LIVING

Gabby Douglas On Being Bullied At Rio Olympics: 'I Would Literally Cry My Eyes Out'

02/09/2017 12:43 EST | Updated 02/09/2017 12:43 EST

Gymnast Gabby Douglas was no stranger to online bullying during this past summer's Olympic Games in Rio.

From dealing with racism, sexism and even being called "unpatriotic," the 21-year-old heard it all from the haters, despite bringing home yet another gold medal.

But it seems as though the star athlete has since moved on from the negative ordeal, and opened up about her experience alongside fellow Olympic athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad and author Luvvie Ajayi during the AOL MAKERS Conference in Los Angeles.

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"In Rio I got the brunt of it. It was so bad," she said on stage. "I won a gold medal at the team competition and I would go back to my room and see everything [online], and I would literally cry my eyes out. I would talk to myself, like, 'Gabby, you just won a gold medal! Be happy!' But it was so much."

Douglas also opened up about critics saying she didn't look happy to be in Rio.

"I didn’t qualify to certain competitions that I worked so hard for," she recalled. "So when people didn’t get that, like, [they would say] 'Oh, why is she mad?'"

"Because I literally broke my body for this sport," she continued. "If you don’t get what you want, like a job or something, you’re gonna be sad! It’s human nature. So when people didn’t get that, I was devastated."

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Luckily, there were some kind souls, like actress Leslie Jones, who stood up for Douglas amongst the unreasonable backlash.

Using the hashtag #LOVE4GABBYUSA, the "Ghostbusters" star gathered messages of encouragement for the young star.

"To know that I had so much more love than hate," Virginia native shared, "I could wipe a little bit of tears away. It felt amazing.”

But despite the hardships she faced during the Olympics, the author has been keeping busy.

This past November, she wrapped up the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions and is set to make an appearance on Nickelodeon’s "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn."


Bye, haters!

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