WARNING: Graphic Images
The sport of gymnastics requires balance, strength, courage, and control. Children may be enrolled in “kindergym” at 20 months of age; in recreational gymnastics at 3 y.o. But serious gymnasts, those aiming for the Olympics, begin training around 6 y.o. For that last group, the selection of a coach is crucial.
Dr. Larry Nassar was among the most respected and sought after. Which makes it all the more shocking that Dr. Nassar, employed for 29 years by USA Gymnastics (the governing body for the sport), is being investigated by the FBI for child molestation .
Complaints – some dating as far back as the 1990s – have been made by over two dozen athletes. Nassar, who has not yet been charged, denies any wrongdoing.
“Olympians represent our country. They’re the best America has to offer. These girls give up their childhood and their adolescence to try and fulfill their dream and win medals for their country — and what we have here is somebody who took advantage of that trust .”
– John Manly, attorney for some of the athletes who allege they were violated by Dr. Larry Nassar
At least fifteen women claim Dr. Nassar penetrated them digitally, under the guise of medical treatment . Victims ranged in age from 13 y.o. to 20 y.o. when their abuse started. A 16 y.o. victim did report Dr. Nassar’s conduct to police in 2004. No help was, however, forthcoming.
Initially, Nassar denied ever having employed penetration on a patient. He now claims to have used a legitimate medical procedure for back pain. Continue reading