Gabby Douglas, the two-time gold medal gymnast, shared in a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey that she was bullied and taunted by former teammates in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She stated, “I was just, you know, kind of getting racist jokes, kind of being isolated from the group. So it was definitely hard. I would come home at night and just cry my eyes out. Like, what did I do to deserve this?'"
Gabby explained that, at age 14, she became so distraught that she wanted to give up gymnastics unless she could find a new place to train. Gabby left Virginia Beach and resumed her training in Des Moines, Iowa…and the rest is “Olympic history.”
Two years later, Gabby became the first African-American gymnast to win the individual all-around Olympic Gold! Gabby’s inspiring message to kids is to never give up and keep pushing toward your dreams.
Congratulations to Gabby Douglas for her exceptional Olympic achievements and her tough perseverance throughout her gymnastic training!
About the blogger: Judy S. Freedman, a licensed clinical social worker and bullying prevention specialist, is the author of Easing the Teasing – Helping Your Child Cope with Name-Calling, Ridicule, and Verbal Bullying. She lectures and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and mental health professionals throughout the country. Learn more about Judy and her work at www.easingtheteasing.com.