During Sunday’s Olympic qualifying, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas all earned more than 60 points. It was an impressive feat, but many could only focus on the latter’s hair.
The gymnasts ranked at numbers 1, 2 and 3 respectively, but it was Biles and Raisman who advanced to the final. Rules state that only two gymnasts from each country can compete in the all-around finals, happening Aug. 11.
NBC reports Team USA earned a combined 185.238 points – the highest team qualifying score. Biles was the standout member scoring 62.366 points. It was greater than non-U.S. competitors, who have never tallied more than 59 points. Raisman followed with 60.607 and Douglas rounded out the total with 60.131.
Though she was edged out of the finals, Douglas was pleased with her work.
“I’m not disappointed at all,” she told NBC. “I have no regrets.”
But when it came to her hair, many were displeased. The 20-year-old was the target of unkind banter about her tresses during the games in London four years ago. Yesterday the conversation once again focused on her appearance.
— Heat Fan in Spirit (@KingJohnLove) August 8, 2016
Douglas’ supporters defended her against critiques.
@Carnage45 put things into perspective and said the athlete will have lots of time to “do whatever to her hair later.”
The US Olympians gonna be living on a ship for 2 weeks. Gabby will have plenty of time to do whatever to her hair later.
— Elite Breed (@Carnage45) August 8, 2016
Miles Morales used a gif to show his backing of the 2012 Fierce Five member.
Anytime they say something remotely bad about Gabby pic.twitter.com/UaXzAWjqtZ
— Miles Morales (@theafro_samurai) August 8, 2016
@blackheaux called out her mother’s “internalized hate” for slamming both Biles and Douglas’ hair. In their defense, she exclaimed the two were playing sports.
My mother has so much internalized self-hate that she's sitting up here criticizing Simone and Gabby's hair … THEY'RE PLAYING SPORTS
— rachel equality (@blackheaux) August 8, 2016
Cassandra also blamed internalized self-hate for others dissing Douglas’ hair.
Stop talking about Gabby's hair she's had more success in the 8 years then y'all have in a lifetime. The internalized self hate is real.
— cassandra (@Cassieopeiaaa) August 8, 2016
@QueenMoixx defended the Olympic gold medalist against her aunt by stating Douglas’ hair was longer than her family member’s.
My auntie talking bout ' BOYYYY LOOK AT GABBY'S HAIR' like what's wrong with it? Its longer and healthier than yours https://t.co/3oz1Gd3Bbw
— josephine#BLM (@QueenMoixx) August 8, 2016
Twitter also defended the star’s skills. Users criticized judges who gave Raisman a higher score than Douglas, even though the former nearly fell off the balance beam.
Lamar Brown questioned why Raisman earned the No. 2 slot when Douglas’ routine was nearly flawless.
How the girl almost fall off the beam and get a way higher score than gabby nd Gabby does it great wit no mistake
— Lamar Brown (@RTS_Lamar_9) August 8, 2016
@faithh_GOLD thought Raisman – who called the two-person rule the “dumbest thing ever” in a promotional video for Team USA – should have lost her second-place position for her wobbly routine.
@_savageBP I know. But the way Aly wobbled and almost fell off the beam, I thought Gabby should get the second spot. Just my opinion
— Faytoven (@faithh_GOLD) August 8, 2016
@Delightfulgem was confused about the athletes’ close scoring after Raisman’s close call.
— Future Beach Babe (@Delightfulgem) August 8, 2016
When @lamarGarrard was accused of making everything about race, he pointed to Gabby’s better performance over her Olympic teammate as proof that race is not “so 1800.”
Lol did i? so you seen the girl almost fall? So race is so 1800 somthing. Clearly Gabby could have pulled higher https://t.co/NHUw9uyTYo
— Lamar (@lamarGarrard) August 8, 2016