Some days, there is so much foolishness going on in the world, it’s all we can do not to collapse onto our fainting couches and fan ourselves with one hand. That was our immediate reaction upon reading that Olympic gold medal winner Gabby Douglas had to deal with racism from her fellow gymnasts on her way to the top. “I felt [I was] being bullied,” Douglas revealed to Oprah on yesterday’s Oprah’s Next Chapter about her time training at her home gym in Virginia Beach. When her teammates were asked to scrape the balance bar, for example, “They’re like, ‘Why doesn’t Gabby do it? She’s our slave.” Great slavery joke, you guys! If only you were as good at being a human being as you are on the uneven bars!
Recalled Gabby, “I definitely felt isolated. I felt, ‘Why am I deserving this? Is it because I’m black?’ Those thoughts would go through my mind.” Of course, we probably shouldn’t be too surprised that the Olympic gymnast had to deal with all this; the kerfuffle over Gabby Douglas’ hair during the Olympics made our eyes roll so far back into our heads, we had to use a dust buster to pull them out. Eventually the bullying got so bad, Gabby’s mom Natalie Hawkins explained, “She said, ‘I’d rather quit. If I can’t move and train and get another coach, I’d rather quit the sport.'” Luckily Gabby was able to move to a gym in Iowa to work with Shawn Johnson‘s coach Liang Chow, and the rest is history. It is literally world history, and no one can take that away from her. Meanwhile, if we were Gabby, we’d be so tempted to slowly drive past our old gym wearing our gold medal, but she’s probably way too classy for that.
They’ve won a gold medal and some change, had their images printed on cereal boxes, been interviewed on every talk show from Letterman to Oprah’s Next Chapter, rung the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and made dozens of other glamorous public appearances — what’s left for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team to do? How about something that’s a little more appropriate for their own teenage demo? McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman and Kyla Ross are going to be presenters at the MTV Video Music Awards, MTV News announced this morning.
We love that this means the Fierce Five will be extending their fame into next month (the VMAs are on Thursday, September 6, at 8 p.m. ET/PT). Also, we can only imagine all the great encounters they’ll have with the likes of fellow presenters Wiz Khalifa and Miley Cyrus, and just-announced performer Taylor Swift. I’ve got $20 bucks says they’ll do their best “Not Impressed” poses while meeting some of those pop stars. Maybe this can happen too.
The Olympics may be over, but we’re holding on to memories of cheering on our favorite athletes for dear life. There’s something truly beautiful about the Olympic Games and how it unites a country (and gives us something to talk about in an awkward elevator encounter). We do not want to say goodbye! That’s why we spent today looking for ways to indulge in the games for just a little while longer. Something tells us some of the Games’ breakout stars will never be too far from our radar! For now, here are 10 of our favorite ways to not let go of the 2012 Summer Olympics:
1. Ryan Lochte will be appearing on an upcoming episode of the CW’s 90210. He will cross paths with recently reunited couple Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) and Max (Josh Zuckerman) at a resort, where they are attempting to strengthen their relationship. For his sake, we hope he acts better than he interviews!
2. Have you seenMichael Phelps in the new Louis Vuitton ad? If your answer is “Hmmm I don’t remember…” then no, you haven’t seen it because it is definitely unforgettable! Michael Phelps has proven to be more than just a trendy athlete to love. He overcame a bad reputation and is now only regarded of as the most decorated Olympian of all time.
3. We can’t get enough of the McKayla Maroney Is Not Impressed meme, and we know it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Her unimpressed face photobombs the most perfectly chosen images throughout the day. McKayla got in on the fun when Aly Raismantweeted this photo of Maroney, Kyla Ross and herself standing outside a closed swimming pool.
The 2012 Summer Olympics went out with last night’s star-studded, nostalgic Closing Ceremony. It’s been an emotional couple of weeks, welling up on a nightly basis while watching dreams come true from the comfort of our couches. To tie our Olympics coverage in a neat, hypnotizing bow, here’s a GIF wall of winners winning and inevitably treating us to victory dances, tears and triumphant cheers.
Good news first: Aly Raisman rocked the floor today on the last day of gymnastics competition in London. Aly became the first American woman ever to win the floor exercise at the Olympics, after increasing her degree of difficulty and shining in her routine to attain a score of 15.6. We’re always taken aback by incredible individuals like Aly. To execute skill and athleticism in such an immaculate way under pressure is just mind blowing. When asked how she was able to deliver a routine like that she said, “I felt like I had nothing to lose. It was going to be my last memory for London, so I just wanted to make it count and enjoy it.” As if earning the gold wasn’t enough, earlier in the day she won a bronze medal in the balance beam, which came after winning an appeal with the judges and then a tiebreaker with Catalina Ponor of Romania. (After she lost the tie-breaker for bronze in the all-around, this was a huge relief!)
And then there’s the bad news. We’re really happy Aly did so well, because the story wasn’t as happy for her teammates. All-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas had a disappointing day, finishing seventh on balance beam after a nasty fall. Yesterday, Gabby also failed to medal on the uneven parallel bars with a 14.900 score that left her in eighth place. The bars are supposed to be where Gaby really struts her stuff and where she got her nickname, “Flying Squirrel.” Read more…
If there’s anything more amazing than Olympians taking the gold, it’s watching the emotional roller-coasters their parents ride as they compete. The moms and dads — especially this year’s crew — are often more exciting and gut-wrenching to observe than their insanely talented kids. And while many of their reactions are LOL-worthy, they are also deeply touching and often the catalyst for our Olympic-size tears, which occur nightly as we watch really athletic/hardworking humans show off their skills while sitting our couch swimming in a sea of Bugle crumbs.
Check out 18 parental reactions that deserve gold medals below.
Sorry to spoil the Olympics for you, but if you didn’t want to know who won the All-Around competition in Women’s Gymnastics today, you really should have avoided the Internet all-together. Gabby Douglas, whom we (ever-so-presciently) selected as today’s Olympian to Watch, just clinched the gold. She’s only the fourth American to do so (after Mary Lou Retton, Shannon Miller and Nastia Liukin) and the first African-American. Russians Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina grabbed silver and bronze, respectively, narrowly edging out Aly Raisman.
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In case you missed our feature on Gabby earlier this morning, here are our favorite images from it. Enjoy and then go read all about why we love the little Flying Squirrel.
Before we all put on sleep masks and ear plugs for the day to avoid spoilers about who wins today’s Women’s Gymnastics All-Around Final, let’s take a closer look at one of the favorites. 16-year-old Gabby Douglas flew (quite literally) onto our radar at the Olympic trials, where she edged out reigning world champ and teammate Jordyn Wieber for the #1 spot. At 4’11”, G-Dougs is the shortest shorty on the team, but her presence is huge and we can’t wait to watch her battle it out with fellow superstar Aly Raisman tonight for the gold.
1. Gabby was nicknamed the “Flying Squirrel” by National Team Coordinator/Legend Márta Károlyi for her soaring abilities on the uneven bars.
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team has made us pretty damn proud to be Americans today. Sorry, the entire Internet spoiled what won’t air on TV until tonight, but spoiled it with amazing news! You can now officially jump for joy because the Fab Five have just won the gold medal in the gymnastics team final! This triumph marks the first time that the U.S. gymnasts will take home the team gold since the “Magnificent Seven” won in Atlanta’s 1996 Olympics. With impressive floor performances given by Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, the team beat out both Russia and Romania with an overall score of 183.596. (Woo!!!)
To celebrate the team’s gold medal and give ourselves a little background on what winners look (and act) like, we have put together some of the best Olympic photos and tweets from these fabulous girls. Take a look and get ready to be stunned. Seriously, some of the positions they get themselves in are pretty unbelievable and make us realize just how uncoordinated and inflexible we are. If their moves aren’t enough to make you fall in love with them, these gymnasts’ fun, charming sides surely will.