Slur Highlights Race Problem in Gymnastics

An Italian competitor makes a racist remark after she loses to black U.S. gymnast Simone Biles.

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But perhaps her greatest contribution to the sport is the foundation she now runs. When I interviewed Hilliard in 2012, she cited the financial obstacles confronting aspiring gymnasts in explaining what inspired her to establish the Wendy Hilliard Foundation, which makes gymnastics coaching affordable for children from nontraditional backgrounds, many of them children of color. You can learn more about the foundation and how to support it by clicking here.

Perhaps one day international and U.S. gymnastics will become just as racially diverse as other sports, meaning that comments like Ferlito's will become a thing of the past because gymnasts like her will be so used to being surrounded by athletes of color that the entire culture that has allowed people like Ferlito to flourish will shift for the better.

Keli Goff is The Root's special correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.

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