PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – A former Rhode Island College gymnast and current nursing student says she will not let her abuser win.
Chandler Lynn, 23, tells 12 News that she was treated and molested by Larry Nassar, the disgraced former US gymnastics team doctor.
She says she met Nassar in 2014 while living in Michigan. Her gym trainer recommended that the doctor treat her back pain.
“He’ll keep my career going. That’s what I love and that’s what I wanna do. Me and my mom were so excited, “Lynn recalled, adding that Nassar was trusted because of his reputation in the Olympic circuit.
Lynn says that when she was 14 she realized something was wrong. She remembers seeing messages from Olympic gymnasts on his office wall, and as a teenager aspiring to be the best gymnast she could be, it was hard to figure out what exactly to think.
She recalls feeling privileged to have “the best care available”.
Now she realizes that this was not an accurate representation of the situation at all.
Four years later, during their first year at the RIC, several of Nassar’s victims came forward.
Her former trainer called her to check in, but Lynn says she denied what she’d been through.
“‘No, nothing, it’s fine,'” Lynn told her trainer. “You lie and lie to myself.”
But when coverage of the case became inevitable, she realized that the stories other survivors shared were like hers.
Lynn’s mother read a declaration of effectiveness on her behalf before Nassar’s conviction. It was the first time her story went public and the world learned that she, too, was being abused by hands that were supposed to heal.
“I don’t know if I could have stood with him in the courtroom at the time,” she added. “I wish I were brave enough to do this, but I feel like it was a big step for me to get my story out there.”
Lynn says sharing her story was a liberating experience. She was honored at ESPYS 2018 and together with her survivors received the Arthur Ash Courage Award.
“I think being on stage was a moment of courage for me. I picture that in my head sometimes when I’m on the ground, ”said Lynn. “That moment when we all go on stage and he is no longer in control. We got up and we fight. It was an incredible moment that I will carry in my heart forever. “
Now Lynn is engaged and preparing for a career as a nurse. She wants the victims to know that they are not alone and plans to keep fighting.
“I’m ready to speak about it in my voice and just say how unforgivable it is that we are still looking for answers,” said Lynn. “We deserve peace and we deserve to heal and I would love to leave that behind and it will never happen until people are held accountable for it.”
“It’s to the point of frustration just thinking about it, if the FBI had just done what it was supposed to do, if one person had done their job, it wouldn’t have happened to me and it wouldn’t have happened to hundreds of other girls,” continued they away. “I’m just amazed that six years later it still goes on like this. We’re still looking for answers. “