Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman settled unfinished business with her sexual abuser, ex-Team USA gymnastics coach Larry Nassar, during his sentencing hearing on Friday in Michigan. Victim impact statements — from many of the over 100 female athletes molested by Nassar under the guise of medical treatment — have spilled forth this week with powerful results, and Raisman completely unleashed her contempt and (controlled) fury on a man who complained that he didn’t have the mental ability to withstand these hearings.
Raisman’s statement endured for over 15 minutes. You can watch the full clip at the bottom of this post, but above, the first 5 minutes show her rising from the ashes wrought by Nassar’s trail of abuse. She had changed her mind about attending the sentencing after hearing other impact statements, and the decorated gymnast declared, “And now, Larry, it’s your turn to listen to me.”
While discussing how Nassar “manipulated and violated” her at the 2012 Games — she was a teenager in an unfamiliar country, and he would report any gymnast who refused his mandatory “treatment” — Raisman directly faced Nassar while delivering these choice quotes:
- “Larry, you do realize this group of women you heartlessly abused over such a long period of time are now a force and you are nothing. The tables have turned Larry, we are here, we have our voices, and we are not going anywhere.”
- “Realizing you are a survivor of sexual abuse is really hard to put into words. I am here to face you, Larry, so you can see I’ve regained my strength. I am no longer a victim. I am a survivor.”
- “I will not rest until every last trace of your influence on this sport has been destroyed like the cancer it is.”
Raisman also declared that Team USA gymnastics was “rotting from the inside” due to their handling of the Nassar fallout, and she urged new leader Kerry Perry to make things right.
Judge Rosemarie Anguilina followed up Raisman’s statement by telling her, “You are unstoppable … the effects of your voice are far-reaching.” Also at the hearing, Raisman embraced Olympic teammate Jordyn Wieber, who revealed for the first time that Nassar abused her as well. In doing so, Wieber became the fourth member of the “Fierce Five” to come forward with abuse accusations against the ex-Team USA coach.
Watch Raisman’s full remarks below, courtesy of NBC News.