Competitive gymnastics is a rough sport. Broken bones, torn ligaments, sore muscles and most of all the combination of physical and psychological strain. The movement–the constant twisting, flipping, soaring, and yes, falling: landing wrong, dislocating a shoulder, on and on. Few know the troubles gymnasts endure.
Now, add to that sexual assault by a physician–a man who is allegedly your doctor, only to find out how routine his sexual assaults are. Add to that the people and organizations who are supposed to look out for you, well, they look the other way.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, imagine you coming out of a foster home. You shoulder the burden of looking out for those younger than you. Looking Out. Who looks out for you?
They tell you “Just flip and fly little woman, it’s going to be alright. Smile. Do your thing and smile. How hard can it be to smile?”
Simone has never asked for pity. No public complaints–not even when she revealed her abuse.
It’s hard to be human when people see you as super-human.
As able to leap. . . oh the burdens of being the best is a far, far greater burden to carry than most will ever know.
Simone, you are still young. Lay them burdens down. You have done what no one else can do. Rest, dear sister. Stop now. You have nothing more to prove.
We salute you.
Live the rest of your life howsoever you wish, howsoever you will. You’ve earned it. Peace be unto you.