Two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney spoke publicly for the first time about the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal Tuesday, taking to task USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State University.
Speaking at the The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children charity luncheon, Maroney questioned whether her gold-medal gymnastics career was actually worthwhile and laid blame at the feet of Nassar’s enablers.
“I at times question if my gymnastics career was really even worth it,” Maroney said, “because of the stuff I’m dealing with now. You have to pick up the pieces of your life, and that has been the hardest part for me. It’s always three steps forward, two steps back.”
Nassar, a former team doctor for USAG and MSU, was sentenced to 175 years in prison in January after being convicted of serial sexual abuse of young gymnasts in his care. More than 160 of Nassar’s victims spoke at his sentencing hearing, including Maroney’s 2012 Olympics teammate Aly Raisman.
Maroney did not testify in person, but provided a statement to the court after USAG lifted a non-disclosure agreement preventing Maroney from talking about her abuse in public with the threat of a $100,000 fine.
Maroney also detailed her abuse at the hands of Nassar that started when she was 13 in an October 2017 Twitter post.
On Tuesday, Maroney did not hold back in her disdain for the institutions that employed Nassar when provided the opportunity to speak in person.
“We know Larry is a monster, and learning from everything that has come out, I should never have met him,” Maroney said. “USA Gymnastics, MSU and the USOC continued to look away, to protect their reputations. All they cared about is money and medals. It didn’t seem they cared about anything else.”
Maroney praised overhaul efforts at USAG that have seen its leadership overturned in the wake of the Nassar scandal.
“Within the gymnastics world, there’s no question we need to rebuild from the ground up so this never happens again,” Maroney said. “I definitely see a future where athletes are safe and succeeding. This next generation is going to be even stronger with everything that we’re doing because they don’t need to continue to struggle with the repercussions of sexual abuse. They shouldn’t have to. I should have never had to.
“My team won gold medals in spite of USA Gymnastics and MSU and USOC. They don’t build champions. They break them. But we’re changing that.”
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