Simone Biles Honored Sexual Assault Survivors During A History-Making Win

"I stand with all of them."

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles made history this weekend, winning her fifth U.S. women's gymnastics title and, according to the Associated Press (AP), "becoming the first woman in 24 years to post the top score on every event on her way to a national championship."

Biles's choice of leotard during the competition was also significant. She wore the color teal, a symbol of sexual assault survivors. According to AP, Biles said the outfit, which she designed herself, was "for the survivors," adding, "I stand with all of them and I think it's kind of special to unite (people)."


In January, Biles came forward as a victim of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who earlier this year was convicted of abusing more than 100 athletes and sentenced to up to 175 years in prison. Last month, 141 of his accusers accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.

According to Sports Illustrated, a campaign called Go Teal was started at Michigan State University, where Nassar formerly worked. In May, the school settled a lawsuit with Nassar's victims, agreeing to pay $500 million.

Biles's teammate, Aly Raisman, has been especially outspoken about her own experience as a survivor and the issue of sexual assault as a whole. In March, she filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, saying the committee was aware of Nassar's crimes "at its highest levels."

Raisman made her own leotard-related statement earlier this year when she responded to a suggestion that gymnasts should change their uniforms to prevent sexual abuse. She emphasized that this way of thinking was "victim shaming."

"I am not afraid to tell my story anymore," Biles wrote in a Twitter statement revealing herself to be one of Nassar's victims, adding, "We need to know why this was able to take place for so long and to so many of us. We need to make sure something like this never happens again."

(H/T: Mashable)

Cover image via  Leonard Zhukovsky I Shutterstock


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