McKayla Maroney: I was molested before winning gold medal
Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney added her voice to the #MeToo movement — saying she was among the more than 125 women whom a former USA Gymnastics doctor was accused of sexually assaulting.
Maroney, 21, who won a team gold in London in 2012, named convicted sex offender Dr. Larry Nassar as her repeat abuser, saying he molested her from the age of 13 until she left the sport last year.
“Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving ‘medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years,’” she posted Tuesday in a statement on Twitter.
“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,” she wrote.
She said the worst abuse happened during the 2011 world championships in Tokyo when she was 15.
“I had flown all day and all night with the team to get to Tokyo,” she wrote. “He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment’. I thought I was going to die that night.”
The former Olympian alluded to the scandal swirling around disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
“People should know it’s not just happening in Hollywood. This is happening everywhere. Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be potential for abuse,” she said “I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting.”
The “Me Too” movement — which encourages women to identify themselves as victims of sexual harassment or assault — gained momentum after Weinstein’s case exploded.