Gymnast Gabby Douglas was criticized frequently during the Rio Olympic Games, but what many news sources are not talking about is her Christian faith.
This allegation comes from Julia Duin of GetReligion.org. Duin writes that Douglas was criticized first for her failure to put her hand over her heart during the national anthem, and then for her apparent lack of enthusiasm for her teammates. She was even criticized for her hair.
Although Douglas was arguably the brightest star in the summer games in London four years ago, she seemed to have faded from the spotlight in Rio--a fact that some seemed to assume made her jealous of her gymnast teammates.
Douglas did receive a gold medal as part of the team competition, but failed to qualify for the individual all-around finals.
Despite these setbacks, Duin writes that Douglas has a deep faith that sustains her--and which most reporters fail to acknowledge.
The gymnast has even written a book titled Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith which discusses her Christian beliefs. Duin says this book makes it inexcusable for reporters to pretend as if they weren’t aware how much Douglas’s Christian faith affects her life.
Duin also calls into question why it appears to be more acceptable to discuss a competitor’s Muslim faith when she wore a hijab in her fencing match, than discussing a competitor’s Christian beliefs.
Another GetReligion.org writer also recently noted this apparent editing out of Christian beliefs from the narrative of the Olympic Games when he wrote about swimmer Simone Manuel and her faith.
For now, however, it seems the world will not know how--and if--Douglas’s faith sustained her through her difficult time in Rio.
Publication date: August 22, 2016