Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles have worked hard to make a name in history and will continue to pave the way, aiming for the gold medal at this year’s Olympics in Rio. The beautiful athletic figures are posing on the August 2016 double cover issue of Teen Vogue, ready for action.
Gabby Douglas broke the airwaves after leading her team to victory during the 2012 London Olympics and All-Around at the age of 16.
“It took a long time for me to see my own potential… Finally something clicked and I knew I could be one of the best. It was a game changer. Now I’m like, ‘I am going for this. I’m going for it all.’” #Olympics world champ @gabbycvdouglas is going for the gold—again—along with first-timer @simonebiles. 🇺🇸 Get to know our August cover stars at the link in bio. 📷: @jasonkibblerstudio Styling: @celestinecooney
Just like any other young teenage girl, Gabby lacked the confidence within, believing she would never be able to make it big. Her self-doubt caused her to look down on her unique talents.
“It took a long time for me to see my own potential — a long time,” Gabby admits. It wasn’t until just four months before the Olympic trials in 2012 that she realized what she was capable of. “Finally something clicked and I knew I could be one of the best. It was a game changer. Now I’m like, ‘I am going for this. I’m going for it all.’”
Having to knock down the haters and naysayers in the media didn’t make matters any better. Critics focused on everything besides her craft in the height of her career.
Being the first African American to strike gold in the All-Around, viewers looked passed that and moved their attention towards her creative up-do in a bun.
Her response to the negativity at the time was, “What’s wrong with my hair? I just simply gelled it back, put some clips in and put it in a bun. Are you kidding me? I just made history? And you’re focusing on my hair? I just want to say we’re all beautiful inside out. Nothing is going to change. I don’t think people should be worried about that. We’re all champions and we’re all winners. I just say that it’s kind of, a stupid and crazy thought to think about my hair.”
When Vogue asked her about the tumultuous ridicules she had to endure, she recalled being a puffy-eyed Gabby, wanting to dust her hands and be done with gymnastics.
“It was very tough. Sometimes I would be in the bathroom, bawling my eyes out, wanting to quit,” Gabby disclosed. “I felt like I was all alone. But when I came through it, I felt as if I could overcome anything.”
Gabby is now proud to look in the mirror and let the world know how confident she is in her own skin. She knows her body is beautiful.
Gymnast Simone Biles is also young and in her prime, striving for the gold prize. Don’t let her size fool you. Standing at four feet eight inches, Biles is still mighty. This will be her first Olympic game, but she plans on dominating her competitors and taking home the gold.
“To go out there and prove what I can do has taught me a lot about who I am. We can push ourselves further. We always have more to give.” 19-year-old gymnastics phenom @simonebiles is ready to make her #Olympics debut as she and @gabbycvdouglas go for gold! 🏅Get to know the August cover stars at the link in bio. 📷: @jasonkibblerstudio Styling: @celestinecooney
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Beating the World Gymnastics Championships three years in a row and receiving 10 gold medals within her career, she’s also faced her fair share of negativity.
Back in 2013 Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito had a few choice words for Biles. “Next time we should also paint our skin black, so we can win too,” was her illiterate comment to Biles’ win. But Biles could care less about what anyone had to say about her. She shrugged it off and continued to show the world why she’s undefeatable.
“It went viral, but it didn’t bother me one bit,” she said. “I guess I just have really tough skin. I was like, whatever.”
Pick up this latest issue of Teen Vogue for further details on how the stars face being in the public eye, overcome criticism by the media, and their plans on dominating the 2016 Olympics in August.