Firsts are important. It takes a special kind of courage to be the first. We'd like to take a moment to honor Rachel Denhollander for being the first to publicly accuse Larry Nassar of sexual assault. We also honor Sarah Klein, who was Larry Nassar's first victim 30 years ago. And, of course, we honor Julie Whitman Delucia, who was the first person to talk with USA Gymnastics about what *allegedly* went on at Flairs Gymnastics in Pasadena, California under Doug Boger.
When the Larry Nassar story broke, our hearts broke. The Flairs gymnasts had fought with USA Gymnastics for years to change athlete protection policy - especially in regards to child athletes. The policies that were recommended by the Flairs gymnasts would, by no means, have protected all of the Nassar victims, but they certainly would have protected many of them. The resistance that we ran up against with USA Gymnastics was astounding -- the dragging of the feet, the insolence, the lies. There was a pattern of making the smallest changes possible, all while tooting their own biggest horns. Time and time again, the least amount of change was made to keep us quiet and placate us. The intention was to drag the entire process out as long as possible. But the joke is on USA Gymnastics. The exact skill that makes a successful gymnast is the exact skill that will be their demise:
If there is anything positive that came out of our Flairs training, it is persistence. We may, in fact, be the most persistent gymnasts to ever have come out of USA Gymnastics. And with that, to USA Gymnastics and the USOC, we say:
Thanks for joining us in this fight. YOU ARE MAGNIFICENT.