Olympic gymnast Jordyn Wieber appeared in court on Friday during the fourth day of Larry Nassar’s sentencing hearing and revealed that she too was abused by the former USA Gymnastics team doctor.
Wieber was part of the gold medal-winning team at the 2012 Olympics known as the Fierce Five. She is the fourth member of the quintet to accuse Nassar of sexual assault, joining Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman. (Kyla Ross was the fifth member of the team.)
Wieber, a Michigan native, said that she was treated by Nassar at Michigan State from the time she was eight and Nassar began abusing her when she was 14.
“When I was 14 years old, I tore my hamstring in my right leg. This is when he started performing the procedure that we are all now familiar with,” Wieber told the court. “I would cringe at how uncomfortable it felt. He did it time after time, appointment after appointment, convincing me that it was helping my hamstring injury. And the worst part was that I had no idea he was sexually abusing me for his own benefit. I knew it felt strange, but he was the national team doctor. Who was I to question his treatments, or even more, risk my chance at making the Olympic team or being chosen to compete internationally. And after all, he was recommended by the national team staff, and he treated us monthly at all of our national team camps. I even talked to my teammates, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, about this treatment, and how uncomfortable it made us feel. None of us really understood it.
“I am angry with myself for not recognizing the abuse, and that’s something I’m struggling with today,” Wieber said as she concluded her remarks. “But even thought I am a victim, I do not and will not live my life as one. I am an Olympian. Despite being abused, I worked so hard and managed to achieve my goal. But I want everyone, especially the media, to know that despite my athletic achievements, I am one of over 140 women and survivors whose story is important. Our pain is all the same, and our stories are all important. And now the people who are responsible need to accept responsibility for the pain they have caused me and the rest of the women who have been abused. Larry Nassar is accountable. USA Gymnastics is accountable. The U.S. Olympic Committee is accountable. My teammates and friends have been through enough, and now it’s time for change because the current and future gymnasts do not deserve to live in anxiety, fear or be unprotected like I was.”
(You can read the full transcript of Wieber’s statement here and watch her deliver it in the video below.)
By the end of Nassar’s four-day sentencing hearing, more than 100 victims will stand before him to share how they were affected by his crimes. More than 140 women have formally accused him of abuse.
Nassar was already sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography. This week’s sentencing hearing in Michigan is for nine counts of sexual abuse, to which he pleaded guilty.