Gabby Douglas Almost Quit Gymnastics Because of Racism and Bullying in Virginia

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Aug. 28 2012 2:41 PM

Gabby Douglas Almost Quit Gymnastics Because of Racism and Bullying in Virginia

Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas faced racism and bullying in her early days of training as a gymnast in Virginia.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Douglas recalled being met with racism and ridicule from fellow gymnasts, at one point being referred to as their "slave." She told Oprah, "I would come home at night and just cry my eyes out ... I was the only African-American at that gym. I definitely felt isolated. Why am I deserving this? Is it because I'm black?"

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Douglas said it became so bad, that she told her mother she wanted to quit, but instead moved from Virginia to Iowa, eventually becoming the first African-American gymnast to win the individual at the London Olympics. It just goes to show you, ignorance will get you nowhere, and perseverance can win you medals.

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