Simone Biles is floored that there are still people who mistake her for Gabby Douglas.
“Still getting called gabby douglas is crazy to me,” tweeted Biles on April 13. The two gymnasts are former teammates who helped the U.S. earn multiple medals at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016. While Biles continued to compete through the 2022 games, Douglas has not competed in over six years.
Fans comparing the two women’s appearances to each other said there is no way anyone could possibly think they are the same person.
“They look NOTHING alike. She just didn’t want to say that white people mistake her for Gabby,” wrote one person.
“Two completely different looking Black Women. People are blind if they are confusing the two,” commented a second person.
Nicknamed the “flying squirrel,” Douglas has maintained a low profile over the years. Aside from sharing photos that promote her various brand deals, she seldom appears on social media. Last year, she announced plans to step away from the spotlight altogether to focus on her mental health.
“My life has never been smooth or easy. I have carried a heavy weight on my back for quite some time and it has weighed me down, physically, mentally, and emotionally,” wrote the three-time Olympic medalist.
Douglas was just 16 when she took center stage as one of the premier athletes to hit the mat. Since growing up, the 27-year-old has ditched her once-signature bun and can be seen testing out different hairdos, ranging from blond tresses to long black locks to bangs and other styles. For some fans, her more mature look has made her nearly unrecognizable.
“Gabby Douglas don’t even look like Gabby Douglas anymore,” read one comment.
“I don’t even recognize gabby without her ponytail,” wrote someone else.
In 2017, the two women made headlines after Douglas shared a controversial perspective on victim shaming. When two-time Olympian Alexandra Raisman tweeted that women should be able to dress however they choose without the concern of being sexually assaulted, Douglas suggested otherwise.
“However it is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy. dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd,” wrote Douglas, who was part of the U.S.’s victorious “Fierce Five.”
Biles, disappointed by her teammate’s responses, fired back, “shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me… honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly & all the other women out there! STAY STRONG,” she wrote.
In a follow-up tweet, Douglas said she was “deeply sorry for coming off like I don’t stand alongside my teammates,” and showed support for the #MeToo movement.
Last summer, Biles and several other gymnasts sued the FBI for $1 billion over their handling of the Larry Nassar case, a doctor who pleaded guilty to several sexual assault-related charges involving minors. Douglas and Biles are among his victims, which reportedly totals more than 150.
While neither woman has publicized plans to join the 2024 games, Biles does have one major event on the horizon: her wedding. Last February, she announced her engagement to NFL safety Jonathan Owens.