(NEW YORK) — Although Gabby Douglas has been showered with praise since winning two Olympic gold medals, the 16-year-old gymnast recalled a time when she was teased and taunted by her fellow teammates, who she said called her “slave” and stole her clothes.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Douglas said a gymnast at Excalibur Gymnastics in Virginia Beach, Va., called her the team’s “slave” as she tried to get out of cleaning the equipment.
In another instance, Douglas told the magazine how her shirt was stolen from the Excalibur locker room, and that her teammates laughed when she realized she had no shirt to wear. “You don’t actually take by mistake someone’s clothes,” Douglas said.
But Douglas said the worst incident in her memory was an Excalibur staff member telling her she might want to get plastic surgery on her nose because of its flatness. Douglas called that comment “very hurtful.”
Representatives for Excalibur denied to Vanity Fair that the events occurred, and said Douglas never reported them to administrators. Douglas’ mom, Natalie Hawkins, said she only recently learned about her daughter’s alleged treatment at Excalibur and was “flabbergasted.”
Douglas ended up leaving Virginia to train in Iowa while living with a host family. With two medals under her belt, she’s now focusing on how to celebrate with the millions likely to pour in from endorsement deals. Although she hasn’t had time to get a driver’s license, she wants a car: “An Acura NSX,” she said, adding, “Oh yeah, and a Bentley.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Michael Pearson, CNN Newswire
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News