Throughout the Larry Nassar court case, Aly Raisman became a beacon of hope for survivors everywhere. The former USA Gymnastics doctor was sentenced to 175 years in prison by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting hundreds of women. Now, Aly is speaking out about what it was like confronting her abuser in open court.

“I almost passed out,” she said during an appearance on the Today show on Jan. 25. “I had the worst headache for hours. Even since then, I still don’t feel good now. It’s hard to put into words, but it literally makes me sick — all the stress and the trauma of everything. But for that moment, I had to be strong.”

The 23-year-old Olympian told co-host Hoda Kotb that despite Nassar’s sentencing, her fight isn’t over. “This is bigger than Larry Nassar,” she continued. “We have to get to the bottom of how this disaster happened. USA Gymnastics, United States Olympic Committee, [Michigan State University] ― they need an independent investigation… They say they want an independent investigation right now. But it’s easy to say that when there’s so much pressure and everyone is watching.”

Nassar’s recent sentence comes shortly after he was sentenced to 60 years in December for charges related to child pornography. “You have done nothing to control those urges and anywhere you walk, destruction will occur to those most vulnerable,” Judge Aquilina told Nassar in court. “I just signed your death warrant.”

rosemarie aquilina getty images

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina

Simone Biles — who also accused Nassar of sexual assault — tweeted out her support as well. “He will no longer have the power to steal our happiness or joy. I stand with every one of you, she wrote. Aly said that she will continue to fight so that no other woman has to know the pain she’s endured at the hands of Nassar

“I don’t think people understand just how bad this was,” she told The Washington Post shortly before his sentencing. “I don’t think they have all the pieces and understand how USA Gymnastics and the USOC created the perfect environment for this monster.” We stand with you, Aly.

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