Olympic gymnast Jordyn Wieber is the fourth member of the 2012 Fierce Five to accuse the national team doctor of sexual abuse. Her teammates Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman have all said that they were sexually abused by national team doctor Larry Nassar.
Reading a prepared statement at the sentencing hearing of Nassar in a Lansing, Mich., court, Wieber fought back tears as she delivered a six-minute statement.
Wieber said she began seeing Nassar at age eight, since she grew up in Lansing and Nassar worked at nearby Michigan State University. Over a period of years, through the time Wieber competed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London where the women’s squad earned the team gold, Nassar continued to abuse her, convincing her the abuse was medical treatment, Wieber said.
Our bodies were all hanging by a thread when we were in London. Who was the doctor that USAG [USA Gymnastics] sent to keep us healthy and help us get through? The doctor that was our abuser. The doctor that is a child molester. Because of my shin, I couldn’t train without being in extreme pain, and it affected the number of routines I could do to prepare before the competition. And, ultimately, it made me feel less prepared than I should have been. I didn’t qualify to the all-around competition, and I went through a dark time right before we won the team gold.
Now, I question everything about that injury and the medical treatment I received. Was Larry even doing anything to help my pain? Was I getting the proper medical care, or was he only focused on which one of us he was going to prey on next? What does he think about when he massaged my sore muscles every day? Now I question everything.
Wieber, along with her teammates, also criticized USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body, for failing to protect her and her teammates, as the abuse happened not only at the training camps but at international competitions as well.
To this day, I still don’t know how he could have been allowed to do this for so long. My teammates and I were subjected to his medical care every single month at the national-team training center in Texas. He was the only male allowed to be present in the athlete dorm rooms to do whatever treatments he wanted. He was allowed to treat us in hotel rooms alone without any supervision. He took photos of us during training and whenever else he wanted. Nobody was protecting us from being taken advantage of. Nobody was even concerned whether or not we were being sexually abused. I was not protected, and neither were my teammates.
My parents trusted USA Gymnastics and Larry Nassar to take care of me, and we were betrayed by both. And now the lack of accountability from USAG, USOC and Michigan State have caused me and many other girls to remain shameful, confused and disappointed.
USA Gymnastics announced that it would no longer hold monthly training camps at the Karolyi ranch in Houston, Texas, where some of the abuse allegedly occurred. Wieber, who now coaches gymnastics at University of California Los Angeles, called for both USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee to take responsibility for not protecting her and her teammates from Nassar.
And now the people who are responsible need to accept responsibility for the pain they have caused me and the rest of the women who have been abused. Larry Nassar is accountable. USA Gymnastics is accountable. The U.S. Olympic Committee is accountable. My teammates and friends have been through enough, and now it’s time for change because the current and future gymnasts do not deserve to live in anxiety, fear or be unprotected like I was.