2 of the world's best gymnasts shared how they deal with online body-shaming

Simone-biles-4Getty Images/Dilip VishwanatSimone Biles is leaping her way to the Olympic games.

Gymnasts Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas are training hard for the Olympics in Rio — and they have got no time for body-shaming trolls.

The superstar athletes appear in the latest issue of Teen Vogue, where they open up about their careers, online critics, and having Oprah on speed dial. (Seriously: Gabby has Oprah on speed dial!)

Douglas, 20, is the defending Olympic champion. In the 2012 London games, she won the individual all-around title and led the US team to the gold medal. She was the first American gymnast and the first woman of colour to accomplish this feat. 

Biles is the buzzed-about newcomer who’s a favourite for the 2016 all-around gold. Gymnastics legends have already dubbed her the best gymnast in history

Sadly, both women have been subject to criticism about their bodies and even their race. 

Douglas’ success in London incited online trolls who insulted her muscular body and her hair. “It was very tough. Sometimes I would be in the bathroom, bawling my eyes out, wanting to quit. I felt like I was all alone,” she told Teen Vogue. “But when I came through it, I felt as if I could overcome anything.”

And after the 2013 world championships, Biles was the target of a racist jab from Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito, who said: “Next time we should also paint our skin black, so we can win too.”

But Biles told Teen Vogue that she was unfazed. “It went viral, but it didn’t bother me one bit,” she said. “I guess I just have really tough skin.” Biles also takes pride in her self-described “stockier” body. “I was built this way for a reason, so I’m going to use it,” she said.

Watch Douglas and Biles compete in the women’s gymnastics trials starting July 8 on NBC. The Rio games begin August 5.  

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