Life after Nassar: ‘I want to bring light to it,’ says local gymnast

Gymnast’s father says college career saved her life

Life after Nassar: ‘I want to bring light to it,’ says local gymnast
In this sit-down interview with Tricia, Amanda opens up about the sexual abuse, the secrets, the fear, and the anger.

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Amanda Jetter says she was sexually assaulted by Olympic Team Doctor Larry Nassar when she was just 13 years old and that he used his cellphone to record the whole thing.

The Cincinnati gymnast was an Olympic hopeful at the time. She’d pulled a hamstring and went to Nassar for treatment. She recently spoke about her experience with FOX19.

“I would think about it almost daily from the day it happened,” she said. "I couldn’t get away from it. It was very lonely, very hard for me to deal with -- very hard for me to fake on the outside that I was happy and that really changed my personality. And I had to fake it a lot because I couldn’t tell anybody what had happened to me."

FULL INTERVIEWS: Cincinnati gymnast, her father, and coach speak about teen’s abuse at hands of Larry Nassar

Her father, Jerry Jetter, says every time she had to go to train at a ranch facility she became less responsive.

“Those are one of the dots I connected,” he said. "Oh my lord, if you only knew how many dots this connected."

When those dots were connected, the picture wasn’t pretty.

“No one knew because I thought I was going to look bad and I was never going to be invited back again if I spoke out and they wouldn’t believe me,” said Amanda Jetter.

Her coach, Mary Lee Tracy, says that for more than 25 years she’d sent athletes to Larry Nassar.

“Some of the parents even drove their athletes to him in Michigan, were with him the whole time -- and we were all duped,” she said.

More than 150 victims, including Olympians, spoke out against Nassar, all of the girls reporting sexual abuse.

While Amanda Jetter was training at an Olympic facility in Texas, her dad had a heart attack. She says she wasn’t allowed to go home.

“I remember being on that 4 inch beam with tears streaming down my face, barely seeing because I was so upset," she said.

That was the last straw. She says her secrets -- the physical and mental abuse within USA Gymnastics, and this -- were too much. She told her dad she wanted to quit.

“He’s caused my daughter some pain, made her life miserable,” said Jerry Jetter. “If you only knew how many meetings I had to go to about her attitude. Well, you know, when you have the Larry Nassar ingredient in your stew it tastes pretty bad.”

Nassar is now behind bars serving 175 years in prison for molesting girls under the guise of treatment. The Karolyi Ranch training facility in Texas is closed, and those who ran it have been removed as USA Gymnastics tries to clean up its act.

“Knowing that myself and my athletes and all the top athletes in the country never have to go back there is a pretty wonderful feeling,” said Tracy.

In 2011, an ankle injury ended Amanda Jetter’s Olympic dreams, but that didn’t come close to slowing her down. She got a full ride to Alabama and her gymnastics team won rings. Her father says her college career saved her life.

FOX19 Anchor Tricia Macke asked Amanda Jetter if she’d do anything differently, looking back on her life.

“That’s a hard question,” she said. “Probably not. I just learned so much. I don’t know if I would do anything differently because I did go out of the country and compete four times and that was unbelievable, so I did have good memories of USA Gymnastics. But people just don’t know what we went through to get those gold medals, to go out of the country to compete for USA Gymnastics, and I want to bring light to it and say it wasn’t all roses and medals and fame -- it wasn’t like that at all.”

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