Simone Biles Is Competing At The Tokyo Games For Sexual Abuse Survivors
Women

Simone Biles Is Competing At The Tokyo Games For Sexual Abuse Survivors

Simone Biles
Simone Biles at the 2016 Olympics (Wikimedia Commons)

Simone Biles is dedicating her performance at this year’s Tokyo Games to sexual abuse survivors.

The 24 -year-old gymnast spoke with NBC Today host Hoda Kotb, and answered what she is fighting for in this upcoming Olympics, theGrio reported.

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“Because I feel like if there weren’t a remaining survivor in the sport, they would’ve just brushed it to the side,” she shared.

Biles is one of many gymnasts who came forward about an abusive relationship with disgraced Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Her experience was so tragic that she said “slept so much because, for me, it was the closest thing to death without harming myself.”

It was an escape from all of my thoughts, from the world, from what I was dealing with. It was a really dark time,” Biles said.

When Maggie Nichols, a friend and fellow gymnast, spoke to the media about her abuse at the hands of Nassar in January 2018, Biles summoned the courage to talk about it for the first time, after denying it, YAHOO! Sports reported.

“But I was reading Maggie’s coverage and it just hit me. I was like, I’ve had the same treatments. I remember Googling, like, sexually abused. Because I know some girls had it worse than me. I know that for a fact. So I felt like I wasn’t abused because it wasn’t to the same extent as the other girls,” Biles said.

The Tokyo Games, which are now 100 days away, is where Biles plans on promoting survivor awareness. 

“Since I’m still here and I have quite a social media presence and platform, they have to do something,” Biles said. “So I feel like, coming back, gymnastics just wasn’t the only purpose I was supposed to do.”

“I don’t think I knew [that was part of my reason], either, but I feel like gymnastics wasn’t the only thing I was supposed to come back for,” she said.

One hundred and fifty girls and women, including Gabby Douglas, have come forward with allegations of abuse from Nassar. He was later charged with child pornography and sexual misconduct. He is serving a 175-year sentence.


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