Gymnasts Testify on Child Abuse: ‘Everybody Around Us Knew … But They Chose Not to Act’

Apr 5, 2017 | Feature | 0 comments

Three retired gymnasts told the Senate Judiciary Committee of their experiences of child abuse while competing for USA Gymnastics on Tuesday, expressing support for a bill that they hope will put an end to future incidents.

Gold medalist Dominique Moceanu, bronze medalist Jamie Dantzscher and three-time national champion rhythmic gymnast Jessica Howard all testified — both Dantzscher and Howard alleging that they were sexually abused by the team’s former doctor, Larry Nassar.

The athletes also claimed they suffered other types of abuse.

“The well-being of the athletes should always come first, and to me, this is one of the most important things in sport,” Moceanu, a 1996 gold medalist, said in her testimony, noting that she was not abused by Nassar. “And it was lacking in our own sport tremendously because everybody around us knew that abuses were going on, but they chose not to act because it became part of the cultural norm.”

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