The Miseducation of Gabby Douglas

Man, what a difference time makes.

Four years ago Gabby Douglas was the apple of America’s eye, she stole our hearts while she crushed the competition in London. Her story was compelling, she was elegant and represented America with class.

Now, she’s been thrown aside like an old paper.

The scrutiny that Douglas has received during the Rio Olympics is unfair and honestly, unreasonable. Every mannerism has been put under a microscope. Everything from not putting her hand over her heart to not seeming excited for her teammates. I’m waiting for a report to surface criticizing her for not tying her shoe laces.  

Then, the criticism of her hair. It’s amazing how black women are constantly scrutinized for their hair while everyone else tries their hardest to copy it. That’s a story for another time, though.  

With everything that Gabby is going through I hope Simone Biles is paying attention.

You know Simone, right? She’s the girl killing every gymnastics event that Rio has to offer. She’s “taken” Gabby’s place and America can’t get enough of her.

Stop me when this story sounds familiar.

If Gabby’s story has told us anything it’s that America will throw Simone aside as soon as the next talented gymnast comes and tears the floor up.  

Even with all the hurtful bombs that have been hurled in her direction Douglas has been a class act. To be 20 it’s easy to see that she’s mature beyond her years. I know a 20 year old me would have some harsh words for critics but Gabby keeps her cool.

In a society where black people are told to be quiet, Gabby’s #blackgirlmagic is still front and center; giving black girls a mountain to shout from.

As always, thanks for reading.

Apple of our Eye

The Olympics are underway.

I, like many of you, have been glued to the television watching athletes who have spent years training for this one moment. We cant turn our eyes away from the number of events that we aren’t used to watching. America is dominating the Olympics but with so many repping the red, white, and blue how does one stand out? As an American Olympian how do you catch America’s eye and possibly become a darling?

Listen up, athletes. I’m going to tell you.

Number One: be passionate. American loves its sports, no matter what it is. As long as you’re doing something on behalf of the USA then you’re automatically going to have a following. A way to make that following larger is to show emotion. We want our athletes to care, and show us they care. Wear your heart on your sleeve but don’t let it lead to your downfall. That’s not a good thing.

Number Two: have flair. This goes in with passion. Athletes with flair (swagger) jump off the screen. Our eyes are immediately drawn to the confident athlete. It’s just like all other walks of life, confidence is key.

Number Three: identify, and defeat, the “bad guy” There’s nothing more American than taking down what’s perceived as the bad guy. The Miracle on Ice is one of the greatest moments in Olympic history because we took down the Soviet Union. The Olympics always have a way of reflecting the current state of the world. Using that to your advantage will give you a leg up in the states.

Number Four: WIN! This is most important. Winning a gold medal puts you in a class that the majority of Americans will never reach. A royalty that can never be taken away. Dominating your way to victory is better but gold is gold no matter the margin of victory.

That’s an easy, four step guide on how to stand out during the Olympics. Now go out there and win one for Old Glory. USA USA USA USA!

As always, thanks for reading.