You Couldn’t Protect Us: Gymnast Simone Biles Breaks Down
Simone Biles, four-time Olympic gold medallist, was recently spotted at the 2019 U.S National Gymnastics Championships in Kansas City, when reporters present there asked her about the USA Gymnastics and the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse case. Discussing the ordeal she has undergone under Nassar, the 22-year old, was teary eyed as she spoke to reporters on Wednesday revealing about last January that she, too, was sexually abused by Nassar. She went on to say she still feels uncomfortable seeing a doctor, CNN reported.
“You had one job. You literally had one job and you couldn’t protect us,” Biles said of USA Gymnastics. “And it is just really sad because now every time I go to the doctor or training, I get worked on. I don’t want to get worked on, but my body hurts, I’m 22 and at the end of the day that’s my fifth rotation and I have to go to therapy.”
The USA Gymnastics has been facing backlashes on how they are handling sexual-abuse cases in the aftermath of the Nassar verdict. The former USA gymnastics sports doctor admitted to sexually assaulting gymnasts, possessing child pornography and molesting girls who sought medical treatment. The 55-year-old was sentenced to more than 300 years in jail.
Ahead of the United States Gymnastics Championships Biles spoke to the reporters showing her grudge. Alongside her fellow Olympic gold medallists Aly Raisman. Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber, too, have accused Nassar of sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatment.
The 22-year-old American gymnast, who had suffered from kidney stones and other minor injuries, has announced retirement after the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Biles took a leading role in defending the victims of the sexual abuse perpetrated by the former US Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar.
On Wednesday, Biles was asked about her stand. “The more I learn, the more I hurt. USAG failed us. USOC failed us. Many failed us. And they continued to fail us,” Biles tweeted.
Biles told reporters that she struggles to take care of herself and to go see the doctors and therapists associated with the organisation really scares her after the Nassar scandal. “It’s hard coming here for an organisation, having had them fail us so many times,” Biles said. “We had one goal. We have done everything that they asked us for, even when we didn’t want to, and they couldn’t do one damn job.”
Responding to Biles’ comments, the organisation said, “We at USA Gymnastics have made a lot of progress in strengthening our athlete safety measures and putting our athletes first, but we know we have more to do,”
Responding to Biles’ comments, the organisation said, “We at USA Gymnastics have made a lot of progress in strengthening our athlete safety measures and putting our athletes first, but we know we have more to do,” Li Li Leung, the president and chief executive of USA Gymnastics, told CNN.
“One of our goals is for our athletes to feel comfortable in speaking up and sharing their opinions, and we are listening to what they have to say. We will continue to work hard to demonstrate to Simone and all of our athletes, members, community and fans that we are working to foster a safe, positive and encouraging environment where athlete voices are heard.”
In November last year, Biles became the first woman to win four individual all-around world championships in Doha, creating history. She also claimed her 12th world title.
Feature Image Credit: olympicchannel.com