History making gymnast Gabrielle Douglas, opens up about the journey she took to become the international icon she became over the summer.

Only 16-years-old and all of 4’11”, the black girl from Iowa discusses the sacrifices her family made to ensure her success, despite the odds in her new book, written with O’s founding editor Michelle Burford, “Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith.”

It wasn’t all roses or even remotely pleasant for young Gabby who endured a slew of racism and ridicule from her peers.

She explains that another gymnast referred to her as a slave and describes the constant criticism people spewed about her hair during the Olympics.

In an interview with theRoot, Gabby admitted the constant badgering because of her skin was a shocker.

“No one likes to be made fun of or joked about,” she said. “I remember crying and I didn’t say anything, and I don’t recommend that. You should always tell an adult. I overcame that by relying on the Bible to encourage me and to lift me up. I knew I had a dream to follow, and I wasn’t going to let anything or anyone stop me from achieving my goals.”

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Gabby Douglas Tells How She Overcame The Odds In New Memoir  was originally published on

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