Raisman, survivors accept courage award at ESPYs

It took courage for all of disgraced USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar‘s victims to speak out on his heinous acts of sexual abuse. And it was that same courage that was recognized at this year’s ESPY Awards.

According to USA Today, Olympian Aly Raisman and over 140 survivors hit the stage of the 2018 ESPYs to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award not only for their efforts in shedding light on Nassar’s years of abuse, but also for representing the issue of sexual abuse at large.

Sarah Klein — who USA Today says described herself as Nassar’s first victim nearly 30 years ago — explained to the crowd just how difficult it was to stand up and speak out.

“Speaking up and speaking out is not easy,” Klein said. “Telling our stories of abuse over and over and over again, in graphic detail, is not easy. We’re sacrificing privacy. We’re being judged and scrutinized, and it’s grueling, and it’s painful — but it is time.”

In their group appearance, USA Today says the survivors not only thanked the “Michigan police and prosecutors for helping bring Nassar to justice,” but also “thanked judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who allowed hundreds of women to testify at Nassar’s sentencing.”

It was Raisman, however, who concluded the group’s remarks, offering a message to all survivors of abuse.

“To all the survivors out there: Don’t let anyone rewrite your story,” Raisman said, according to USA Today. “Your truth does matter. You matter. And you are not alone.”

Bell, Teigen offer to pay fine for former U.S. gymnast

With over 140 women and girls accusing former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse, many of his victims have stood before him in court to share the pain they have carried with them for years. But one victim and former Olympian may face a fine for facing her abuser yet again.

According to Entertainment Weeklybecause gold medal winner McKayla Maroney settled a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics in 2016, she is “unable to publicly discuss Nassar” and could face a $100,000 fine if she does, including if she gave a victim impact statement in his recent court proceedings.

But two of Hollywood’s best and brightest have offered to help Maroney, should she decide to speak up and be hit with a fine; model and author Chrissy Teigen was first to take to Twitter to offer to foot the bill for Maroney, writing that she would be “absolutely honored” to do so.

A few minutes later, EW says Parks and Recreation creator Mike Schur and actor Kristen Bell chimed in, offering to split the payment on behalf of the gymnast.

If that’s not women (and men) supporting women, we don’t know what is.


Raisman raises standards on body shaming

Girls are strong, and if you can’t see it, get over it — that’s the message behind Olympian Aly Raisman’s latest string of tweets directed at some very rude body shamers.

According to For The WinRaisman shared a recent encounter with some less-than-friendly TSA agents who identified her by her muscles and continued to comment on her appearance. Raisman tweeted that while one said she “recognized [her] by [her] biceps,” the other male TSA agent said he didn’t see her muscles and then proceeded to stare at the gymnast.

Calling the situation “rude and uncomfortable,” Raisman went on to school everyone on what body shaming means.

“I work very hard to be healthy & fit. The fact that a man thinks he judge my arms pisses me off I am so sick of this judgmental generation,” she tweeted. “If u are a man who can’t compliment a girls [muscles] you are sexist. Get over yourself. Are u kidding me? It’s 2017. When will this change?”

Hopefully tweets like Raisman’s can at least begin to change this culture.


Raisman scores perfect 10 in ‘SI Swimsuit’ photos

It’s no surprise that U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman slayed on the world stage during the 2016 Summer Olympics — however, Raisman brought the heat yet again when she posed for Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition.

Posed in a black swimsuit, Yahoo says the 22-year-old gymnast felt empowered by the photos and the experience in general.

“I loved the photo shoot. It was such an empowering feeling to be so confident and happy with the way I looked,” she told Yahoo. “I work so hard for the body that I have and believe that all women should embrace how beautiful they are, no matter their body type.”

While Raisman seems to have the the self-confidence thing down, she shared that the key loving herself is pure happiness.

“When I’m happy, it doesn’t matter what other people think. What matters is that you look at yourself in the mirror and are happy with who you are as a person,” she told Yahoo. “If you’re a kind person, that’s far more important than being a certain size or number on the scale.”

We give that advice a perfect 10.

U.S. Women’s Gymnastics smokes competition

The U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team is on fire — and they are only just getting started.

According to the Huffington Post, the five-member team took home a gold medal on Tuesday, Aug. 9 in Rio de Janeiro in the team all-around competition after posting a nearly 10-point lead over China in the qualifying round. The squad — comprised of  Aly RaismanGabrielle DouglasSimone Biles, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian — won the gold by eight points, with Russia earning a silver medal and China taking home the bronze, reports the Huffington Post.

The “Final Five” (who will be the final team of five gymnasts for the U.S. and the final team Marta Karolyi will coach and coordinate for Team USA, according to TODAY) began their competition at the vault, followed by a turn on the bars and the beam and concluded with floor exercise, says the Huffington Post, with three gymnasts competing in each event. This follows what is known as the “three-up, three-count” format, according to the Huffington Post, who explained the system this way:

“Though the U.S. team has five members, the final is conducted in a format known as ‘three-up, three-count,’ meaning only three gymnasts from each country perform on each event and every score counts toward the team total. (In qualifying rounds, the format is “four-up, three-count,” and the lowest score on each event is dropped from the team total.) So every routine and each deduction is a high-stakes affair. There’s no room for error in the team final.”

But after several flawless performances by each of the teammates, the team secured the gold, which the Huffington Post reports is the second consecutive team all-around gold medal for the United States.

What’s more is that the Huffington Post says each team member has qualified for an individual event final: “Biles on vault, beam and floor; Raisman on floor; Kocian and Douglas on bars; and Hernandez on beam. Biles, Raisman and Douglas took the top three all-around spots in qualifications, though the “two per country” rule means that Douglas will not be allowed to defend her Olympic all-around title on Thursday.”

With many more events still to come for Team USA gymnastics, it’s safe to say that all eyes will be on the Final Five, awaiting their next gold-medal moment.


Biles leaps into history

Winning a championship sporting event takes practice, skill and determination. But to win four championships in a row, it takes a certain level of expertise and consistency — just ask Simone Biles.

The 19-year-old gymnast just recorded her highest scores ever at the Sunday, June 26 gymnastics showdown, says the Huffington Post, making her “the first woman in more than 40 years to win four consecutive U.S. women’s gymnastics championships.”

Posting at two-day all-around score of 125.000, Biles not only topped her previous high-score of 124.100 from last year, the Huffington Post says she “matched the four straight titles won by Joan Moore Gnat in 1971-74.”

Her closest competitor: two-time London Olympics gold medalist Aly Raisman, who was four points behind Biles with a score of 121.000, according to HuffPost. The top-five gymnasts included Lauren Hernandez (120.500) in third, Gabby Douglas (117.800) in fourth and Madison Kocian (116.450) in fifth, says HuffPost.

HuffPost reports, “The top-five finishers, along with Amelia Hundley, Alyssa Baumann and 15-year-old Ragan Smith earned automatic berths to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in San Jose in two weeks, when the official five-woman team for the Rio Games will be named.”