*In the new October issue of Vanity Fair, 16-year-old Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas again opens up about how she was treated while training at Excalibur Gymnastics in Virginia Beach.
According to the article, she once left her clothes by her locker, only to return and find someone had taken them. She had no shirt wear to leave the locker room, and “other gymnasts started laughing at her.” There was also the “she’s our slave” comment that Gabby spoke about last month on “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”
But, according to the article’s writer Buzz Bissinger: “Even more painful was an incident several years ago at a party where Gabby says an Excalibur staff member told her she might want to consider reconstructive surgery on her nose because of its flatness. Some other gymnasts had teased Gabby about her appearance, and she found the nose comment ‘very hurtful.’”
Excalibur President and CEO Gustavo Moure has denied that anyone in the gym was ever “knowingly involved in any type of bullying or racist treatment.
Dena Walker [the head coach at Excalibur and a financial partner] says that coaches at the gym, which has been home to many African-American athletes, are on the lookout for racial animus and take action should something happen. Walker denies that anyone suggested Gabby get a nose job, calling the allegation “a joke,” and notes that Gabby never reported any of the incidents.