[Gabby] Douglas genuinely doesn’t see color — it’s not her first thought. Yet she was drilled incessantly with questions about being a woman of color in gymnastics. How can she get more African American children to pay attention to gymnastics, she was asked? “I can’t control that,” she said tonelessly.
Perhaps her most baffled moment came when she was asked what she saw when she walked into a gymnastics class for the first time. She replied evenly that she saw a lot of talented athletes. That answer wasn’t good enough. Did she ever think because she was African American and didn’t see many other black gymnasts that she couldn’t succeed at it?
“You know I didn’t,” she answered. “Because everyone told me I had such a beautiful talent. I was a fast learner, quick learner. I picked up stuff very good. I don’t know, I was just a fast learner.”
August 8, 2012
"The pat story line of black gymnast breaks the color mold was not only old and too neat, it was especially untruthful."
"'The last seven [American] gymnastics teams had women of color on them,' pointed out Dominque Dawes, the 1996 gold medalist."