Dr. Christine Blasey Ford Presents Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year Award to Larry Nassar Accuser Rachael Denhollander

Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander was given Sports Illustrated’s “Inspiration of the Year” award Tuesday night. (Rich Polk/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who testified that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, presented an award on Tuesday to former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse.

“I am honored to speak with you from afar about a woman I admire so much, a woman who suffered abuse as a vulnerable teenage athlete, who found the courage to talk publicly to stop the abuse of others,” Blasey Ford said of Denhollander in a video statement at Sports Illustrated‘s “Sportsperson of the Year” awards. “Her courage inspired other survivors to end their silence, and we all know the result.”

She added, “We all have the power to create real change, and we cannot allow ourselves to be defined by the acts of others.”

Sports Illustrated was the first to report this story.

Denhollander, who won the magazine’s “Inspiration of the Year” award, was the first of hundreds of women who would ultimately come forward to say that Nassar, the former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor, sexually abused them.

Nassar, who was accused of molesting 265 girls and women over two decades under the guise of medical treatment, was sentenced in February to 40 to 175 years in prison. He was previously sentenced to 40 to 175 years in for molesting seven girls and to 60 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Dartunorro Clark