Former OU Gymnast Featured in Netflix Documentary On USA Gymnastics Sex Abuse Scandal

Wednesday, June 24th 2020, 7:42 am
By: Tess Maune

A former OU gymnast is featured in a new documentary on Netflix that focuses on the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal.

Netflix released "Athlete A" Wednesday.

Maggie Nichols was called Athlete A during the investigation because she was the first to report the abuse.

The documentary details Nichols' journey, along with hundreds of others who came forward to report sexual abuse by team doctor Larry Nassar.

Nichols told Minneapolis CBS Station WCCO the Netflix documentary is an eye-opening, powerful story from the people who lived it.

"There's no holding back at all. It's straight forward, it's straight to the point, which is incredible," she said.

Nichols is considered among the best NCAA gymnasts ever.

Before joining OU in 2017, Nicholas was part of USA Gymnastics and Team USA. She won gold in the World Gymnastics Championship with Team USA in late 2015. 

She said the abuse by Nassar started in 2013 and she knew it wasn't right. She reported it in 2015, but leaders with USA Gymnastics didn't call police.

It took several years, but Nassar was eventually arrested and charged. Then in 2018, he was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison sexually assaulting minors.               

That same year, Nicholas revealed she was the first athlete to come forward, hoping to help others going through the same thing.

“I came to the realization that, you know, if I could help one person or help one person get through the same thing … coming out publicly, it would make it all worth it,” Nichols told WCCO.

Nicholas said she fell in love the sport of gymnastics again at OU.

She has one more semester of college left, but instead of competing she'll volunteer as a gymnastics coach.