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Gabby Douglas: 'I was called a slave'

BRAVE: Gabby Douglas

OLYMPIC GOLD medalist Gabby Douglas confessed that she left her previous training centre in Virginia because of racist comments made by other gymnasts.

The 16-year-old, who became the first American to take both individual and team at the same Olympics, told Oprah that she was often marginalized and was even called a 'slave' by her old team-mates.

She said: "I definitely felt isolated. I felt, why am I deserving this?"

"Is it because I’m black? Like, those thoughts would go through my mind," she added.

Douglas later moved to the gym in Iowa where she continued to train before eventually becoming an Olympic champion at this year's games in London.

The news comes after superstar Beyonce wrote a heartfelt message to gymnast star Douglas on her recent success at the London 2012 Olympics.

In a post on her website, the Grammy award winner commended the 16-year-old for becoming the first African-American to win gold in the women’s gymnastics individual last week.

Beyonce wrote: “A huge congratulations to 16 year old Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas – Wow – What a thrill to watch you take this gold."

She added: “I can tell you’ve been working hard for so long – enjoy this moment, its yours."

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