Gold-medal winning gymnast Gabrielle Douglas gave a revealing interview on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” where she admitted that she hasn’t spoken to her father since the Olympics (because of her mother) and that she nearly quit the sport six months before the Olympics because of bullying. Deets inside…..
Oprah Winfrey visited West Des Moines recently where she talked to Gabrielle Douglas, the first African American gymnast to win gold in the “All-Around” Olympic competition. The duo visted the home were Gabrielle lived during her training and also the gym where she perfected her skills. During the chat, she revealed that she nearly left the sport because she was bullied by teammates. She also revealed her mother has prevented her from speaking to her military dad. Here are the highlights:
On being bullied at her gym in Virginia:
I felt like I was bullied and isolated from the group, and they treated me not how they would treat the other teammates…..I was getting racist jokes. I was being isolated from the group. I’d come home at night and cry my eyes out because ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ One of my teammates was like, ‘Can you scrape the bar?’ and they were like, ‘Well why doesn’t Gabby do it? She’s our slave.”
On fighting through the pain:
“I wanted everyone to know it’s still possible for anyone really. I wanted to make them know to never give up and always keep fighting, because though times may be tough, the sacrifices do pay off, so just keep pushing towards your dream and just love it at the same time and enjoy it.”
On contacting her father Sgt. Douglas:
“I don’t think it would be for the best” and “We’re kinda distant,” she said. She also revealed that her mother made her change her cell number so that her Dad has no way to reach her.
On the hair controversy:
She admits that the controversy hurt and she didn’t learn about it until she looked herself up. “I searched it, just to see what they were talking about. I put Gabby Douglas and then it first says ‘Gabby Douglas hair’ like the first one on Google.”