Simone Biles: You had one damn job, to protect us
Simone Biles, the four-time gold medal-winning gymnast at the 2016 Olympics, amplified a tweet she posted earlier this week that was critical of USA Gymnastics on the eve of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships at Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
In the tweet posted Sunday, Biles said, “The more I learn, the more I hurt. USAG failed us. USOC failed us. Many failed us. And they continued to fail us.”
Biles was responding to a long-awaited congressional report into the actions of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Gymnastics in response to a years-long sexual-abuse scandal.
Biles has said she was among the victims of physician Larry Nassar. More than 150 state and federal lawsuits have been filed against Nassar.
Wednesday, Biles was asked why she believed it was important to continue speaking out on the topic.
“I think it’s important because we have a platform,” Biles said. “When we tweet it obviously goes a long way, so we’re blessed to be given a platform so people will hear and listen.
“But it’s not easy coming back to the sport, coming back to the organization that has failed you. But at this point, I just try to think I’m here as a professional athlete with my club team. It’s not easy being out there because every day is a reminder of what I went through and what I’ve been through and what I’m going through and how I’ve come out of it.
“I try not to think about it, but it’s hard. Once you see the FBI even was on it and (Nassar) drank with (former USA Gymnastics president) Steve Penny. It’s like, ‘Did you guys not really like us that much that you just couldn’t do your job?’
“At the end of the day its really sad for us because it becomes a problem when we work with future people. How can we trust them? They bring in new people all the time and I automatically put my foot up because they people I have known for years had failed us...It’s hard to talk about, really hard to talk about.”
Biles began crying as she continued to speak.
“I just feel like — I don’t mean to cry,” she said through tears. “It’s hard coming here for an organization and having had them fail us so many times. We had one goal and we did everything they asked us for, even if we didn’t want to. And they couldn’t do one damn job. You had one job. You literally had one job and you couldn’t protect us.
“And it’s just really sad, every time I go to the doctor or training I get worked on, it’s like I don’t want to get worked on. But my body hurts, I’m 22 and at the end of the day and that’s my fifth rotation. And I have do go through therapy but it’s just hard and we try to work through it. It will take some time.
“I’m strong. I’ll get through it. But it’s hard.”