Olympian Gabby Douglas Tearfully Responds to the Haters
The Olympic champ spoke out about the barrage of criticism she has dealt with during her time in Rio.
Gabby Douglas, who won all-around gold at the 2012 Olympics, has been a constant object of ridicule and scorn throughout the 2016 games beginning with her seemingly forgetting to put her hand on her heart during the pledge of allegiance.
Although she apologized for the faux pas, the harsh criticism on social media didn’t stop. She was lambasted for not cheering on teammate Simone Biles when she won the women’s all-around event, and a consensus began to spread that she was distancing herself from her team.
“When they talk about my hair or me not putting my hand up on my heart or me being very salty in the stands, they’re really criticizing me, and it doesn’t really feel good,” Douglas said as she began to cry, via the Washington Post. “It was a little bit hurtful.”
The 20-year-old gymnast explained her frustration at not being able to defend her 2012 all-around gold after qualifying third behind Biles and Aly Raisman.
“You always want to picture yourself being on top and doing those routines and being amazing,” said Douglas. “I pictured it differently, but that’s okay because I’m just going to take this experience as a really good, positive one.”
She also addressed what many considered a lack of support for her teammates throughout the competition.
“Everything I’ve gone through has been a lot this time around,” Douglas explained, “and I apologize if [I seemed] really mad in the stands. I wasn’t. I was supporting Aly. And I always will support them and respect them in everything they do. I never want anyone to take it as I was jealous or I wanted attention. Never. I support them, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t showing it.”