By Heidi Stevens
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Heidi Stevens shares why Aly Raisman’s new book is such a powerful reminder of how WE as women determine our future, not anyone else.
I’m just now catching up with Aly Raisman’s book, “Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything,” and there’s a passage I want to tell you about.
Raisman is a two-time Olympian with six medals, three of them gold, who served as captain of the U.S. gymnastics teams in both London (2012) and Rio (2016).
Her book is about her family (she’s one of four kids), her lifelong dream of becoming an Olympic gymnast and her path to getting there.
Raisman is also one of more than 100 athletes who spoke out about sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar, a sports doctor for the U.S. Women’s National Team and Michigan State University.
Raisman’s victim impact statement, which was met with applause in the courtroom, is widely credited with crystallizing the weight of Nassar’s crimes for the viewing public. The New York Times devoted a full page to reprinting it.
“Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force and you are nothing,” Raisman said in her statement. “The tables have turned, Larry. We are here, we have our voices, and we are not going anywhere.”
Nassar occupies very little space in “Fierce.”
“I am not going into specifics about what Larry did to me, that information is private,” Raisman writes.
She shares some basics, the call she received from USA Gymnastics telling her a private investigator would be visiting her, her years-long internal conflict over whether Nassar’s methods were as violating as they felt, her hope that her story will inspire other abuse survivors to speak up.