Gabby Douglas, Olympic Athlete Diets


Gabby Douglas has had enough.

The Team USA Olympic gymnast has been plagued by social media bulling since arriving in Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games, but now she's speaking out to defend herself. "When they talk about my hair or me not putting my hand on my heart of me being very salty in the stands, they're really criticizing me," Douglas told reporters on Sunday. "It doesn't really feel good. It was a little bit hurtful."

Douglas, who was the all-star gymnast of the London games, came to Rio to reclaim her title. Instead, she was chastised for acting seemingly unpatriotic when she didn't put her hand over her heart during "The Star-Spangled Banner" and appearing moody while watching her teammates compete. The gold medalist finished seventh in the uneven bars over the weekend, which only added to her emotional response.

"In my head, I pictured it a little bit differently," she said of the uneven bars event. "You want to picture yourself being on top and doing amazing gymnastics."

Gabby Douglas, 2016 Rio, Olympics

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Douglas' mom, Natalie Hawkins, defended her daughter against the hate she has received online. "She's had to deal with people criticizing her hair, or people accusing her of bleaching her skin. They said she had breast enhancements, they said she wasn't smiling enough, she's unpatriotic," Gabby's mom shared with Reuters.

"Then it went to not supporting your teammates. Now you're ‘Crabby Gabby.' You name it and she got trampled. What did she ever do to anyone?"

Hawkins also stood up for her daughter over the controversy surrounding Douglas' hand placement during the national anthem, but Douglas responded to the "Crabby Gabby" allegations herself.

"Everything I've gone through has been a lot this time around," Douglas added, "and I apologize if [I seemed] really mad in the stands. I wasn't. I was supporting Aly [Raisman]. 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."

Raisman and Simone Biles took home the silver and gold medals, respectively, in the all-around individual finals. Criticism aside, Douglas also has received support from beloved Olympics commentator Leslie Jones. "Yo I just heard Gabby getting attacked on her page show her the love you showed me #LOVE4GABBYUSA send to @gabrielledoug," Jones tweeted.

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