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Gymnast: Gabby Douglas

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Photo of Gabrielle (Gabby) Douglas from the 2011 worlds in Tokyo

© Gabrielle Douglas at 2011 worlds

© Adam Pretty / Getty Images
Gabrielle Douglas
© Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Check out photos of Gabby Douglas in action

Gabrielle Douglas was a member of the 2012 US Olympic gymnastics team -- a squad that won the Olympic gold medal for the first time since 1996. Douglas also earned gold in the all-around, becoming the first gymnast in American history to win the gold medal in both the team and all-around. After some time off after the Olympics, in the spring of 2014 Douglas moved back to Iowa to train for a competitive comeback.

A Talented Junior Gymnast:

Douglas qualified to the 2010 junior US Championships, and placed a very impressive fourth all-around at nationals that year. She was named to the 2010 Pan American Championships team, where she took first on bars and helped USA win the team competition.

Training with Chow and Johnson:

After her early success as an elite, Douglas decided to switch coaches. She met Liang Chow, coach of 2008 Olympian Shawn Johnson, at a coaching clinic and moved to Iowa to work with him at his gym, Chow's Gymnastics and Dance. She trained alongside Johnson until Johnson's retirement from the sport in June of 2012.

2011 Worlds:

Though originally the alternate to the world team, when an abdominal injury sidelined team member Anna Li, Douglas ended up on the roster. Douglas was the youngest gymnast in the competition,  but excelled at her first worlds. She competed on all four events in prelims and ended up fifth all-around after the competition was over. Unfortunately, due to the two-per-country rule, only two US gymnasts could advance to the all-around finals. American teammates Jordyn Wieber and Alexandra Raisman ranked higher (second and fourth, respectively).

Douglas did qualify to the bars finals, however, and placed fifth, even with an error. (Watch her bar routine.)

A Break-Out Meet:

In 2012, Douglas had a huge performance at the American Cup in March. She competed as the US team alternate, so her scores didn't officially count, but she ended up with the highest total of the day. Had she been an "official" competitor, she would have beaten world all-around gold medalist Wieber. More on Douglas at the 2012 American Cup.

Winning Olympic Trials:

Douglas edged Wieber for the overall title at the 2012 Olympic Trials, finishing just .1 ahead of her after the two-day competition. Douglas therefore earned the single automatic berth onto the Olympic team (though she would have undoubtedly been selected onto the team anyways). Beating Wieber also showed that she was a legitimate contender for the Olympic all-around title as well.

A Star in the Making:

Douglas was the unofficial MVP of team USA at the London Games. She performed so well in prelims that she qualified to the individual all-around, bars, and beam finals. She competed on all four events for the US in the team finals, and amassed an enormous 61.465 total all-around score. She was a huge part of team USA's gold medal victory.

In the all-around final, Douglas topped even her all-around score from team finals, earning a 62.232 and winning the all-around gold medal. Douglas had two more chances to medal in the event finals of bars and of beam, but finished eighth and seventh, respectively.

Cool Skills:

Douglas competed a sky-high piked reverse hecht (at :59) on bars, and a standing back full (at :19) on beam. She also did an Amanar vault.

Personal Info:

Gabrielle Douglas was born on December 31, 1995 to Timothy Douglas and Natalie Hawkins. Her hometown is Virginia Beach, Va., and she started gymnastics in 2002. Douglas has two older sisters – Arielle and Joyelle – and an older brother Johnathan.

Douglas names floor and beam as her favorite events, and goes by the nicknames Gabby and Brie. She is home-schooled, and her favorite subject is English. Douglas enjoys reading and knitting in her free time.

Gymnastics Results:

International:

  • 2012 Olympic Games: 1st team; 1st all-around; 8th bars; 7th beam
  • 2012 Pacific Rim Championships: 1st team; 1st bars
  • 2011 World Championships: 1st team; 5th bars
  • 2011 City of Jesolo Trophy: 1st team; 4th all-around; 4th vault; 3rd beam (tie); 2nd floor
  • 2010 Pan American Championships: 1st team; 5th all-around; 1st bars

National:

  • 2012 US Olympic Trials: 1st all-around; 1st bars (tie); 3rd floor
  • 2012 Visa Championships (US nationals): 2nd all-around; 1st bars; 3rd floor
  • 2011 Visa Championships (US nationals): 3rd bars (tie); 7th all-around
  • 2011 CoverGirl Classic: 2nd bars
  • 2010 Visa Championships (Jr. Division): 4th all-around; 4th vault; 2nd beam; 8th floor (tie)
  • 2010 CoverGirl Classic (Jr. Division): 9th all-around; 6th vault; 3rd beam
  • 2010 Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup: 4th all-around

 

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