One would think that cyber bullying wouldn’t phase a multiple gold medal earning Olympian. But that Olympian is also a teenager with emotions! Gabby Douglas interviewed with Teen Vogue to explain how the trolls on the Internet took a toll on her during the Rio 2016 Olympics.
During the young gymnast’s time in Rio, she was dealing with intense cyber bullying not from one source, but from what seemed like all of America. Gabby explains how she was attacked online in every conceivable way. She initially learned of the cyber bullying after Googling herself, and it was downhill from there.
I had take off social media before the Olympics. Then after team finals in Rio, I Googled myself and there was just so much noise. First it started with me not having my hand over my heart, then my hair, then me not being supportive. I was like oh my God, I have no idea where this is coming from. It was hard. It was very hard. People thought I was just a target. I’m not a target, I’m a human being. I’m an athlete.
Gabby believed that the cyber bullying reduced the importance of her gold medals. She shares that she’d return to the Olympic village everyday crying because of the negativity she’d seen. Thankfully, the gymnast decided to stop letting the trolls get to her. “People need to stand up for themselves…sure you walk in love and you don’t repay evil with evil. But at the same time I say stand up for yourself.”