Olympic medallist and former USA Gymnastics team captain Aly Raisman has been in the news lately because she was listed as one of the victims of disgraced coach Larry Nassar.
But one detail that has been missing from the news coverage is Aly’s own voice. The six-time gold medal winner wrote a powerful impact statement about Nassar, but was denied the opportunity to read it in court.
Consequently she published the letter in full online. Entitled ‘this is survival’ the letter says:
“I have come to realize that everyone deals with trauma differently. As a gymnast, we train to control our emotions under pressure.
“We become good at compartmentalizing. I became almost numb to my feelings. It was the only way I could survive the Olympic process.
“It was exhausting. The stress of constantly keeping certain thoughts in the back of my mind may have allowed me to focus in the moment, but it became more and more painful over time, both physically and emotionally.
“I knew when I finally allowed myself to feel again, it would be one of the hardest things I ever had to do”
Nassar was sentenced on Thursday December 7th to 60 years in federal prison, in one of three criminal cases. He is expected never to be free again