Did Gabby Douglas lie to Oprah?



Did one of America's most beloved new Olympians tell a whopper to Oprah?

Gabby Douglas became an overnight celebrity when she won gold at the 2012 Olympics. Recently, she sat down with Oprah to discuss her life on Oprah's Next Chapter, which aired Sunday on Oprah's OWN Network. During the conversation, she talked about how tough it was to be a gymnast. 

According to Douglas, another gymnast called her a "slave" during training at Excalibur Gymnastics in Virginia Beach, Va.

"I felt being bullied and isolated from the group," Douglas told Oprah. "Is it because I’m black? Like, those thoughts would go through my mind."

Not so fast, says people at the gym, including ownership and other gymnasts, according to the Huffington Post.

"Gabby's remarks were hurtful and without merit," Excalibur Gymnastics CEO Gustavo Maure said in a statement. "We've had more African Americans in elite and on the national team than any other gym in the country (5, 2 of them in Olympic Trials or Olympic Team Camp). Her African American former teammates will answer this serious accusation. (1st statement untruth, she was not the only African American gymnast training in the gym) We are good people. We never were knowingly involved in any type of bullying or racist treatment, like she is accusing Excalibur."

Other gymnasts went so far as to say Douglas wasn't a victim, but rather was treated better than the other people there.

"This is absolutely ridiculous," said Randy Stageburg, a former Senior International Elite and National Team member. "Gabby was never a victim, in fact many would say she was one of the favorites. I am not saying that she never felt bullied because when you are in a sport with a bunch of girls it is bond to happen. However, anything that she may have felt was never about race and I can assure you everyone at some point has felt bullied. I never once heard her complain about girls being mean, funny how it is just now coming up."

Kristina Coccia, a former Senior International Elite, backed up Stageburg's comments, saying: "I know numerous gymnasts who experienced nothing but fantastic memories from Excalibur. Pay back the money you owe, stop playing the victim and respect the coaches who got you to the Elite level. Because the Excalibur family is one that I personally remember during my career. This entire story makes me sick sometimes."

What do you make of this? Does it matter? In my opinion, not really. But her story was impressive enough, without having to (allegedly) embellish it.

- Oprah Prime
- Gabrielle Douglas
- Oprah Winfrey

Written by: Hamatosan
Aug 28th, 2012, 1:56 pm


Message Posted On Aug 29th, 2012, 10:32 pm
"Unless your a witness the specific incident your statement has no merit." Sort of makes everything else you said irrelevant doesn't it?

Message Posted On Aug 29th, 2012, 6:17 am
Raising such race issues really bolster her entire life story the same as her mother being a single mom which we originally heard and which proved to be inaccurate.

Message Posted On Aug 29th, 2012, 3:46 am
There were probably other black athletes training there but she was probably not training with them. Yet I have no reason to doubt that the incident did take place. Just because some people who were not there decide to make statement does not mean otherwise. Unless your a witness the specific incident your statement has no merit. Excalibur is just trying to cover themselves because it took place in their business. There are plenty of people who are liked by most people that get bullied by a few. Just ask the vice principle of any school in the US and they can confirm that it happens all the time, regardless of race. Excalibur is concerned about money and nothing else, especially the truth.
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