Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles is ready to tell her side of the story. The 20-year-old gymnast appeared on the Today show on Wednesday, Jan. 31, to speak out about being a survivor of the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Simone revealed in an Instagram post earlier this month that Nassar had abused her — and today she sat down with Hoda Kotb to discuss her recovery.
“I think it’s really hard for someone to go through what I’ve gone through recently,” she said fighting back tears. “And it’s very hard to talk about. But, other than that I think the judge is my hero just because she gave it to him straight and didn’t let him get any power over any of the girls. And letting the girls speak was very powerful.”
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to up to 175 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault. “You have done nothing to control those urges and anywhere you walk, destruction will occur to those most vulnerable,” Judge Aquilina told Nassar in court. “I just signed your death warrant.”
Hoda told a smiling Simone that he [Nassar] can’t hurt her anymore. Even though Nassar’s guilty plea and sentencing is a victory, the problem within USA Gymnastic and the Olympic Committee still remains. “USOC has not reached out yet,” she said. “As one of their athletes, I think it’s kind of crazy, but hopefully, they’ll reach out.”
As for Simone, she is currently preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and is working on her healing. “It will all come back with time,” she said confidently. We are rooting for you, Simone — on and off the mat!