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Nastia Liukin on laughing about McKayla Maroney assault

Nastia Liukin has finally addressed criticism she has been receiving for her response to the sexual assault allegations made by over 200 women against former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

In video that was shot back in October, Liukin was asked about the claims made by McKayla Maroney and began laughing along with 2016 Olympian Laurie Hernandez, with the two finally gathering themselves enough to say that they were not abused by the serial pedophile.

Liukin is now apologizing for her delayed response in a blog post, while also revealing she has given Joyful Heart a $20,000 donation to help fight sexual assault and domestic violence while pledging to give all proceeds from her Nastia Cup gymnastics event in march to a charity as  well.

She also stated that her father, USA Gymnastics national team coordinator Valeri Liukin is committed to fostering positive changes in the sport as well in the wake of Nassar’s sentencing and trial.

That claim is now being questioned however after former national champion Mattie Larson said in court on Tuesday that Valeri was mentally abusive to young gymnasts.

Valeri meanwhile has stayed silent throughout the scandal, and USA Gymnastics did not respond to a request for comment. 

 

Making amends: Nastia Liukin apologized for her initial response to the allegations of sexual assault made by her fellow gymnasts against Larry Nassar (Liukin and Laurie Hernandez above in October)

Giving back: She also revealed that she and her father Valeri had donated $20,000 to a sexual assault charity and pledged to give the proceeds from her annual sports meet

Giving back: She also revealed that she and her father Valeri had donated $20,000 to a sexual assault charity and pledged to give the proceeds from her annual sports meet

Sorry: 'One of the first times I was asked about this was on national television and I was completely caught off guard,' explained Nastia Liukin, calling Nassar a monster

Sorry: ‘One of the first times I was asked about this was on national television and I was completely caught off guard,’ explained Nastia Liukin, calling Nassar a monster

‘This is an apology to anyone who had the perception I was not in complete support of my teammates and the women who have suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar. When I first found out about Larry’s disgusting crimes, I was completely shocked,’ wrote Liukin. 

‘I couldn’t believe the man I trusted and had even publicly thanked for helping to heal my injuries was a monster to so many people I care so much about. One of the first times I was asked about this was on national television and I was completely caught off guard.’

She continued: ‘I realized I gave the impression I was not fully supportive of my teammates. I stumbled through my words because I couldn’t even begin to process my thoughts, let alone my words, about his abhorrent and criminal actions.’

Liukin then spoke of the changes she planned to work towards in the sport. 

Liukin said last week that her father would offer up his gyms in Texas to train the US team not that the Karolyi Ranch has been shuttered following multiple girls revealing that was the site of their abuse.

That process still took years however, with USA Gymnastics hearing those accusations in 2015 from Ali Raisman and Maggie Nichols.

A number of other women said they were abused years earlier at the national training facility, including Larson. 

‘Looking towards the future, my father is now the Women’s National Team Coach. He has been there as an athlete, a coach, and most importantly a father,’ wrote Liukin in her post.

‘He, as much as anyone else, wants to change the culture and environment of this program. The first step was offering one of his two gyms, WOGA in Texas, as a temporary place for the Women’s National Team while they search for a new Training Center.’

She then added: ‘He continues to stay committed to providing an environment for these young women working so hard at a sport we all love so much.’

That was not the case at all for Larson, who revealed that as a teenager on the national team she was ignored by Valeri when she failed to execute her final pass on floor at the 2010 world championship.

‘I’ve never felt so small and disposable in my life,’ said Larson.

Speaking out: Valeri, who is the USA Gymnastics national team coordinator was attacked in court on Tuesday during the Larry Nassar sentencing hearing (Larson above on Tuesday)

Speaking out: Valeri, who is the USA Gymnastics national team coordinator was attacked in court on Tuesday during the Larry Nassar sentencing hearing (Larson above on Tuesday)

Accustaions: Mattie Larson (above on Tuesday) said that he was mentally abvusive to gymnasts including herself and fostered an environment where Nassar's assaults could thrive

Accustaions: Mattie Larson (above on Tuesday) said that he was mentally abvusive to gymnasts including herself and fostered an environment where Nassar’s assaults could thrive

It was that treatment, and the atmosphere fostered by Valeri and the Karolyis, that Larson said allowed for Nassar’s predatory assaults.

‘The complete detachment from the outside world and careless and neglectful adults, made it the perfect environment for abusers and neglecters to thrive,’ she said in her statement.

Then, a little further along in her remarks, she made it clear who she was speaking about in court.

‘It truly bothers me that one of the adults that treated me this way, making me feel completely invisible, is the new national team coordinator, Valeri Liukin,’ said Larson. 

‘It troubles me that he is now in that position, and I hope for the sake of current and future national team members, that he has changed.’

Liukin, who last week had posted tweets of encouragement to Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber and Simone Biles did not comment on Larson’s remarks Tuesday.

In the letter she posted to her person website however, Liukin did write: ‘To all the women who have come forward: you are my role models, my heroes, and I will forever respect you and be inspired by your bravery and commitment to making our world a better and safer place.

NASTIA LIUKIN COMMITTED TO POSITIVE CHANGE AFTER LARRY NASSAR GYMNASTICS SCANDAL

‘I continue to be in awe of my teammates and other women and the bravery it took for them to come forward with their own stories of Larry Nassar’s abuse. All week long I have been a witness to their testimonies live on my computer. They all inspire me with their courage. To compete on the biggest stage of our lives, while knowing the man on the floor with us was a monster, takes incredible fortitude and strength. His actions and assaults against my teammates, friends and other women are appalling and disgusting and I am so sorry they had to go through it alone.

‘This is an apology to anyone who had the perception I was not in complete support of my teammates and the women who have suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar. When I first found out about Larry’s disgusting crimes, I was completely shocked. I couldn’t believe the man I trusted and had even publicly thanked for helping to heal my injuries was a monster to so many people I care so much about. One of the first times I was asked about this was on national television and I was completely caught off guard. I realized I gave the impression I was not fully supportive of my teammates. I stumbled through my words because I couldn’t even begin to process my thoughts, let alone my words, about his abhorrent and criminal actions.

Nastia and Valeri at the 2008 Olympics

Nastia and Valeri at the 2008 Olympics

‘This letter is also a commitment from me, to help create positive change and a brighter future. As a small first step, I have requested that all proceeds (ticket sales, merchandise sales, and any and all other revenue) from the Nastia Liukin Cup this March will be donated to an organization which supports victims of sexual abuse. I am currently doing my due diligence to find the right organization.

‘My hope is this is the beginning of positive change. I will do everything in my power to help our next generation never have to go through what my teammates went through. I, like so many others, believe many things could have been handled differently by USA Gymnastics. Many have written me asking why I continue to support them. Please believe me when I say I do NOT support the things I have read about or heard about. I do however support the future of gymnastics as a whole. I hope young women like Morgan, Ragan, Riley, Maile, and so many others will one day feel safe within the sport, and can continue striving to achieve their own dreams. I am here for not just these young athletes but for all young women who want and deserve to feel and to be safe.

‘Looking towards the future, my father is now the Women’s National Team Coach. He has been there as an athlete, a coach, and most importantly a father. He, as much as anyone else, wants to change the culture and environment of this program. The first step was offering one of his two gyms, WOGA in Texas, as a temporary place for the Women’s National Team while they search for a new Training Center. He continues to stay committed to providing a safe environment for these young women working so hard at a sport we all love so much.

‘To all the women who have come forward: you are my role models, my heroes, and I will forever respect you and be inspired by your bravery and commitment to making our world a better and safer place.’

xoxo,

Nastia 

 

 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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