Back in 2012 Gabby Douglas was the one of the most famous faces of the summer Olympic games. Being a part of the 1st place-finishing “Fab Five” team and also earning gold in the individual all-around competition made her America’s golden girl. Fast-forward four years later and the response to Douglas has been a little less warm and fuzzy.
Even though much focus has shifted to Simone Biles, it hasn’t stopped the press and internet from throwing Gabby some seriously undeserved shade. The nickname “Crabby Gabby” has replaced the more fondly remembered “Flying Squirrel” after some footage shows Gabby unenthusiastically watching the women’s all-around final, not putting her hand on her heart for the national anthem and sitting by herself during some events.
In an interview with Reuters, Douglas’s mom discussed how the scrutiny has affected her daughter. “We’ve been brought to many tears because I don’t know what she’s done to warrant such an attack. To me it looks like she is being bullied.”
In her tearful post-meet interview on Sunday Douglas finally responded to the criticism she’s been facing during the games. “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.”
After a rough uneven bars performance that placed Gabby 7th out of eight, her Olympics are done. Despite the hate, it would be wise to remember that in 2012 Gabby Douglas won the gold in the all-around. Not to mention, she was a part of the “Final Five” gold medal team this year and the fact that she qualified for the Olympics twice is in itself an incredible accomplishment for an American gymnast.
Maybe rather than hate she should be praised for showing what might be considered normal, human emotion. You do you, Gabby.