BOSTON (AP) — Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman says she’s barely been able to work out since going public with allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of a former sports doctor.
The six-time Olympic medalist told The Improper Bostonian magazine, for a cover story published this week, that she’s still regrouping and recovering after confronting former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
“In the past few months I’ve barely worked out, which for someone who loves working out, that’s saying a lot,” the magazine quoted Raisman as saying.
The 24-year-old Raisman, captain for both the gold-medal winning 2012 and 2016 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics teams, says she was abused by Nassar in multiple locations beginning in 2010, including at the U.S. national team training facility in Texas and at the 2012 Games in London. Hundreds of other women and girls have said they, too, were sexually assaulted by Nassar.
Nassar pleaded guilty to molesting women and girls under the guise that he was treating them for injuries. He is serving sentences that likely will keep him in prison for life.
Raisman, of Needham, Massachusetts, said she initially felt she was receiving medically necessary treatment by Nassar before realizing it was abuse. She has said she subsequently battled shame, guilt and depression.
“I could hold it together in court or whatever, but then I could barely hold my head up afterward,” she told the magazine, adding: “I’m constantly reliving my abuse.”
Raisman said she’s determined to continue speaking out on behalf of women who are abused or otherwise victimized.
“I feel grateful that I’m being listened to and I’m being heard, because I’ve met so many people who have said, ‘I spoke up but nobody listened,'” she said.
“I would like to be remembered for standing up for the right thing. It’s always more important to do the right thing than to win medals. I’d like to change this generation and the next generation so that by the time I have kids, everyone will be educated, so a child never, ever has to say the words, ‘Me too.'”