Amid the trending #MeToo social media hashtag which some women are using to come out as sexual abuse and harassment victims, gymnast McKayla Maroney revealed she was molested for years while competing for Team U.S.A.
She said it's important to remember that this disturbing reality is present everywhere, not just in Hollywood. Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be potential for abuse. "I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting", she continued.
I was molested by Dr. Larry Nassar, the team doctor for the US Women's National Gymnastics Team.
The 21-year-old says, "Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving 'medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years'".
She said Nassar gave her a sleeping pill on the flight to Tokyo and she woke up in his hotel room, once again "getting a 'treatment'".
The abuse did not become public until two former gymnasts told The Indianapolis Star a year ago that they were abused by Nassar during the 1990s and early 2000s.
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USA Gymnastics, the sport's national governing body and Nassar's former employer, has said it was not aware of the allegations against Nassar until July 2015, at which point he was sacked, Time magazine reported. Nassar is in the middle of a federal lawsuit over the charges, though it's not clear if Maroney is one of the plaintiffs. He is also awaiting trial on another criminal charge of sexual misconduct and is being sued by more than 125 women in civil court who allege he sexually assaulted them.
"Sure, from the outside looking in, it's an awesome story".
"Our silence has given the wrong people power for too long, and it's time to take our power back".
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. "I did it. I got there, but not without a price".
According to the Lansing State Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, more than 140 women and girls have said Nassar sexually abused them, with almost all of them saying it happened during medical appointments.
Numerous women have the same allegations: During the course of Nassar's treatments, the doctor inserted "his bare, ungloved and unlubricated hand" into the victim's vagina, sometimes while their parents were in the room.