McKayla Maroney was one of the breakout stars of the 2012 Olympics in London, winning a silver medal in the individual vault competition while the women’s gymnastics team captured the gold.
Maroney also went viral for moments like this one:
RT @McKaylaMaroney Did I just do the Not Impressed face with the President..? // Yes. pic.twitter.com/4BkKAfaV
— White House Archived (@ObamaWhiteHouse) November 17, 2012
Now, Maroney has added her voice to the list of gymnasts who have reported being abused by USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Maroney detailed her experiences in a lengthy Twitter post last night:
— mckayla (@McKaylaMaroney) October 18, 2017
An excerpted transcript:
I was molested by Dr. Larry Nassar, the team doctor for the US Women’s National Gymnastics Team. Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving ‘medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years.’ It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport. It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated.’
It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver. For me the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night.
That’s awful, and horrifying, and an excellent reminder that victims of sexual abuse, assault, and/or harassment often look and act as though nothing is wrong. There’s a certain subset of people who do things like dismiss accusations of rape if the victim doesn’t react like you think a rape victim should act. Immediately going to the hospital or to the police, for example. Maroney’s story is a perfect illustration of why that’s an incredibly insensitive and often inaccurate mode of thinking.
Nassar faces dozens of criminal charges and hundreds of lawsuits over his alleged abuses of gymnasts.