Gabby Douglas appeared in a sit-down interview with Oprah on Oprah’s Next Chapter to recount an unfortunate experience where she endured bullying by fellow gymnasts.
During the interview, Douglas revealed she was the brunt of “racist jokes” by fellow gymnasts at Excalibur Gym in Virginia.
“One of my teammates was, like, ‘Can you scrape the bar?’ And they were like, ‘Why doesn’t Gabby do it?” Douglas told Oprah. “She’s our slave, so…’” “I definitely felt isolated. I felt, why am I deserving this? Is it because I’m black? Like, those thoughts would go through my mind.”
The negativity she experience was part of the reason she moved to Iowa to train under renowned coach Liang Chow.
Excalibur Gymnastics CEO Gustavo Maure is fighting the allegations calling Douglas’ remarks “hurtful and without merit.”
“We’ve had more African Americans in elite and on the national team than any other gym in the country (5, 2 of them in Olympic Trials or Olympic Team Camp),” he said in a statement to E! News. “Her African American former teammates will answer this serious accusation. (1st statement untruth, she was not the only African American gymnast training in the gym) We are good people. We never were knowingly involved in any type of bullying or racist treatment, like she is accusing Excalibur.”
Gabby Douglas is a prolific gymnast who represented the U.S. in the 2012 Summer Olympics who has proven herself worthy of being named the best gymnast in the world.
Douglas earned the title after winning gold medals in both the individual and team all-around competitions. The 16-year-old Virginia Beach native became the first African American woman to win an Olympic all-around title and fourth American woman to do so.
Head over to Collegiate Netvision (CNV) to view clips of Gabrielle Douglas’ interview with Oprah Winfrey by clicking here.
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