Gabby Douglas was told by a staff member to get a nose job and the 16-year-old medal gymnast was hurt and shook her confidence moving forward and she recently told Oprah Winfrey that she was a target of bullying while at the gym.
“I felt like I was bullied and isolated from the group, and they treated me not how they would treat the other teammates,” she said. In the October issue of Vanity Fair, she also spoke of a time when she returned to the locker room after a training session only to find that her shirt had disappeared. “You don’t actually take by mistake someone’s clothes,” she stated.
Douglas has a story that does inspire others. It’s made even more inspirational by what she had to go through to get the Gold.
She claims that a staff member at the gym — Excalibur in Virginia — suggested that Douglas get reconstructive surgery on her nose. Unsurprisingly, she told Vanity Fair that the alleged comment was “very hurtful.”
The gymnast also says that she was the victim of racism, saying that a teammate once complained about cleaning up after practice, suggesting that Douglas, their “slave,” do it instead.
However, the gym claims Douglas’ story is incorrect. Dena Walker, a coach and financial partner at Excalibur, say that the nose job comment was a joke. Walker also claims that, at times, Douglas had a “bad attitude.”
It all led Douglas to resign to the fact she would quit if she didn’t change coaches. She eventually did, moving on to a gym in Iowa. The decision to move to the new gym transformed Douglas as a gymnast, bringing out the beset in the youngster. Not long after, she became one of the American stars of the London Olympics.