Gabby Douglas Bullied – In advance of Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas’ appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s show on OWN, the show released a clip featuring Gabby and her mother telling Oprah that the 16-year-old almost quit the sport two years ago because she was being bullied and made to feel “different.”
“She started asking to move away, she wanted the family to move at first, when she was about 11,” her mother Natalie Hawkins told Oprah while Gabby sat next to her.
Her mother revealed that when Gabby was 14, she said told her mother that if she couldn’t move away from the bullying and get a new coach, she’d rather quit the sport.
“I felt like I was bullied and isolated from the group, and they treated me not how they would treat the other teammates,” Gabby said to Oprah.
It’s ironic that Gabby talks about being bullied back home in Virginia Beach to the point where she threatened to quit, because her old coaches in Virginia Beach have been grumbling about how they should be getting more credit for her development. Apparently, the attention she got at their gym almost drove her from the sport.
Earlier this week, all eyes were on Gabby at Citi Field in New York as she threw out the first pitch in the New York Mets-Colorado Rockies game.
“I’m a little more nervous,” Douglas said before the big pitch. “Everyone just tells me to throw the ball hard, so I’m going to throw it hard.”
Douglas, who was bombarded with fans who wanted to take pictures with her at the game, also made time to speak to a group of local kids at a charity event before the game began.
“I wanted to tell my story and where I came from and my background, because it was not easy,” Douglas said, according to the New York Daily News. “I had to face a lot coming through this journey, a lot of sacrifices, difficulties, challenges, and injuries.
“I wanted everyone to know it’s still possible for anyone really. I wanted to make them know to never give up and always keep fighting, because though times may be tough, the sacrifices do pay off, so just keep pushing towards your dream and just love it at the same time and enjoy it.”
After their sit-down interview, Gabby and Oprah went to the gym. Gabby got Oprah up on the balance beam, where she showed her how to do a move called the scale.
In snippets from the interview, we also see her mother Natalie Hawkins addressing the bizarre controversy that erupted on the Internet over the state of the girl’s hair during the Olympics.
Douglas’ Next Chapter interview with Oprah will air on OWN Sunday at 8:30 p.m.