Nastia Liukin Supports Gymnasts Speaking Out Against Larry Nassar: "You Are My Role Models"

Team USA gold medalist says she is committed to creating positive change for the sport

By Mike Vulpo Jan 22, 2018 11:11 PMTags
Nastia LiukinGabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Nastia Liukin stands behind all the victims of former U.S. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

In a new blog post titled "To The Gymnastics Community," the Olympic gold medalist shared her support to Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and all the other athletes who have come forward to tell their stories of alleged abuse.

"I continue to be in awe of my teammates and other women and the bravery it took for them to come forward with their own stories of Larry Nassar's abuse. All week long I have been a witness to their testimonies live on my computer. They all inspire me with their courage," she wrote. "To compete on the biggest stage of our lives, while knowing the man on the floor with us was a monster, takes incredible fortitude and strength. His actions and assaults against my teammates, friends and other women are appalling and disgusting and I am so sorry they had to go through it alone."

Back in November, Larry pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual abuse. He faces an indeterminate sentence of 25 to 40 years for each of the seven counts. Before his sentence is announced, however, a judge is allowing victims to give statements during court proceedings occurring this week.

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"This letter is also a commitment from me, to help create positive change and a brighter future," Nastia continued. "As a small first step, I have requested that all proceeds (ticket sales, merchandise sales, and any and all other revenue) from the Nastia Liukin Cup this March will be donated to an organization which supports victims of sexual abuse. I am currently doing my due diligence to find the right organization."

In her open letter, Nastia also revealed that her father is now the Women's National Team Coach and wants to "change the culture and environment of this program."

She also wants to make it clear that just because she supports the sport, that doesn't mean she agrees with everything that has transpired within the organization.

"I will do everything in my power to help our next generation never have to go through what my teammates went through. I, like so many others, believe many things could have been handled differently by USA Gymnastics. Many have written me asking why I continue to support them. Please believe me when I say I do NOT support the things I have read about or heard about. I do however support the future of gymnastics as a whole," she wrote. "I hope young women like Morgan, Ragan, Riley, Maile, and so many others will one day feel safe within the sport, and can continue striving to achieve their own dreams.  I am here for not just these young athletes but for all young women who want and deserve to feel and to be safe."

"To all the women who have come forward: you are my role models, my heroes, and I will forever respect you and be inspired by your bravery and commitment to making our world a better and safer place," Nastia concluded.

Read her full letter on her personal website now.