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After leaving the women's all-around event with a gold medal on Tuesday, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas faced controversy for not placing her hand over her heart while the U.S. national anthem played at the medal ceremony. Social media users pointed out that Douglas was the only gymnast of the Final Five who did not place her hand over her heart. Some said Douglas was disrespecting the United States.

There are no teams rules requiring athletes to salute the flag at the podium; they are only required to stand and look at the flag, both of which Douglas did. Still, some said Douglas lacked appropriate reverence for the flag.


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I guess for some people, being one-fifth of a powerhouse team that just won a gold medal for the United States isn't patriotic enough. O say can you see…this gold medal?

Douglas responded to the criticism on her Twitter account:

Screen Shot 2016 08 11 at 12.56.23 PMOlympic gymnast Gabby Douglas responded on Twitter to criticism she received for not placing her hand over her heart during the U.S. national anthem. Moments before, Douglas helped win for the U.S. a gold medal for gymnastics.
"I always stand at attention out of respect for our country whenever the national anthem is played," Douglas wrote. "I never meant any disrespect and apologize if I offended anyone."
Header photo via Douglas's Instagram page
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Kailey is an editorial intern at BUST for the summer of 2016. She hails from Austin, Texas and currently studies journalism and women's and gender studies at The University of Texas. You can contact her at

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