Steve Helling
February 07, 2018 02:45 PM

By all accounts, Aly Raisman has a good shot to make the 2020 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team. At 23, she’s still in top form: She has competed in two previous games, and shows the leadership to be the captain once again.

Raisman herself loves the sport.

“It has been wonderful for me,” she tells PEOPLE. “I’ve been very fortunate to do so well in it.”

But lately, Raisman has gotten attention for the powerful statement she delivered during Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse sentencing hearing in Michigan’s Ingham County last month. Over a period of four days, more than 150 young women and their parents addressed the former doctor, confronting him for abusing them. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to up to 175 years in prison, declaring “I just signed your death warrant.”

Last week, Nassar was sentenced to another 40 to 125 years behind bars in a separate case in Michigan’s Eaton County.

 

For more on Raisman’s new crusade to protect other survivors of sexual abuse, pick up the latest copy of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.

Raisman has now become a voice for change in the sport. In this week’s issue of PEOPLE, she says she won’t rest until there is an independent investigation of both USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee, as well as Michigan State University, where Nassar worked as a sports physician from 1997 to 2016.

Her crusade seems to be working: both the USOC and USA Gymnastics have said that they support investigations into their organizations.

Melissa J. Perenson/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

With her new visibility, Raisman is unsure whether she’ll head to Tokyo to compete in 2020. While she’s keeping her options open, she acknowledges that she has another priority at this time.

“I’ve been to two Olympic Games, and I love gymnastics so much,” she tells PEOPLE. “I love the Olympics and being able to represent my country. But with everything going on right now, I realize that this is more important than any gold medal. My main focus is fixing this organization and getting to the bottom of what happened.”

You May Like

EDIT POST