By EEW News Editors
Olympic gymnast Gabrielle Douglas was catapulted into super stardom when she brought home the Gold for Team USA. But fame can be a double-edged sword. After opening up to Oprah about racial bullying from former teammates, the 16-year-old has drawn sharp criticism.
When Gabrielle Douglas sat down on Oprah's Next Chapter to bear her soul about facing racism, homesickness,and all the challenges she faced in pursuit of the #1 spot at the London Olympic games, she had no idea it would come back to bite her.
Her former coach and others associated with Excaliber shot down the claim. “Really, I was shocked and very hurt,” former coach Dena Walker told NewsChannel 3 in Hampton Roads.
Gustavo Moure, CEO of Virginia Beach gym, Excalibur, took it step further, insinuating that Douglas was outright lying.
“I wish to defend the children that trained with her and supported her when she attacks them with these allegations,” he told E! News. “Is Gabrielle a credible person just because she is an Olympic champion? She is not giving any names or dates, leading us to believe that the accusation is fake.”
“Gabby’s remarks were hurtful and without merit,” he also told GymNewstics.com. “We’ve had more African-Americans in elite and on the national team than any other gym in the country.”
Douglas told Oprah she had a difficult time fitting in with her teammates. "I was just, you know, kind of getting racist jokes, kind of being isolated from the group," she shared with Winfrey. "So it was definitely hard. I would come home at night and just cry my eyes out."
One of the most shocking incidents Douglas revealed occured when "one of my teammates was like, 'Could you scrape the bar?' And they were like, 'Why doesn't Gabby do it, she's our slave.'"