Three-time Olympic gold medalist. First African-American woman to win the women's Olympic individual all-around in gymnastics. First American gymnast to win individual and team all-around competitions at the games. Has a Lifetime biopic film and a reality TV show based on her life. Immortalized as a Barbie doll.
At 20 years old, Gabby Douglas has achieved more than most could ever dream of.
Yet that hasn't exempted her from the stinging online criticism leveled at her at Rio de Janeiro this year, much of which was unrelated to her performance at the games. Douglas was accused of being "unpatriotic" when she didn't place her hand over her heart while the national anthem played; "bitter" when she only clapped while watching teammates Aly Raisman and Simone Biles' individual performances while others stood and cheered; attacked for her hair-do — a criticism she also received in the 2012 Olympics.
Throughout it all, Douglas has felt compelled to apologize. But she also made clear how hurtful people's judgment was.
"When they talk about my hair or not putting my hand over my heart or being very salty in the stands, really criticizing me ... for me it was really hurtful," Douglas said. "Did I choose my hair texture? No. I'm grateful for having this hair on my head. When you read that hurtful stuff you're like 'OK, wow.'"
But Douglas also has legions of admirers, many of whom did not stand idly by while trolls attacked her on the internet. Her fans took to Twitter to express their support for her under the hashtag #Love4GabbyUSA.