Former U.S. Olympic and current UCLA gymnasts Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian have added their voices to the over 150 women who have spoken out against the sexual abuse they experienced from disgraced and imprisoned doctor Larry Nassar. Ross, an Olympic gold medalist on the 2012 team, and Kocian, a gold medalist in 2016, went on CBS This Morning today to talk about Nassar and the culture within U.S. Gymnastics that enabled him.
“[Nassar] was almost like a family member,” Kocian said. “On international trips he would bring us food, or just kind of be that person that would always ask how you’re doing, because the culture that was at the Karolyi Ranch was a culture of fear, a culture of silence, and that’s what let him be able to abuse us.”
“Being on the national team for all those years, we were really silenced,” Ross added. “We didn’t really have a voice and a say as athletes.”
Both Ross and Kocian said that USA Gymnastics has yet to reach out to them about the abuse. USA Gymnastics currently is being sued by multiple former gymnasts for their role in Nassar’s abuse.
With Ross coming forward, every member of the 2012 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team has now said that they were abused by Nassar. Four of the five women on the 2016 team (including Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, who were on both) have said they were abused.