Mary Lou Retton sat on the board of USA Gymnastics for eight years and she revealed in an exclusive interview with Access Live that the information that she and other board members were given about Larry Nassar didn’t paint the full picture.
“We were lied to. We were not presented with all of the information at all,” Mary Lou told Access Live. “It’s sad that one monster is going to bring this sport down. I can sit here right now and say I don’t know the future of this sport.”
Nassar, the former team doctor for the American gymnastics team, was sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges in December and received up to 175 years in jail on sexual abuse charges in January. More than 200 women in total have delivered impact statements on his abuse in both hearings.
Mary Lou sat on the board of USA Gymnastics when the crimes he was committing against young US gymnasts were happening.
“It’s so sad because it’s such a beautiful sport with such beautiful people. And I sat on the board for eight years of USA Gymnastics. I have to say, I haven’t spoken out because I couldn’t because of the legality of being on the board,” Mary Lou added.
But she said the future of the sport is definitely in question, given the fact that they have a new board and a new federation for the sport in its entirety. She explained that the impact Nassar had on the sport has been devastating on all fronts.
“My 16-year-old, who is still a high level gymnast, asks me all the time, ‘Mommy, what’s going on?’ and I have no answer for her,'” Mary Lou explained. “Nobody had that oversight and the girls felt they couldn’t speak out. That to me is the devastating part.”
Mary Lou’s daughter McKenna, 21, is a gymnast for the LSU Tigers collegiate gymnastics program.
Mary Lou said the showing at the ESPY Awards last month definitely highlighted the incredible, powerful women who are members of the gymnastics community. And she hopes that they will continue to push the sport forward.
“That’s the future.”
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