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Gabby Douglas' Ex-Gym Denies Bullying Claims

Aug 30, 2012 | 1:30 AM    Written By: Michael Hughes
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Gabby Douglas' Ex-Gym Denies Bullying Claims

Gabby Douglas recently revealed in her interview with Oprah, that she used to be a victim of bullying at her former gym, Excalibur Gym, during her youth.  She claimed to have suffered from racial taunts during training, and that she used to go home and shed many tears over the foul treatment.  According to Gabby:

"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.  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.'"

The Excalibur gym is located in Gabby's home state of Virginia, and the staff members who manage the gym are utterly shocked by her claims of abuse by her former teammates while she was a part of their establishment.  According to various representatives of the gym, Gabby was one of their favorite gymnasts and they claim to have zero knowledge of any mistreatment that allegedly occurred.  

According to Randy Stageburg who works at Excalibur:

"The accusations that are being made against the gymnasts and coaches are just sickening. Gabby was never a victim, in fact many would say she was one of the favorites. I never once heard her complain about girls being mean, funny how it is just now coming up."

Kim Hedeland, a mother of one of the young gymnasts who trains at Excalibur, left the following comment on the gym's Facebook page, denying having any knowledge of Gabby's claims as well.

"I don't claim to know everything that happened in the situation with the gym and its gymnast who is now an Olympic athlete, but I do know that my daughter loved her like a sister for 7 years...They were often partnered during training and slept in the same room during travel meets. They attended birthday parties and sleepovers together ... My daughter says that she was one of her best friends at the gym and was very sad when she left."

It is very possible that Gabby could have suffered from verbal abuse from her peers but just kept the bullying to herself, as it is common for young adolescents to remain quiet when suffering from various forms of abuse.  

Source: globalgrind.com

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