More than 150 victims have detailed horror stories of alleged abuse by Larry Nassar, including Mattie Larson, who was praised for her testimony. Here’s everything to know.
1. She has accused Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. Like so many other United States gymnasts, Mattie Larson bravely took the stand on the sixth day of ex-USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar’s, sentencing for alleged criminal sexual conduct. Mattie, who is now 25 years old, said she began seeing Dr. Nassar when she was 14 years old, and at each appointment, she claims he would put his finger “inside” her, regardless of the injury. It got so bad, that Mattie says she purposely hit her head in the bathtub so she wouldn’t have to continue training at the Karolyi Ranch, a USA Gymnastics training center where Nassar allegedly abused hundreds of gymnasts. “I can’t even put into words how much I f***ing hate you,” Mattie said in her testimony. She also urged House Speaker, Paul Ryan, to pass a bill that would allow young athletes to report abuse allegations to independent organizations to avoid potential conflicts of interest with their sport directly.
2. She is a decorated gymnast. Mattie competed at the senior elite level from 2008 until 2010. She was the U.S. National Champion for floor exercise in 2010, and competed in an artistic style of gymnastics. Mattie was actually supposed to compete in her first U.S. National Championship in 2006, but was sidelined with an injury. She qualified for the National Championships again in 2007, and was named a member of the national team that year. She made the national team again in 2008 after finishing all-around in her first Senior Nationals. Another injury kept her out o the 2009 National Championships, but she returned one last time in 2010, where she won gold on floor, silver for all-around and bronze for uneven bars.
3. She almost made the 2008 Olympic team. Mattie qualified for the Olympic Trials for the 2008 Games and eventually made it onto the Olympic Training Squad. She injured her leg, though, and did not make the Olympic team. Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Chellsie Memmel, Samantha Peszek, Alicia Sacramone and Bridget Sloan represented the U.S. that year.
4. She went to college. After ending her U.S. Gymnastics career, Mattie attended UCLA, where she competed for the school’s gymnastics team from 2012-2014. She subsequently retired from acting.
5. She received public support from Aly Raisman. One of the most outspoken gymnasts against Nassar has been Aly Raisman, who sent a message of support to Mattie after her testimony. “I want you to know that I never ever thought you ‘cost the team the gold medal,'” she wrote. “Everyone don’t forget the team qualified 3rd into the finals. USAG forever has manipulated us to feel guilty and worthless when we don’t win gold medals. That time is over. In the finals we finished behind gold by two tenths. I almost fell on beam, a deduction far more than 2 tenths. Those 2 tenths could’ve been any of us, INCLUDING ME. Please know that. Mattie, please don’t ever forget when I was young you were my favorite gymnast on the floor. You inspired me and you still do to this day. And I know SO many others are inspired by your iconic floor routines and your bravery in speaking out. You are a true role model and that is far more valuable than any medal you could ever win. I am so proud of you and stand behind you.”
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of Mattie’s testimony?