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Wieber, Too: Michigan Gymnast Confronts Nassar as Fourth Member of 'Fierce Five' to Suffer Sexual Abus
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World and Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber made a stunning appearance Friday morning in the sentencing hearing of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar entered its fourth day in an Ingham County, Michigan courtroom. Pictured: A disappointed Jordyn Wieber cries following the qualification competition at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where she was suffering from a stress fracture in her right leg and did not advance to the all-around final.

World and Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber made a stunning appearance Friday morning in the courtroom as the sentencing hearing of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar entered its fourth day in Lansing, Michigan. Wieber, who grew up in nearby DeWitt, is the fourth member of the "Fierce Five," the 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning squad, to come forward as a survivor of depraved sexual abuse committed at the hands of the once trusted team doctor.

With teammate Aly Raisman looking on, Wieber took a deep breath and confirmed she had not escaped the abuse Nassar afflicted on so many other gymnasts and athletes over at least 25 years.

"I thought that training for the Olympics would be hardest thing I would ever have to do," Wieber said. "But the hardest thing I've ever had to do is process that I'm a victim of Larry Nassar. It has caused me to feel shame and confusion and I have spent months trying to look back and wonder how I didn't even know this was happening to me, how I became so brainwashed by Larry and everyone at USA Gymnastics, both whom I thought were on my side. He became a safe person, and was the 'good guy' in an intense, restricting environment."


Jordyn Wieber at the 2006 U.S. junior championships

Wieber, the most decorated gymnast to ever come out of Michigan, returned home to join a parade of women delivering devastating victim's impact statements in the sentencing hearing of Nassar, a serial pedophile who preyed on vulnerable girls and women by sexually assaulting them, nearly all using methods he described as "treatment" to help injured back, hip, pelvic and hails from nearby DeWitt. Nassar pleaded guilty last November as part of plea deal that saw him prosecuted for only 10 assaults, seven of which occurred in Ingham County, home of his former employer, Michigan State University.

The sheer number of survivors of Nassar's abuse has been difficult to track, with more than 150 women reportedly alleging abuse over at least 25 years. As part of his plea deal, he agreed to allow any woman whom he had assaulted to deliver a victim impact statement at his sentencing hearing. The number of women who requested was up to 104, it was announced Thursday by the assistan attorney general.

One of those was Wieber, whose appearance Friday was a closely guarded secret. When news of allegations against Nassar first made headlines in September 2016, Wieber's mother, Rita Wieber, defended Nassar.

"Larry was always very professional in treating Jordyn throughout the years," Rita Wieber told the Detroit Free Press 15 months ago.

An emotional Wieber largely ignored Nassar, who has been sitting in the witness box next to the judge, as she explained how he began sexually abusing her following a torn hamstring she suffered when she was 14. Like many others, she had trusted that Nassar, whom she knew from age 8, was performing legitimate medical treatment on her, which he inflicted "time after time, appointment after appointment."

Wieber, who will turn 24 in July, trained at Geddert's Twisters USA Gym in Lansing throughout her career. She won the world all-around title in 2011 in Tokyo, where she was part of the U.S. women's gold medal team. She also won the American Cup titles in 2009 and 2011. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, she was hampered by a stress fracture in her right leg and failed to advance to the all-around final because of the two-per country rule, but helped the American women, dubbed the "Fierce Five," win their first Olympic team title outside the United States. She finished seventh on floor in the final.

Wieber said she discussed Nassar's "treatment" with her teammates, who were also uncomfortable with it, but that they were too afraid that challenging him or complaining would keep them off the Olympic team. Now she is struggling with the revelation that she was actually being sexually abused by a man entrusted to help her with her injuries as she pursued her dream of competing in the Olympics.

"Was Larry even doing anything to help my pain?" she asked. "Was I getting the proper medical care? What was he thinking about when he massaged my sore muscles every day? Now, I question everything."

Wieber slammed USA Gymnastics as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee for allowing a pedophile to prey on young girls who were overtrained, deprived food and frightened. Nassar was the only man allowed to be alone in the gymnasts' rooms at the Karolyi ranch and in hotel rooms, including the Olympic Village, a violation of basic policies for both organizations.

"Larry Nassar is accountable," Wieber said. "USA Gymnastics is accountable. The U.S. Olympic Committee is accountable. (USA Gymnastics') lack of accountability has caused me and many other girls to remain shameful, confused and disappointed. My teammates and friends have been through enough and now it's time for change. The current and future gymnasts do not deserve to live in anxiety, fear and being unprotected like I was."

Wieber turned professional prior to the 2012 Olympics and thus was not eligible to compete in the NCAA. Still, she was active with the women's team at UCLA, where she worked as a student coach alongside Val Kondos Fields and Chris Waller. She trained separately from the team, but elected to retire rather than continue elite competition. Last June, she graduated from UCLA with a degree in psychology.

Nassar was the team doctor at Twistars Gymnastics and Geddert's previous gym, Great Lakes Gymnastics, where he victimized gymnasts for decades. Many have spoken up this past week to accuse Nassar of grooming them by acting as their protector in what they allege was a psychologically and physically abusive environment. This week, ESPN's Outside the Lines and a local television network alleged that Geddert was one of Nassar's main enablers and that he had been reported both to the police and USA Gymnastics for violent behavior.

Nassar maintained his innocence until last November, when he pleaded guilty and admitted his supposed treatment was in fact done for his own gratification. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for charges related to child pornography. Wieber also stated that Nassar obsessively photographed the gymnasts.

"Nobody was protecting us from being taken advantage of," Wieber said. "I was not protected, and neither were my teammates."

Wieber stated that she did not want the media to focus on her story.

"I am an Olympian, but I am also one of more than 140 women," she said. "Our pain is all the same."

The number of women who will speak has grown to 117 and is expected to last through next Tuesday.

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