Posts

Olympics

Simone Biles, Other Victims Of Larry Nassar To File $1 Billion In Claims Against FBI

The more than 90 women who were sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar have filed claims up to $1 billion dollars against the FBI for failing to stop the doctor when the agency first received allegations against him, attorneys said Wednesday.

Among those claimants are Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney, along with world champion gold medalist Maggie Nichols. According to their firm Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, each woman has asked for more than $50 million.

According to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), claimants have to give government agencies notice before a lawsuit is filed in federal court. The agency then has six months to respond to the tort claims, either settling with the claimants or denying a claim.

Embed from Getty Images

According to attorneys, the FBI possessed numerous claims of Nassar’s abuse over a number of years and across the globe by July 2015, but were “grossly derelict in their duties resulting in Nassar sexually assaulting approximately 100 young women and children between July 28, 2015 and September 12, 2016.”

In July 2021, a Justice Department inspector’s investigation and review into the FBI’s handling of Nassar found that “fundamental” and “inexcusable” errors were committed by the agency, and that the case was not treated with the “utmost seriousness.”

“The FBI knew that Larry Nassar was a danger to children when his abuse of me was first reported in 2015,” Nichols said in a statement. “It is time for the FBI to be held accountable.” Maroney voiced similar disappointment, saying that every institution supposed to protect them, betrayed them.

“I had some hope that [the Department of Justice] would keep their word and hold the FBI accountable after we poured out our hearts to the US Senate Judiciary Committee and begged for justice. It is clear that the only path to justice and healing is through the legal process.”

Nassar, 58, first joined the USA Gymnastics team in 1986 as an athletic trainer. According to a 2016 lawsuit, a gymnast alleged Nassar abused her in 1994 and continued to do so for six years. Over the next two decades, Nassar would continue his sexual abuse, with his victims as young as six.

After several instances of being clear of wrongdoing by Michigan State University, where he worked as a team physician, Nassar’s abuses would come to light as he was charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13, along with being indicted on federal child porn charges.

Embed from Getty Images

From 2017 to 2018, Nassar would eventually plead guilty to 10 total counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges and 40-to-125 years on sexual assault charges.

In April, 13 of Nassar’s victims filed separate claims against the FBI totaling $130 million, saying the FBI had turned a “blind eye” towards the abuse. However, in May, the Justice Department announced it wouldn’t be bringing charges against the two former FBI agents accused of mishandling the case.

It was the third time the Justice Department had refused to bring charges against the FBI. Despite the investigation finding that the former agents likely provided incomplete information on the circumstances, more was needed to file.

“This does not in any way reflect a view that the investigation of Nassar was handled as it should have been, nor in any way reflects approval or disregard of the conduct of the former agents,” the Department stated.

Tokyo Olympics

Simone Biles Pulls Out Of Olympics Due To Medical Issue 

Simone Biles has suddenly pulled out of all Olympic competitions due to a medical issue. This update comes after the US Women’s gymnastics team took silver in the women’s team final, right behind Russia. 

This marks the first time in a decade that the US women’s team has not come out of the international competition with gold. They’ve managed to win every single Olympics and World Championships event since 2011. 

Embed from Getty Images

Biles’ departure from competition was a major blow to the team. She was originally expected to compete on all four apparatuses for the competition, but her teammates stepped in for her on the uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. 

The final score for the Russia Olympic Committee was 169.528 and the US scored 166.096. Great Britain won the bronze overall. USA Gymnastics recently released a statement regarding Biles. 

“Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.” 

Biles remained in the arena after being pulled from the competition to cheer on her teammates and celebrate their strong performances. Biles was not limping terribly while celebrating with her team, so onlookers are hopeful that she will be able to make a recovery, but no one knows the full extent of what the medical issue even is. 

Embed from Getty Images

Jordan Chiles stepped in for Biles on the uneven bars and balance beam and Sunisa Lee competed on the floor exercise. Chiles managed to land a 14.166 on uneven bars and Lee earned a 15.4, which helped the team advance exponentially. 

During floor exercise, Chiles experienced a fall that led to her receiving an 11.7, the combined scores from all the performances overall were not enough to surpass Russia. 

It’s still unclear whether or not Biles will be able to compete later on in the competition for either individual events or the all-around individual final; which she won at the Olympics five years ago. 

Biles initially qualified for all five individual finals in Tokyo. 

“I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The olympics is no joke!” she said on Instagram ahead of the team final.

Gold Medal

Simone Biles Is “Feeling Golden” After Winning 5th World Championship Title

Simone Biles is no stranger to making headlines where she’s constantly crushing her competition, and climbing the ladder of success all the way to an Olympic gold medal. This week was no different for the Olympian Gymnast, as she secured her fifth all around world gymnastic championship title. The award is Biles 22nd medal at the world championships, and 16th gold medal, the accomplishment broke the record for most medals won overall by a woman at the world championships. She’s now just one behind Vitaly Scherbo, who holds 23 titles, which is the record for both men and women, according to the New York Times. Her victory was considered a runaway, with a 2.1 point margin of victory on a score of 58.999.

“Every year it feels better and better just because we’re adding to the legacy. I feel like I never think of records. I just go out there and do what I came to do, which is to compete for the country. It’s just so surreal to come out here and end up on top with the strength of the team that we have, even after having a couple falls out there,” Biles said.

Embed from Getty Images

Team USA won its seventh consecutive team title at the world championships this week, with an overall team score of 172.330, beating the runner up, Russia, by 5.801 points, according to the Times. Biles, like any perfectionist at their craft, was left unsatisfied with her record-breaking performances and told reporters afterwards that she felt she “played it safe.” The crowd and judges obviously disagreed to the fullest extent. 

Her final floor routine is what really set Biles apart from her competitors. She was the final gymnast to perform, and after a series of underwhelming routines from her competitors, the audience knew Biles had the win in the bag. According to the Times coverage of the championship rounds, Biles began her routine with her iconic body bending, triple twisting double somersault which set the standard for the whole performance. The crowd reportedly could not stop cheering and gasping at the awe-inspiring routine. Biles is no stranger to having her countries support, as she’s been one of the biggest names in Olympic athlete’s since her debut. After all was said in done with the routine, Biles quite literally dropped the mic to her competitors. No really, after sticking the landing of her final trick, she extended her right arm and pretended to do a mic drop, and rightfully so. 

Embed from Getty Images

Biles has been dominating the gymnastics world for the past six years, taking home four gold medals at the Rio Olympics in 2014 at her Olympic debut, and she hasn’t slowed down since. This past week she was the only woman who qualified to compete in all four gymnastic events at the world championships in Germany. Not only did she break records but she made even more history by finishing her beam routine with a double twisting double back flip dismount. The move has only ever been done previously during floor routines and even then with a running start it’s considered a major risk.

Biles was dumbfounded and humbled by the massive amount of support and enthusiasm her country praised her on, amd for being one of the best athletes of our generation. “I don’t know; I feel like it’s not me. Sometimes I wonder how I do it. I feel like it’s just, like, not me. I wish I could have like an out-of-body experience to witness it, because sometimes I think I’m going crazy. I really don’t know how I do it sometimes,” she stated. On Friday, the athlete celebrated her win on Twitter, writing, “Feeling GOLDEN this morning … every time feels just like the first.”