TRENDING: 'Crabby Gabby'? Gabby Douglas Responds To Online Criticism

Gabby Douglas became a household name in the 2012 London Olympics, where she won two gold medals in women's gymnastics and became America's darling.

gabby douglas
(Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty)

But oh, how the tables have turned for Douglas in this year's Rio Olympics, where the 20-year-old gymnast did not even place for the individual event she won gold for in 2012.

Critics online dubbed her "Crabby Gabby" after noting that she didn't seem excited enough for her teammates. Twitter haters also called her unpatriotic when she was the only one of the "Final Five" U.S. gymnasts not to hold her hand over her heart on the podium during the national anthem (after helping her team win gold).

gabby douglas no hand over heart national anthem rio olympics

Douglas is no stranger to online criticism; even when she dominated gymnastics in 2012, people commented about her hair, and those comments followed her to Rio and piled atop the "Crabby Gabby" hate this year.

“When they talk about my hair or me not putting my hand up on my heart or me being very salty in the stands, they’re really criticizing me, and it doesn’t really feel good,” Douglas tearfully told reporters now that her Olympic events are over. “It was a little bit hurtful.”

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“Everything I’ve gone through has been a lot this time around,” Douglas said, “and I apologize if [I seemed] really mad in the stands. I wasn’t. I was supporting Aly [Raisman]. And I always will support them and respect them in everything they do. I never want anyone to take it as I was jealous or I wanted attention. Never. I support them, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t showing it.

“I’ve been through a lot. I still love them. I still love the people who love me. Still love them who hate me. I’m just going to stand on that.”

Douglas' mom, Natalie Hawkins, also spoke out, saying that Douglas was devastated by the unfair criticism.


"You go from people's adoration to being the brunt of criticism and hatred," Hawkins said. "It is hard, because her nature is so giving and so kind."

But let's not overlook the silver lining to the situation: In light of all the Twitter hate, some Twitter love has emerged as well. The hashtag #LOVE4GABBYUSA has accrued over 30,000 tweets of support for the young woman. Check out some of the love below: