U.S. Gymnast Gabby Douglas Opens Up to Oprah About Racism in the Gym

Posted Monday August 27, 2012 8:30 PM GMT

In a revealing interview on "Oprah's Next Chapter," U.S. Olympic gymnastics team member Gabby Douglas spoke about the obstacles she had to overcome to make it to the Olympics.

The 16-year-old gold medalist admitted to Oprah Winfrey she was a victim of racism at the gym she trained at in Virginia Beach. She confessed, "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.”

More specifically, "One of my teammates was like, ‘Could you scrape the bar? And they were like, ‘Why doesn’t Gabby do it, she’s our slave?’"

Later, the young gymnast found relief when she moved to Iowa to train with a new coach. The "Fierce Five" member also talked with Oprah about the gossip involving her hair style.

Oprah responded disgustedly, "You know why it sickens me?” She told Gabby, referring to African-Americans in general. “We’re the only ones who would care to notice, because the whole world is looking at your athletic prowess, and there are a few naysayers — haters — who are on talking about your hair.”

Watch the clip below.

Photo Credit: OWN Network, Twitter