Not all Gold Comes with Glory

Training for a sport is always hard work and dedication no matter what the goal is you are striving to reach. Throughout the journey of trying to achieve a goal there is always an obstacle that has to be overcame, whether is it something minor, like an off day or something major, like an injury. Aly Raisman is a six-time Olympic medalist, who is one of the few gymnasts to compete in more than one Olympic games (London and Rio de Janeiro), which is an outstanding accomplishment since most barely get the opportunity to go to one. Throughout her journey of training to be an Olympic gymnast she encountered a man who was supposed to be someone she could look to for help, but he ended up being far from that. Raisman did not let her abuser get in her way of fulfilling her dream of going to the Olympics and getting the gold, and she could do it not once but twice.

Larry Nassar was the USA gymnastics national team doctor, he was supposed to be the person the girls should feel most comfortable to go to with injuries. Aly Raisman may not have been the first victim to speak up, but she was the first to reveal her identity to the public. After her it was as if a dam had broken loose, people were confessing left and right, some of which were more big-name gymnasts like herself. Raisman, and all the other girls would train at a facility known as “The Ranch”. In addition to being at the training facility, being the team doctor, he would travel with the team too, always leaving her around him susceptible to the abuse. Raisman would go in seeking treatment for an injury and Nassar would claimed she needed a “special treatment”, which would consist of pelvic exams and inappropriate touching. When Aly and Nassar were together they were always alone, because no one would suspect the doctor to be doing such things his athletes. He never let anyone else in the room, even her parents, making her a vulnerable target. Once the news of the abuse came out Aly took it as a way to educate others about her experience and went on to promote sexual assault awareness and how important it is to speak up about the experience.

Perusing a dream of going to the Olympics takes hard work and dedication. Gymnastics in particular you work your way up through different tiers of the sport. Aly started off by competing USAG, which consists of levels one to ten. After the completion of levels, she moved up to competing in the junior Olympic division, and then competed to make it onto the worlds team where she competed nationally and internationally representing the United States. Being on the worlds team is when she began her training at “The Ranch” which continued from that point until her second Olympic games. The summer of 2011 was coming up, which meant it was time for the Olympic trials for London, of all the girls Aly was chosen to compete in London where she was part of the “Feirce Five”, who brought home the gold from London in 2012. She did not stop there, she decided to continue her training to be one of the few gymnasts to go to the Olympics twice. Training for a second Olympics meant Aly was at a slight disadvantage compared to the other girls due to her age. That did not stop her though, she made it onto the worlds team and took her shot at the Olympic trials. It was a shock to everyone that she did better than she did four years ago, she made it onto the team receiving the second of four spots on the team known as the “Final Five”. In Rio, Aly and her team managed to bring back the gold to the US for the second time. Aly made a dream a reality, not once but twice and did not let anyone stand in her way even with all that Larry Nassar caused her throughout her journey.

From the start of Aly’s gymnastics career to the finish she encountered a man that caused her as well as hundreds of other girls a lot of pain. Larry Nassar, the USA team doctor, sexually abused Aly Raisman throughout her gymnastics career, but she did not let him get in her way of reaching her goal. After the Rio games, Aly came out to the public about her abuse and wanted to give Nassar the justice he deserves. For years he got away with everything he had done, and Aly knew it was time to put it all to an end. After she came out, hundreds of others did too building a strong case against Nassar. They brought him to court at the end of 2017/ beginning of 2018, the lawyers got statements from a bunch of the girls describing in detail what the man had done to them. By the end of the trial, the jury had made their decision, which was Nassar being guilty on accounts of sexual assault. The judge sentenced him with a statement of life in prison. To build a support system throughout the trail Aly set out to inform others on how serious sexual abuse/ assault is encouraging people to speak up and bring the horrible people to justice that hurt others.

Aly Raisman is not another average athlete, she has a story that pushed her to where she is today. People of all ages look up to her because of how courageous of a person she is. What she had gone through no person should in their lifetime, she sets out every day to inform others on how important it is to speak up. pursuing a dream of becoming an Olympian comes with obstacles that can either be overcame or cause someone to give up. Aly chose to overcome the tough situation god threw at her, so she could fulfill her dream. Once her dream became a reality she knew it was time to speak up and bring her abuser the justice he rightfully deserves. Aly Raisman is an outstanding representation of our generation teaching people to not let someone stand in the way of a dream as well as how important it is to speak up about a situation no matter how embarrassing it may seem to be.