After McKayla Maroney revealed her shocking past of sexual abuse, her fellow athletes applauded the U.S. Olympic gold medalist’s bravery. Dominique Moceanu, Aly Raisman and more thanked her for finding the ‘strength’ to share her story.
The purpose of #MeToo was to raise awareness of the magnitude of sexual assault and harassment plaguing women today. Women from all walks of life joined in, repeating two words that carried such weight. McKayla Maroney, the former gymnast who took home the gold in the 2012 Olympic games, found the strength to share her own story of alleged assault. “I was molested by Dr. Larry Nassar, the team doctor for the US Women’s National Gymnastics team,” she wrote on Oct. 18, accusing the medical professional of allegedly assaulting her when she was just 13 years old. Her account was heart wrenching, but she hoped that by speaking up, she said “it’s time to take our power back.”
“So sad and heartbreaking that this happened to you Mack,” Jordyn Wieber, wrote. “I’m here for you and I support you.” Aly Raisman, also said she had McKayla’s back during this time. “SO proud of you and your strength. Love you like a sister!!” Dominique Moceanu, 36, the youngest Olympic gold medalist in the game’s history, also reached out to McKayla. “I’m so sorry this happened to you. I’m proud of you for speaking up and finding your voice. May you begin healing.”
McKayla claimed Larry’s alleged molestation continued until she was 20 years old – when she retired from gymnastic competitions. “It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my Silver,” she wrote. While she said completing her Olympic dream was “an amazing story…I got there, but not without a price.”
So sad and heartbreaking that this happened to you Mack. I'm here for you and I support you https://t.co/LXA1Yf04FC
— Jordyn Wieber (@jordyn_wieber) October 18, 2017
100% support you. SO proud of you and your strength. Love you like a sister!! https://t.co/1VHb79a7lx
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) October 18, 2017
@McKaylaMaroney I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'm proud of you for speaking up and finding your voice. May you begin healing.
— Dominique Moceanu (@Dmoceanu) October 18, 2017
Very brave statement. And I'm sorry you had to make one at all. 🖤#metoo
— Jennifer Pinches (@jempin515) October 18, 2017
So brave and so heartbreaking thank you for this. I hope it helps change things. Drastic changes need to be made 😥😥
— Danusia Francis (@danusiafrancis) October 18, 2017
sending you love, gorgeous lady. you are beautiful inside and out and i think the world of you.
— Lauren Zima (@laurenzima) October 18, 2017
Spent 18 yrs of my life in dance & gymnastics & I thank God I never experienced something so horrific. Thank you for your voice & bravery!❤️
— Kayla Knierim (@KaylaKnierim) October 18, 2017
McKayla, sadly, is not the only young athlete who has accused Larry of sexual assault. He has been accused of molesting dozens of athletes associated with USA Gymnastics and his Michigan State University, according to the New York Daily News. He’s also being sued by more than 125 women who claim he assaulted them under the pretense of medical treatment. He pleaded guilty to child porn possession in July 2017, and he’s currently awaiting trial in three criminal cases alleging he molested nine girls.
Our thoughts are with McKayla after making this brave and heartbreaking statement.