Gymnast Aly Raisman confirmed on social media she will not be competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The two-time Olympian took to Twitter on Tuesday with an emotional letter that announced the end of her Olympic career.
“Just before the holidays, I was cooking dinner when my mom called to tell me she was watching news of my retirement scroll across her TV screen,” Raisman, 25, recalled.
“It’s true I’m not going to be competing in Tokyo,” she wrote of the upcoming Summer Games.
Raisman then reflected on the entirety of her incredible gymnastics career.
“The past 10 years have been such a whirlwind that I haven’t really processed all that has happened, and sometimes I wonder whether I ever will,” she said in the post. “I’ve lived a pretty fast-paced life and sometimes I have to remind myself to slow down, unplug from technology and take the time to appreciate what I’ve experienced and learned.”
Raisman also shared a childhood video of herself practicing gymnastics with the caption, “never underestimate the power of a kids dream.”
Raisman, a six-time Olympic medalist, said the best thing about being a kid was “the belief that anything is possible.”
“I suspect I keep going back to that time because I now know the power of that little girl’s dream,” she said in her letter.
Raisman alluded to the sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of Dr. Larry Nassar — a longtime team physician for USA Gymnastics who is now serving up to 175 years in prison — while thinking about what she would tell her younger self.
“I wonder if I would tell her that life will be filled with ups and downs, and that there are people in the sport who will fail to protect her and her teammates,” she wrote. “It would be so hard to tell her that, but I would make sure she knows she will get through it and she will be OK.”
“And I would tell her that it is often in our darkest hours, when we feel most vulnerable and alone, that we realize our greatest growth,” she continued.
While Raisman won’t be chasing Olympic gold again, she now is focusing on making gymnastics safer for other children, she explained.
“As a little girl, I thought what mattered most was making it to the Olympics, but I’ve learned that my love for gymnastics is more important,” Raisman wrote.
“It is this love that fueled my Olympic dreams, and it is this love that now inspires me to do everything I can to make it safer for the many wonderful people in the sport and all the little 8-year-olds out there who will be watching the gymnasts in Tokyo,” she continued, “dreaming of one day making it to the Olympics themselves.”