PALO ALTO (CBS SF / CBS News) — Speaking publicly for the first time since she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September, Christine Blasey Ford presented Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year award to Larry Nassar abuse survivor Rachael Denhollander.

“I am in awe of you, and I will always be inspired by you,” Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, said in a Sports Illustrated video posted on Twitter.

Denhollander was the first victim to publicly come forward against USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. She filed a criminal complaint against Nassar in 2016 and spoke to the Indianapolis Star, saying she was assaulted by Nassar in 2000 when she visited him at the age of 15 for back pain treatment.

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Last month, Blasey Ford broke her silence following her testimony to the Judiciary Committee, in which she came forward with allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, triggering a national controversy over his nomination to the Supreme Court.

“Words are not adequate to thank all of you who supported me since I came forward to tell the Senate that I had been sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh,” she told supporters on her GoFundMe page. “Your tremendous outpouring of support and kind letters have made it possible for us to cope with the immeasurable stress, particularly the disruption to our safety and privacy. Because of your support, I feel hopeful that our lives will return to normal.”

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