Truly Awful: Olympic Gymnast Gabby Douglas Says Former Teammates Called Her 'Slave'
Claims She Was Constant Victim of Racist Taunts
In the wake of her newfound fame thanks to a gold medal performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, gymnast Gabby Douglas is shedding light on the racism she encountered while training earlier in her career.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Douglas, 16, says several of her peers at Excalibur Gymnastics in Virginia Beach, Va. rerferred to her as "slave" when she tried to get out of cleaning the gym's equipment. Douglas also claims they stole her clothes, leaving her with nothing to wear once she had showered and needed to change.
Even worse, Douglas has claimed a coach at Excalibur suggested she under rhinoplasty to fix what they said was her overly ethnic nose. "Very hurtful," is how Douglas describes the comment.
For her part Douglas' mother says she had no idea about the way her daughter was being treated, as Gabby never spoke up.
While some have criticized Douglas for using the media spotlight to slam one of the places that trained her, we think she's being very brave. We can't imagine how tough it was for someone her age (she was only in her early teens at the time) to endure that kind of cruelty. We're happy she's making sure it won't happen to someone else.