The little girl who you treated like a rag doll is not so little anymore, and I am not afraid to stand up to you. You are a horrible gym owner and just as bad at keeping Twistars a safe place. Thank God USAG is suspending you. Greatest gym in the country? Yeah, okay. Owners like that don't hire someone to sexually abuse young girls, let alone bring in another coach who silenced so many victims.
date of testimony: January 23th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
I would like to start out by saying that I was a gymnast at Geddert’s Twistars from the age of seven until the age of 17 but I’ve been doing gymnastics since three. Gymnastics isn’t just about fancy leotards, beautiful medals, trophies you can get from winning a competition, it’s blood, sweat, lots of tears, and long hours, but we all loved it. It was our life.
Our teammates were our sisters and our gym was our home away from home.
I have been dealing with many mixed emotions the past few weeks, some of it having to do with the enablers of the abusers trying to get out of their screw up. There isn’t one bone in my body that doesn’t hate John Geddert for everything he has done to me in my career.
I would like to address one of the enablers of this disgusting monster, if that would be okay?
John, remember me? The little girl who switched gyms at the age of seven in hopes that you would turn my dreams into a reality. The little girl whose gymnastics skills at the time were so horrible I didn’t even know if I was a lefty or a righty. I felt lucky to be training at the best gym in the country.
Gymnastics was my life. I loved it, and Twistars was my home away from home. You were the most encouraging person I had ever met.
At one point early on in my career you even wrote an article about me in the newspaper when I won a meet. I think this was all just a stage for you, or maybe I was just too young to see the coward and bitterness in you.
As I got older and you coached me more you made me feel like the biggest failure in the gym. I worked so hard in that gym, 24 plus hours a week for the sport I loved, all for you to be verbally and physically abusive to me. I won many state, regional, and national titles, but that wasn’t good enough for you apparently.
I will never forget the time you sat me in your office and you told me a Big Ten school was not going to be in my future anymore.
Maybe I would have done better if I could actually eat real food before competitions not just salads. I suffered from eating disorders at the age of 13 because of the stupid weight limit you set for us, and if we were caught eating something we weren’t supposed to, you would make us scrub the bathroom floor with our toothbrush. You even walked through our locker room without any warning while we were changing.
I hope you finally come to realize that it was you who ended my career. Do you remember the time when you got so mad at me, I don’t even know why, that’s just who you are, and you threw me on top of the low bar, ruptured the lymph nodes in my neck, gave me a black eye, and tore the muscles in my stomach? Well, you did, and that ended my career, John. You told me to kill myself, not just once but many other times and, unfortunately, I let you get the best of me, because after you ended my career, I tried. John, you even — you never even called me by my first name.
As for your assault and battery case in 2013, you should have got jail time. I am sure stuff like this is still going on behind closed doors. You should not be allowed around children.
There were countless other times that abuse like this happened, but those few will stick in my head for the rest of my life.
We all know you don’t care, John, or you would be taking responsibility for this instead of trying to keep your name clean. For once in your life be there for the girls whose lives you’ve ruined. You are nothing but a coward for trying to remove your name out of this case, and asking for prayers for your family disgusts me.
You are a disgrace to the gymnastics community. What’s even more disgusting is the fact that you let Kathie Klages enter your gym to coach after she stepped down when you knew she silenced so many victims. What else do you have to hide?
Whether she was just a fill-in or not, it was still a slap in the face for all of us.
The little girl who you treated like a rag doll is not so little anymore, and I am not afraid to stand up to you. You are a horrible gym owner and just as bad at keeping Twistars a safe place. Thank God USAG is suspending you. Greatest gym in the country? Yeah, okay. Owners like that don’t hire someone to sexually abuse young girls, let alone bring in another coach who silenced so many victims.
I believe that this will continue to go on until one day someone finally steps up and shuts that gym down for good.
Now I would like to address Larry Nassar, if that would be okay?
THE COURT: You may.
MS. THRUSH: I started seeing Doctor Larry at a young age. Gymnasts have countless numbers of injuries during their career, and let me tell you, gymnastics does, in fact, live up to being one of the hardest sports in the world, so I would like for you all to realize how often I saw him given that statement.
It was definitely a weekly basis and hundreds of times in my career. I saw him at his office, after hours, at the gym where I trained, and even in his basement. I thought the training I endured during my career was the hardest thing I would have ever had to do, but this definitely tops it.
I kept so much trust in you, Larry. You were the nice one in the gym, one of the only ones who would listen when something hurt. I think this was your plan all along. It sickens me that some
people are saying that, at a young age when the abuse first started, we were supposed to know what was going on, whether the medical treatments we were receiving were wrong or straight from the books. I wasn’t going to question my doctor. Nobody should ever have to question their doctor, especially one who was the doctor for the USA Olympic team.
Doctor Larry crossed so many boundaries I didn’t believe I had at such a young age. You stole every little innocence I had out of me, out of a little girl who simply didn’t know what was going on.
I saw you almost every Monday night after practice, even if I was the last one on the list. I would wait hours to see you. I was one of many of your close friends. I found it weird that when all of this came out and my lawyer asked for my medical records from the gym, they were mysteriously non-existent. Maybe because there wasn’t anything truly wrong with me, you just wanted to please yourself, or did you just have a former doctor who assisted you destroy them just like she did to the pornography on your laptop? I will never know.
I also saw you in your basement. This was where most of the magic happened, right in front of fireplace where you’d place some sort of lotion to warm up, you’d rub me down with it and a lot of times end up internally with no explanation. You never even wore gloves. It hurt. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to cry every time I sat down. This was hours of non-stop sexual abuse that didn’t help my injury. When you asked if I felt any better, I’d only tell you yes so you’d stop, because it hurt, not because it helped.
So thank you both, John and Larry, for being one of the biggest disappointments in my life and destroying me. I pray that you, Larry, spend the rest of your life behind bars. Thank you.
THE COURT: Ma’am, you and your sister survivors are great successes and the magic is in the power of your voice. Thank you for speaking out and breaking your silence. I hope that you heal.
MS. THRUSH: Thank you.
THE COURT: And I hope that with the strength of the other survivors, if you ever need anyone to talk with, you know they’re there, and this speaking out helps to heal you once and for all, because I know, and you’ve said it and the other gymnasts have said it, you won’t forget.
MS. THRUSH: No, never.
THE COURT: But your healing is everything that counts and everything that matters, and he will be behind bars and there is nothing that will heal him. Nothing. And he’ll remember what you said. I know he will.
MS. THRUSH: I hope so.
THE COURT: Thank you. Next.