GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — On Wednesday, some of the nation’s top gymnasts took the stand to testify during a Senate hearing regarding the FBI’s handling of former USA Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar.
Nassar was convicted and sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing more than 150 girls and women in US Gymnastics for more than a decade.
Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles was among the women who took the stand this week, filled with emotion, stating “enough is enough.” Biles shared the lasting impact Nassar created on all of their lives.
“I don’t want another young gymnast, Olympic athlete or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others that have endured before, during and continuing to this day in the wake of the Larry Nassir abuse,” said Biles, overcome with emotion.
This topic is now sparking conversations across our nation regarding how to prevent sexual abuse. It’s something that no parent wants to ever have to deal with.
Here in Eastern North Carolina, Rose’s Gymnastics Training Center is taking the time to reassure parents and their children that from the moment they walk through the facility’s doors and step onto the may, it will be a safe place.
“It’s a huge privilege for people to bring their children to you and to trust them to you,” said Jennifer Rainsberger, Director of Rose’s Gym. “Some of these children come here every day, right from school for four hours.
“They are with us more than they see their parents because they go to school in the morning, they come here for four hours and then they go home and do their homework and go to bed. That’s a huge responsibility and we take it serious.”
Rainsberger told 9OYS that long before Team USA made national headlines for this scandal, safety was and will continue to be a top priority at the gym. It’s something management does not take lightly.
“We have made sure that all of our staff are safe-sport certified at this point and background checked, but that is something that we have always done,” said Rainsberger. “It’s just very important with what’s going on to make sure that everybody who you hire is on the up-and-up.”
While the hearing is shining a light on the topic of sexual abuse in athletics, local gyms are making sure their athletes are treated right and are given the ability to grow within the sport.
“This program is super important,” said Rainsberger. “It’s like my heart and I want to keep it growing and keep offering really quality gymnastics and enrichment to all kids in Greenville.”