“I want everyone to know that he did not do this to Athlete A, he did it to Maggie Nichols.”
Mags says #MeToo: World gold medalist and University of Oklahoma star Maggie Nichols revealed in a letter on Tuesday that she was sexually abused by former national team doctor Larry Nassar at the Karolyi Ranch, when she was 15.
The letter, which Nichols will submit to the judge presiding over Nassar’s Tuesday sentencing, states that Nichols was the first gymnast to alert USA Gymnastics of Nassar’s abuse. She writes that her coach Sarah Jantzi overheard her speaking about Nassar’s “treatments” and notified USAG.
Org failure: Gina Nichols—Maggie’s mom—calls Jantzi a “hero,” and says the abuse was the result of “gross negligence” on USAG’s part. She also says that USAG has never inquired about Nichols’ well-being or offered therapy, and that the org pressured the family to not go to authorities and to keep the matter quiet.
USAG responds: USAG released a statement denying claims that they tried to silence survivors. They also state that Nichols’ and a second survivor’s claims “did not provide reasonable suspicion that sexual abuse had occurred,” and that they notified the FBI of the alleged abuse after a third survivor came forward.
Aly is livid: Aly Raisman responded to USAG’s statement on Twitter, saying the org is “victim shaming” and that they are “100% responsible” for the abuse. John Manly, Nichols’ (and McKayla Maroney’s) attorney, also responded, calling the statement “cynical, false and misleading.”
Nassar’s sentencing: The Michigan Attorney General has asked the judge in Nassar’s case to sentence him to 40 to 125 years. Survivors will have the opportunity to speak at the sentencing on Tuesday, and the Attorney General expects at least 88 women and girls to give impact statements.
Other org news: Meanwhile, Michigan State University has released details about their $10 million victims’ fund, and has also filed a motion to have lawsuits against the school dismissed, saying it is not liable for Nassar’s abuse. Twistars owner John Geddert has filed a similar motion.
Hawaiian shirt alert: Georgia junior Gracie Cherrey has retired due to injury. Head coach Courtney Kupets Carter says she looks forward to Cherrey “contributing to our team in many other ways.”
Speaking of CKC: She talked to ESPNW about her plans for the Gymdogs this year.
Never be royals: Since the tragic news of Prince Harry’s engagement broke, the ladies of LSU have taken matters into their own hands. Here’s the story of the “stick crown.”
Future’s so bright: Four level 10s have qualified so far to this year’s Nastia Liukin Cup, including one UC Berkeley and one LSU commit. A total of 36 will compete in the competition in March.
The first video in our series about Dynamo Gymnastics is up! Get a behind-the-scenes look at Canadian star Brooklyn Moors training for worlds, then remember your 2018 gym resolution and go cry yourself to sleep.
Because you asked…
Getting dressed: Brit Olympic bronze medalist Nile Wilson puts on his pants the hard way: with help from other men.
Love yourself: You have to watch this adorable interview Simone Biles did about body image on the Today Show. Or don’t, I don’t care.
Dom’s next step: The Magnificent Seven’s Dominique Moceanu plans to open her own gymnastics and yoga center in Medina, Ohio this May.
Giving back: Actual ray of sunshine Laurie Hernandez went to an elementary school in Newark, NJ to promote literacy.
Need to know
New girls: The new Russian seniors are here to show promise only to crash and burn like dying stars once again. Lauren has thoughts, and her gif game is on.
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: The FIG released the 2018 Technical Regulations showing a new team final format (section two, page 10) wherein team members from each country alternate on each apparatus, presumably to encourage more stare-downs in competition.
Jesolo’s a go: Nine countries—Brazil, Italy, Russia, France, Romania, Germany, Great Britain, Canada, and the USA—are set to compete at the City of Jesolo competition in April. Snaps to Emma Bailey, who keeps track of such things.
Yours truly will be attending her very first nationals this year in Boston, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel icky about it. Comment below on how gymnerds should make our feelings known, then read this to lighten things up a bit.
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