“We stand here and it feels like we’re finally winning,” Tiffany Thomas Lopez said on stage at ESPN’s ESPY awards on Wednesday night.
Lopez is one of the so-called “Sister Survivors,” the more than 150 women who were sexually abused by disgraced USA Gymnastics and Michigan State team doctor Larry Nassar. They were awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for their “strength and resolve” and for bringing “the darkness of sexual abuse into the light.”
Some 140 survivors of Nassar’s crimes came together on stage to accept the award, but survivor Sarah Klein said those present represented “hundreds more.” She added: “Make no mistake, we are here on this stage to present an image for the world to see: a portrait of survival, a new vision of courage.”
In January, Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after the court heard seven days of statements from women who said he sexually abused them during his long tenure as team doctor, in what may be the biggest case of sexual abuse in the history of American sports.
Olympic gold medalist and survivor Aly Raisman said, “To all the survivors out there, don’t let anyone rewrite your story.”