Former US Olympic Gymnast Says She Injured Herself to Avoid Larry Nassar: ‘I Just Turned on Survival Mode’


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Former U.S. Olympic gymnast Mattie Larson gave an interview to ABC on Thursday, where she talked about how she once tried to use a self-inflicted injury in order to get out of a trip because she knew Larry Nassar would be waiting for her.

George Stephanopoulos began the interview by asking Larson for her reaction to yesterday’s sentencing hearing, where Judge Rosemarie Aquilina proclaimed that she signed Nassar’s “death warrant” by sentencing him to up to 175 years in prison. Larson responded by expressing her belief that justice had been served.

As Larson talked about her experiences with Nassar and her powerful testimony against him in court, she was eventually asked about the stunning measures she took to avoid going near him. Larson said she knew the disgraced doctor preyed on his victims at the U.S. Olympic training camp in Huntsville, TX. And after having a panic attack as a teenager, she tried to give herself a concussion so she wouldn’t have to go.

“I was crying, panicking, didn’t want to go. I was taking a bath. It wasn’t even a hard decision in my mind. I just turned on survival mode…I tried to make it seem like I had slipped in our family’s bathroom and fallen. I did not actually slip. I faked it. I splashed water on the floor, I sat down on the floor, and I banged my head as hard as I could to make sure that I got a bump and to make sure that my parents heard the bang.”

When Stephanopoulos why she took such desperate measures instead of saying something, she responded that she was under a lot of pressure at the time and thought it would cause trouble with her coaches.

“It wasn’t an option for me. I didn’t know I could. I didn’t have a voice,” Larson said.

Watch above, via ABC.

[Image via screengrab]

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