One hundred, forty-one women took the stage to close the 2018 ESPYs on Wednesday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. They were representing all the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar, the disgraced Team USA Gymnastics doctor who was convicted on numerous counts of abuse earlier this year.
The women received the 2018 Arthur Ashe Courage Award at Wednesday's ceremony:
"It is a privilege to stand up here with my sister survivors as we represent hundreds more who are not with us tonight," said Sarah Klein, who is the first known Nassar victim (h/t Julie Miller of Vanity Fair). "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. ... Telling our stories of abuse over and over and over again in graphic detail is not easy. We're sacrificing privacy, we're being judged and scrutinized, and it's grueling and it's painful but it is time. We must start caring about children's safety more than we care about adults' reputations."
Aly Raisman took time out of her speech to praise Rosemarie Aquilina, the judge who sentenced Nassar.
"You helped us rediscover the power we each possess. ... If just one adult had listened, believed and acted, the people standing before you on this stage would have never met him. ... To all the survivors out there, don't let anyone rewrite your story. Your truth does matter, you matter and you are not alone," Raisman said.
Nassar, 54, has been sentenced to a minimum of 100 years in prison after being found guilty on multiple counts of sexual assault and child pornography charges.
The aftermath of the charges has led to widespread dismissals and resignations of numerous officials at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he served as a physician.