Protecting Our Athletes



Simone Biles at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Cindy Apolonio Romero, Staff Writer

We all love sports and watch them all the time.

However, have you ever thought about what athletes go through? We watch them and expect them to do their best. But we don’t know what really goes behind the cameras.

Earlier in December, Larry Nassar was convicted as a sex offender. He worked as the team doctor of the United States Women’s National Gymnastics Team. Nassar worked for the team for 18 years. In those 18 years, Nassar had contact with many young women which made them more vulnerable. Larry has over one hundred victims.

The problem is that victims had come forward, but no one ever listened to them.

No one had looked into what was happening even when the girls were asking for help. The FBI and all the people the girls had come forward to failed them. This is unacceptable; they decided to stay quiet just because Larry Nassar was important.

This allowed him to continue to sexually assault more girls. One of his victims was Simone Biles, a well-known gymnast that has won many gold medals for Team USA.

“I believe without a doubt that the circumstances that led to my abuse and allowed them to continue are the direct result of the fact that the organizations created by Congress to oversee me and protect me as an athlete. US gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic community failed to do their jobs,” Simone Biles said.

“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system the enabled and perpetrated his abuse. USA Gymnastics and The United States Olympic and Paralympic community knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge.”

We have to fix this system that would rather protect the offender than the victim. Victims matter and what they have gone through matters. Every moment they lived will stay with them forever and affect them in many ways.

It should not be taken lightly what Larry Nassar did to all these girls.

We have to protect our athletes because if we don’t, then who will? We have to ask ourselves, “how much is a little girl worth?”