Italian Gymnast’s Racist Remark: “I Need To Paint My Skin Black To Win A Medal Now”

Rucuss staffOctober 9, 2013

Africian-American gymnast Simone Biles won the all-around gold medal at the Gymnastics World Championships in Belgium last week.

Biles also won the bronze medal in beam in front of Italian gymnast Vanessa Ferrari and fifth place finisher Carlotta Ferlito. It infuriated the two Italians so much that Ferlito made a racist remark after the event.

When the Italian media asked Ferlito about the final, which Biles won and Gabby Douglas won the year before, she said with a big laugh, “Next time, me and Vanessa would paint their skin black to win.”

The Italian gymnast claims that the judges penalized Italy due to their own preferences, and that the people who medaled (Mustafina 1st, Kyla Ross 2nd, and Biles, 3rd) did not deserve to be there.

On Tuesday, Ferlito though about her comments and tweeted, “I want to apologize with the Americans girls. I didn’t want to sound rude or racist. I love Simone and I’m a huge fan of USA gymnastics.”

She then added, “I’ve made a mistake, I’m not perfect … I didn’t think about what I was saying. I’m just a human. I’m so so sorry.”

At last year’s London Games, Douglas became the first African-American to win the Olympic all-around title. Biles became the first African-American to win the world all-around title, having also won gold on floor in Antwerp.

Ferrari also was second to Biles on floor, after which Ferrari dedicated her silver medal to the nearly 300 African migrants killed in a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa last week.

Photos via and


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