stop talking about her experiences with Nassar, so as not to jeopardize the investigation.

"I was basically told to keep it kinda quiet and that they were handling it," she said. "So they didn't let me help, I wanna help, I wanna do more."

"The 60 minute interview tonight, this interview is just the beginning I am just getting started and I am not gonna stop until I get what I want which is change."

Following Raisman's sexual abuse allegation against the disgraced doctor, USA Gymnastics released a statement expressing sadness for any athlete who has been harmed and that they want to work with Aly.

They also said that they recently adopted a "safe sport policy" that requires "mandatory reporting" of suspicions of sexual abuse and also sets standards to "prohibit grooming behavior" and "prevent inappropriate interaction" between athletes and adults.

However, Raisman and her parents are not optimistic.

"With the exception of Steve Penny, the same people [are] in place. So I don't really have tremendous hopes that a lot of those policies will be enforced," said Raisman's mother.

Steve Penny, who was President and CEO of USA Gymnastics from April 4, 2005 to March 16, 2017, was forced to resign after the sexual abuse scandal broke out. The organization has recently hired a woman called Kerry J Perry to lead the sport's governing body.

During the USA Gymnastics' Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony this year, she and her teammates from the Rio Olympic Games were given the could shoulder.

"There was a table of a lot of people that are very high up in USA Gymnastics that were in the room. And they didn't come over. You know, my teammates and I were all sitting at the table, and they did not come over to say hi to us or to congratulate us," she said.

"All we've done is worked really hard. We love the sport. And we were treated like, you know, "We don't want anything to do with you girls"."

Asked if by speaking out against them would hinder her chances of making her third Olympic Games, she said "You know, I think that's a very valid point. But I think that this, speaking out, and creating positive change so that athletes are safe, is more important than any Olympic medal you could ever win".

Written by Gigi Farid


Locklear/Instagram


Ashton Locklear announced on Instagram that she has just undergone a shoulder surgery.

According to her post, the American gymnast sustained a shoulder injury during last Worlds' uneven bars final. 

She wrote that the surgery was a success and that she cannot wait to start her comeback journey.

"Due to my shoulder injury in UB finals at the world championships I️ had to undergo surgery today but i’m happy to say that it was a successful one & I️ can’t wait to start this come back journey & share it with you guys ๐Ÿ’“ wanna say thanks to @usagym and dr.bicos for taking care of me! thank you for all of the support:)... with that said here’s to the ROAD TO RECOVERY๐Ÿš€ only up from here. #tokyo2020," the 19 year old gymnast wrote.



Despite having much lower difficulty than her competitors, Locklear managed to qualify to the uneven bars final at the last World championships, which was held last October in Montreal.

In the final, she committed major errors and finished last. She said in an interview that 
she had a sore shoulder that contributed to her form break.

The native American turned senior in 2014 and made the US Worlds team. She won gold with the team and finished in fourth place on the uneven bars.

She was an alternate for the 2016 Rio Olympic team.

Written by Gigi Farid




Six time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman has revealed that she was one of the gymnasts who fell victim to disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse.

Raisman's revelation came during an interview with CBS 60 Minutes which is set to air on Sunday.

The American gymnast, who was the team captain for the gold winning Olympic teams in 2012 and 2016, said that she spoke to the FBI investigators after the Rio Olympics about Nassar who started treating her at the age of 15.

“I am angry. I'm really upset,” Raisman told 60 Minutes. “I see these young girls that come up to me, and they ask for pictures or autographs, whatever it is - I just want to create change so that they never, ever have to go through this.”

The 23 year old gymnast urged people to stop asking 'why didn't the girls speak up'.

"Why not look at what about the culture? What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?," she said.

The two time World champion wrote about the abuse in her memoir "Fierce" which will be released on November 14, 2017.

Nassar, who worked with USAG for almost 30 years, is in jail awaiting sentencing on child pornography charges and a trial on charges of sexual misconduct.

More than hundred women came forward accusing Nassar of sexually abusing them including 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Jamie dantzscher.

Raisman's teammate and Fierce Five member Mckayla Maroney joined MeToo last month and revealed that she was molested by Nassar.

Maroney alleged that the assault started when she was a 13 year old gymnast and only ended when she left the sport.

Written by Gigi Farid



Photo via Twitter
In a series of tweet, Aly Raisman urged people to stop shaming others and accusing women of being attention seekers.



The American gymnast uploaded a video of herself working out on the sidewalk and some pointed out that she is doing it for attention.




The comments drove Raisman to take a stand and demand the society to change.

"It is absurd that by posting a video of myself working out outside I am told by some I am asking for attention. Society needs 2 stop shaming"




"I ❤ working out outside for fresh air. I don't workout for approval of others. I workout 2 feel good. 2 feel mentally strong & 2 be healthy"




"I think it's time that society stops shaming others. We are entitled 2 do what makes us feel happy & good, right? Change must start with us."




 "It pisses me off that women are constantly told they are asking for attention. We all need to stand together and help create change."




"Not trying to focus on negatives BTW I am constantly inspired by all the strong followers I have. It is amazing how empowering many of u r."




 "& also remember everyone you follow, no matter the amount of followers they have is human, with FEELINGS. When you are rude it hurts."




 Raisman, who competed at 2012 and 2016 Olympics, is the winner of six Olympic medals - three of which are gold. She has expressed desire to compete at Tokyo Olympics.

Written by Gigi Farid


Photo by Silvia Vatteroni

Buckeye Gymnastics uploaded a video on their Instagram account that shows one of their gymnasts doing a sextuple wolf turn on balance beam.
The gymnast is Shania Adams who turned senior this year but did not make the US senior national team.

Adams is shown easily doing the first five turns while struggling to complete the sixth one.

In the code of points, turns are capped at E rating. The most difficult wolf turn in the code is the triple one which was named after Australia's Lauren Mitchell in 2010.

In order for a gymnast to have a skill named after her, she must submit and successfully perform it at a World championship or an Olympic Games. 



A post shared by buckeyegymnasticsofficial (@buckeyegymnasticsofficial) on


 Written by Gigi Farid

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Instagram


US Olympic gold medalist Mckayla Maroney drew international attention after joining MeToo campaign where women share their sexual harassment stories.


Maroney alleged that the disgraced former team doctor Larry Nassar molested her from the age of 13 till she left the sport.

Nassar's lawyers want his trial on sexual abuse charges to be held in another location instead of Michigan following the former American gymnast sexual assault allegations.

The lawyers cited that Maroney coming forward with her own Larry Nassar story will prevent their defendant from getting a fair trial.

The trail start date will be delayed if its location changed.

"It is difficult to conceive of a case that has generated more widespread, inflammatory and sustained media coverage than the case against Defendant Nassar," his attorneys wrote in the motion.

"The media attention was the most significant involving a criminal defendant in a pending case this state has ever seen," the change of venue motion states.

 Maroney is the most high-profile US gymnast to speak out so far about sexual abuse by the former team doctor 

Nassar is being sued by more than 100 women and girls over allegations of abuse. 

The 21 year old retired athlete has received  lots of support from her then teammates and other gymnasts.

Written by Gigi Farid

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Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
Lauren Hernandez, who was part of the 2016 US Olympic gold winning team, said that she would love to return to competition in 2018.

She has not competed since the Rio Olympic Games.

The 17 year old gymnast has already started her conditioning program doing handstand holds, back tucks and front flips in addition to lifting weights and running.

Her goal is to compete at World championships and hopefully make the 2020 Olympic team.

Hernandez has never been to a World championships due to only turning senior in 2016.

The American gymnast has not yet identified her comeback meet. 

This month, teammate and four time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles officially announced her comeback with the intention of having her competition debut at next year's Classics.

Beside winning the team gold in Rio, Lauren won silver on balance beam.

Written by Gigi Farid

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Via Twitter
Yesterday, former US Olympic gymnast Mckayla Maroney joined MeToo campaign where women share sexual assault experience.

Maroney revealed that she is one of the many gymnasts who fell victim to sexual abuse at the hands of disgraced former team doctor Larry Nassar.

Today, USA Gymnastics released a statement regarding Maroney's revelation.

"USA Gymnastics admires the courage of those, like McKayla Maroney, who have come forward to share their personal experiences with sexual abuse. Because of their strength in coming forward, predators can be held accountable for their actions. We, like so many others, are outraged and disgusted by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused. We are sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career"

"We are strengthening and enhancing our policies and procedures regarding abuse, as well as expanding our educational efforts to increase awareness of signs to watch for and reporting suspicions of abuse, including the obligation to immediately report. USA Gymnastics, its members and community are committed to working together to keep our athletes as safe as possible."

Nassar is currently being prosecuted for allegedly sexually assaulting over 100 of women while serving as a doctor in USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University over the course of many years.

Since the scandal broke out, USAG has been blasted for failing to stop the abuse as well as for their attitude in handling the scandal.

Written by Gigi Farid

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Six time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman firmly responded to compatriot Terin Humphrey's tone deaf tweet.

Humphrey, who is USAG athlete representative and former Olympic medalist, posted a tweet about how proud she is of getting the chance to represent the United States of America at the 2004 Olympics amid Maroney sexual assault revelation.

The retired American gymnast was accused of being tone deaf. With several Twitter users pointing out that she is the athlete representative who is supposed to be in charge of "making sure the athletes were okay and protected", to which she responded "Unfortunately I don't travel to the competitions".

Replying to her response, Raisman wrote "Still important for you and everyone at USAG to show sincere support".



Four time Olympic medalist Simone Biles liked Raisman's response on Twitter.

Raisman's mother, Lynn, quoted a tweet that blasted Humphrey adding "Wondering the same..."






Yesterday, 2012 Olympic gold medalist Maroney became the latest gymnast who alleged that disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar sexually assaulted her when she was on the national team.

Written by Gigi Farid

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Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana



Simone Biles has set her eyes on competing at the 2018 US Classics.

The American gymnast told NBC that she plans to have her competition comeback debut at the US classics of next year which will be held in July.

There, she will compete only on two events but will compete on all four at the P&G championships the following month.

The multiple World champion has previously announced that she will return to full time training next November. She has already started light training in August.

On muscle soreness and pain, she said "It’s going to be rough. But the muscle memory is there because I’ve come and I’ve played in the gym. All of my skills are basically still there. There are a couple of skills, like on [balance] beam, that I haven’t done yet, like a dismount, because why would I just chuck that? There’s no way. And I haven’t vaulted since the Olympics."

Biles has taken a break since the Rio Olympic Games where she won four gold medals. She said that she has always had in mind to take only one year off the sport.

The 20 year old gymnast's longtime coach Amiee Boorman moved from Texas to Florida and will not be coaching her anymore.

Simone will announce the name of her new personal coach soon.

Written by Gigi Farid

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Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
Simone Biles has announced that she will resume full time training starting from next November.

No date has been set regarding her comeback competition.

The American gymnast, who returned to gym in August in order get back in shape, said she hasn't decided yet on her next goals.

Her last competition was the Rio Olympic Games.

Biles is the winner of four Olympic gold medals as well as the first woman to win three consecutive World all around titles.

This year, she is enjoying the dating life for the first time in her life as she has before scarified the traditional teenage lifestyle for the success in the sport.

Simone is dating gymnast Stacey Ervin. They took their romance public last month.

Written by Gigi Farid