Ever since 16-year-old gymnast Gabby Douglas made history at the 2012 London Olympic Games, she has been a household name. But the road that led to Douglas’ incredible success was apparently not always accompanied by pleasant memories.
In the upcoming October issue of Vanity Fair, Douglas opens up more about the racial bullying she claims she endured at her former training center in her hometown in Virginia.
In the interview, she recalls painful memories during her time at Excalibur Gymnastics, and a particular incident during a party where one of the gym’s staff members suggested to her that “she might want to consider reconstructive surgery on her nose because of its flatness.”
According to Gabby’s sister Arielle, the gymnast was never quite in synch with her coaches at Excalibur, and the alleged “nose job” remark did little to help her confidence.
Douglas first revealed her experience with racial bullying during an interview with Oprah Winfery on Oprah’s Next Chapter. She recalled being called a “slave” by a fellow white gymnast when she trained at the Virginia Beach gymnasium.
Her initial revelation drew a lot of criticism from Excalibur Gymnastics and its supporters. The gym’s CEO Gustavo Moure, staff members, and former gymnasts fired back at Douglas, claiming that her allegations were false, that she was never a victim, and was in fact was “one of the favorites.”
The gym alleges to have invested upwards of $20,000 in Gabby Douglas’ development, which led to hard feelings on both sides as revealed in the Vanity Fair interview.
Controversies aside, the gymnast is enjoying her new-found fame as multitudes of companies are lining up to get the young sensation to endorse their products, according to her agent.
This week plans were revealed for a nationwide gymnastics tour led by Douglas and sponsored by Kellogg’s.