McKayla Maroney became a household name when the “McKayla’s not impressed” meme exploded during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Since then she’s been in and out of the news sporadically, but what she revealed Tuesday night will likely make her an inspiration to others.
Maroney took to Twitter and, in harrowing detail, described the abuse she suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar, the former U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team doctor. While we knew Nassar had abused many gymnasts over the years, Maroney’s revelation was still stunning. She posted the tweet as part of the #MeToo campaign that has hit social media over the past few days.
Here is what she had to say:
Here is the text of her accusations against Nassar:
Everyone’s words over the past few days have been so inspiring to me. I know how hard it is to speak publicly about something so horrible, and so personal, because it’s happened to me too.
People should know that this is not just happening in Hollywood. This is happening everywhere. Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be a potential for abuse. I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting.
I was molested by Dr. Larry Nassar, the team doctor for the US Women’s National Gymnastics Team, and Olympic Team. Dr. Nassar told me I was receiving “medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years.” It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first National team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport. It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was “treated.” It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my Silver. For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all along with him in his hotel room getting a “treatment.” I thought I was going to die that night.
That is simply horrifying. There is no other word for it. Nassar is currently facing 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and is facing life in prison. Maroney, now 21, alleges abuse as early as when she was 13.
A group of 125 women is currently suing Nassar, and in August they agreed to take the cases to mediation, which will likely bring a settlement closer to fruition. Nassar has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges and will be sentenced for that cast on November 27.
Before Maroney, Jamie Dantzscher was the only former Olympian to allege abuse against Nassar. Dantzscher was a bronze medalist at the 2000 Games.
Maroney, a three-time world champion (twice in vault, once in team competition), retired from gymnastics in 2016.