Well, excuse us, Miss Thang! Gabrielle Douglas sat down with Oprah for a frank and revealing conversation about her gymnastics career, her family life and her experience at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
One point Douglas clarified was on her name: She prefers Gabrielle to Gabby.
“I prefer the beauty of the name Gabrielle,” Douglas said.
Alrighty then. Why does this feel like Steve Urkel telling people he preferred to be called Stefan Urkel when his alterego took over?
On the subject of her father, Gabby quietly murmured, “We’re kinda distant.”
Gabby also revealed that her mother, Natalie Hawkins, is preventing her from speaking with her father. Hawkins had her daughter change her phone number so that her father, Sgt. Douglas, couldn’t get in contact with her.
That means the gold medal-winning gymnast hasn’t yet had the opportunity to share her victory with her father at all. Not even over the phone.
We already touched on some of the daddy drama surrounding Gabby in a previous article, but it seems rotten that Hawkins would prevent her daughter from speaking with her father completely.
Gabby was clearly enthused to see him at the Olympic trials, so why prevent father and daughter from communicating now? Hawkins might have more information than we do on the situation, but this rubs us the wrong way.
Douglas also revealed that one of the reasons she wanted to leave her old gym, Excalibur, in Virginia, was due to racism.
She recounted an experience in which her teammates referred to her as their “slave.”
Horrified, depressed and ostracized by her teammates’ behavior, Gabby begged her mother to let her move to Iowa.
Her eagerness to relocate had a lot to do with getting away from her old gym, she said.
The Partons, Gabby’s adopted family in Iowa, say that she filled a void for them. And Hawkins’ said that by taking Gabby in, the Partons had done something for her family that she would never be able to repay.
Travis Parton gave all praise to God, saying it the voice of God that encouraged him to take Gabby in.
The infamous hair debacle was touched on, but the discussion between Oprah, Gabby and her mom essentially boiled down to “haters gonna hate.”
And they’re right. A good portion of the miserable women who complained about Gabby’s hair can’t even touch their toes, much less do a back flip on a balance beam, so screw ’em.
Gabby Gabrielle Douglas’ FULL interview on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” below: