Athlete A is more than just Netflix's newest riveting documentary. In 2018, gymnastics star Maggie Nichols stepped forward to reveal she was the "Athlete A" in the long list of women and girls who reported Larry Nassar's sexual abuse within the USA Gymnastics system. The documentary tells parts of Nichols' experience bringing these atrocities to light, but if you want to learn even more about her contributions to the gymnastics world — more specifically, to see Maggie Nichols' impressive gymnastics videos throughout recent years — you've come to the right place.
After Nichols, her family, and her coach Sarah Jantzi told USA Gymnastics (USAG) about the abuse by Nassar — the former USAG national team doctor who also worked at Michigan State University — USAG initially kept the allegations quiet. But Nichols' actions ended up becoming one of the dominos that caused a cascade across the gymnastics world. By the time the case against Nassar went to trial, Nassar was accused of abusing more than 250 gymnasts, many of whom had been underage at the time. The number of people who accused him of abuse now stands at more than 500, according to Athlete A.
Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 charges of criminal sexual conduct in 2017, and is now serving consecutive prison sentences that will keep him behind bars for life. A class action lawsuit continues against USAG, accusing the organization of fostering a climate in which abusers like Nassar could thrive. In a statement provided to Elite Daily via email on July 1, USAG says, "USA Gymnastics has fully cooperated with all investigatory bodies, and we will continue to cooperate. We are deeply committed to learning from the numerous independent investigations that have been conducted to date as we pursue meaningful change within our sport."
Though she may not be a Simone Biles-level household name, Nichols deserves all the positive attention she is now getting — not just because of the documentary, but also because of her skill as an athlete. Nichols is one of the sport's biggest stars, referred to as the "Michael Jordan of college gymnastics." On July 13, 2016, following not making the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team, Nichols announced she was retiring from elite gymnastics to compete at the college level with the University of Oklahoma. The next year saw her become the ninth woman ever in the NCAA to complete a "Gym Slam," aka landing a perfect 10 in all four disciplines within the competitive year; she did it again the following year. By the time her senior year ended in 2020 (earlier than expected due to the coronavirus) Nichols had notched 22 perfect scores in her NCAA career, a record for the University of Oklahoma.
Check out these videos to see Nichols in action: