UCLA pays tribute to gymnasts accusing Larry Nassar of abuse

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University of California, Los Angeles on Sunday paid tribute to the female gymnasts who accused former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of abuse. (KABC)

Amazing floor routines thrilled the crowd cheering on the UCLA gymnastics team at home against the University of Oklahoma. The meet was televised on ESPN, but it was special for another reason.

Gymnasts from the two teams thanked the women who have told their stories of abuse at the hands of convicted molester Dr. Larry Nassar. He was the team doctor for USA gymnastics and Michigan State University.

Former UCLA gymnast Mattie Larson testified at Nassar's trial.

"It was frightening but afterward, I'd never felt so powerful," Larson said.

Larson and other victims were there for the tribute. The women huddled for a group hug with the gymnasts who competed on Sunday.

"Something like this, where you feel like a whole community is behind you, it's something I couldn't even imagine. It's overwhelming but in an amazing way," Larson added.

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UCLA Head Coach Valorie Kondos Field said the women who faced their attacker showed tremendous strength.

"To have woman after woman after woman come out and tell their story like that, with that conviction and poise, that is a testament to what sport develops in young men and young women," said Kondos.

The sexual assault survivors who were honored for their courage, said speaking up is empowering and helps in the healing process.

"I just want to let women know everywhere that you are strong enough, that your voice matters, your story matters, so stand up, it's time to rise up and speak our stories," said former UCLA Gymnast Jeannette Antolin.

Nassar was convicted of molesting nine victims in Michigan, and he's been convicted of possessing child pornography. He's 54 years old, and will spend the rest of his life in prison.
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