Gabby Douglas’s rocky performance at the Olympic trials paved the way for the media frenzy that would surround her in Rio. She failed to medal in every individual gymnastic category, but was able to secure gold for the Women’s all-around. The media and Twitter trolls scrutinized her hair, skin, attitude, and for not placing her hand over her heart during the national anthem.
When a reporter asked her about the social media backlash, Gabby was reduced to tears. It bothers me that someone so talented was left in tears after such an epic performance, so I decided to pen a letter to Gabby Douglas:
Dear Gabby Douglas,
You are beautiful, talented, and fearless. When I first saw you in the 2012 London Olympics you gave me hope; hope that my niece and other little brown girls around the world would understand their power and be able to defy gravity like you. Every step you took on that balance beam was progressive and even when you stumbled you triumphed. Focus on the positive and ignore the negative. The grace you’ve showcased throughout your career is immaculate. The pressures you’ve faced display your brilliance. I am so thankful to have witnessed you soar in the sky, you are a diamond. I know that whatever you decide to do after the Olympics will be magic because you embody #BlackGirlMagic.