Simone Biles held back tears as she spoke about disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
“Enough is enough,” she said. “The scars of this horrific abuse continue to live with us. As the lone competitor in the recent Tokyo Games, I can assure you that the impact of this man’s abuse are not over or forgotten.”
“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar,” Biles added. “And I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.”
Biles joined three former elite gymnasts — McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols, and Aly Raisman — in testifying in Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing addressing the FBI’s failings in the Nassar case. All four were among the hundreds of athletes who survived Nassar’s abuse, and they each alleged that the FBI, as well as USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee, failed to adequately protect them from a child molester.
Biles, Maroney, Nichols, and Raisman collectively called on Congress to hold those organizations accountable and protect young athletes who are still competing.
“I believe without a doubt that the circumstances that led to my abuse and allowed it to continue are directly the result of the fact that the organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete — USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee — failed to do their jobs,” Biles said.
“Nelson Mandela once said: ‘There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats it children,'” she continued. “It is the power of that statement that compels and empowers me to be here in front of you today.”
“I don’t want another young gymnast, Olympic athlete, or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others endured before, during, and continuing to this day in the wake of the Larry Nassar abuse.”