Senate Takes Action to Protect Olympians

Senate Takes Action to Protect Olympians
  • For 20 years, child gymnasts said they were sexually assaulted by people involved in gymnastics programs. 
  • At least 368 women came forward and alleged abuse.
  • USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar was accused of assaulting 332 victims.
  • Michigan State University paid $500 million to Nassar’s victims.

( – In 2016, in the middle of the presidential race, the Indianapolis Star began reporting on a massive sexual abuse scandal within USA Gymnastics. By the time President Trump was inaugurated in 2017, America knew the horrifying truth: at least 368 women claimed they were abused by coaches, gym owners, and medical staff over two decades.

One of the most prolific abusers was physician Larry Nassar, who was eventually convicted of child pornography charges and sentenced to 60 years in federal prison. He was also sentenced to 175 years in Michigan state prison for the sexual assault of children.

One of the most infuriating facts that came out of Nassar’s trial, and the reporting, is how many people knew, yet kept quiet while children, and even Olympians, suffered. Now, the Senate is taking action.

Senate Targets Sexual Abuse

On August 4, the Senate unanimously passed legislation aimed at protecting America’s top athletes from abuse.

The Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020 allows Congress to disband the Olympic committee’s board of governors, makes the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee more liable, and creates reporting requirements. The last point is really important because of the years-long failure by the Olympic committee to report the sexual abuse.

According to ABC News, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) thanked the victims who came forward and revealed what was happening. Senator Moran said the Senate told the survivors that, although “powerful institutions had failed them,” lawmakers weren’t going to.

The House still has to take up the bill, but everyone’s hoping it’ll be passed quickly. One thing is certain: this can never be allowed to happen again.

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