Laurie Hernandez voices her support for Larry Nassar survivors
Former Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, who competed on the United States women's Olympic gymnastics team known as the "Final Five" in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has voiced her support for the survivors of Larry Nassar's sexual assault.
Nassar, the 55-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician who has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 330 individuals, of whom many are female gymnasts, under the guise of medical treatment for more than two decades, has been issued three lengthy prison sentences for his actions following his arrest back in December of 2016.
This past December, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on three child pornography charges, and he is currently serving this prison sentence at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona.
In January, Nassar was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven sexual assault charges. He was issued another state prison sentence in February for between an additional 40 and 125 years on three more sexual assault charges.
All four of Hernandez's "Final Five" teammates have accused Nassar of sexual assault. Aly Raisman did so back in November, as did Gabby Douglas. Simone Biles did so in January, and Madison Kocian did so this past week.
"My heart does go out to the girls that have come forward about the Nassar case. I stand with them; I think they are incredibly brave for speaking out. I think that it's time for us to start healing and it's really a time for all of us really need to come together.
"I think communication is key. I think it's important for us as athletes to all speak together, and talk about it. We can't ignore the fact that it happened, we can't do that. However, we can look forward for us to heal and come forward as a gymnastics community, and to be hopeful that we can create a safer environment for kids of the future."
"Um, I think right now they're trying their hardest."
USA Gymnastics, particularly Perry, have been faced with a lot of criticism in recent months as a result of the fallout from the Nassar scandal, and that will likely continue until serious changes in an attempt to prevent something like the Nassar scandal from ever happening again.
Hernandez and the rest of the "Final Five" won the gold medal after dominating the women's team final in the 2016 Summer Olympics. In the team final, Hernandez performed on the vault and the balance beam, and she also performed in the floor exercise. She recorded scores of 15.100, 15.233, and 14.833, respectively, in those three events.
Hernandez earned a silver medal for her individual performance on the balance beam by recording a score of 15.333.