Gabby Douglas Talks About Being Homeless and a Bully Victim in Her New Book

gabbydGabrielle Douglas was one of the shining stars of the 2012 Olympics. But the gymnast’s journey to the top of podium in London this past summer wasn’t an easy one.

As the 16-year-old Douglas recalled in her new book, “Grace, Gold & Glory,” she started out life homeless, her family living in the back of a van for nearly a year after she was born. Soon afterwards, they were taken in by relatives. Then, her father abandoned them, leaving her mother to support four young children on her own.

One of the few African Americans in the sport of gymnastics, Douglas claimed she was cruelly taunted by her former coach and teammates at Excalibur Gym, in Virginia Beach, Va., who told her to get a nose job and sometimes described her as “their slave.”

In an emailed statement, Excalibur denied the allegations and insisted that management never received any reports of Douglas being bullied.

Somehow, Douglas’ Olympic dreams never wavered.



Pictured: Olympic gymnast Gabrielle Douglas attends the 22nd annual Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall on November 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)