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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Who is Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas?

Who is Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas? The sports world knows her as Gabby Douglas is an American artistic gymnast. As a member of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics, she won gold medals in both the individual and team all-around competitions. Douglas is the first African-American and first woman of color in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion, and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics. She was also a member of the gold-winning U.S. team at the 2011 World Championships.

Early life

Douglas was born December 31, 1995 began training in gymnastics at age six when her older sister, Arielle, convinced their mother to enroll her in gymnastics classes.[2] When she was eight years old, Douglas won an all-around gymnastics award for her level at the 2004 Virginia State Championships.[3]


Douglas made her national debut at the 2010 Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup, a televised Level 10 meet held in Worcester, Massachusetts, where Douglas placed fourth all-around.[4]
Her first elite meet was the 2010 CoverGirl Classic in Chicago, Illinois, where Douglas placed third on balance beam, 6th on vault and 9th all-around in the junior division.[4]
At the 2010 U.S. Junior National Championships, Douglas won the silver medal on balance beam, placed fourth all-around and on vault, and tied for eighth on floor exercise.[4]
At the 2010 Pan American Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, Douglas won the uneven bars title, and she won a share of the U.S. team gold medal. She also placed fifth all-around.[4]
Douglas moved from Virginia Beach, Virginia to West Des Moines, Iowa in October at the age of 14 to train under Liang Chow, the former coach of 2008 Summer Olympics gold medal-winner Shawn Johnson.[5]


At the City of Jesolo Trophy in Italy, Douglas won a share of the U.S. team gold medal. She also placed second on floor, tied for third on beam, and placed fourth in the all-around and on vault.[4]
Douglas earned the silver medal in uneven bars at the CoverGirl Classic in Chicago.[4]
At the 2011 U.S. National Championships In St. Paul, Minnesota, Douglas tied for third on bars and placed seventh all-around.[4]
At the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo, Japan, Douglas shared in the team gold medal won by the U.S. Douglas also placed fifth in uneven bars.[6][7]


At the AT&T American Cup at Madison Square Garden in March, Douglas received the highest total all-around score in the women's competition, ahead of her teammate and current world champion Jordyn Wieber. However, her scores did not count towards winning the competition because she was an alternate.[8]
Later in March, she was part of the gold-winning U.S. team at the Pacific Rim Championships, where she also won gold in uneven bars.[9]
At the 2012 U.S. National Championships in June, Douglas won the gold medal in uneven bars, silver in the all-around, and bronze in floor. Martha Karolyi, the National Team Coordinator for USA Gymnastics, nicknamed Douglas the "Flying Squirrel" for her aerial performance on the uneven bars.[10][11][12]
After winning a spot on the U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics team, Douglas and her teammates were featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated on the July 18, 2012 Olympic Preview issue. This marked the first time an entire Olympic gymnastics team had been featured on the cover of the magazine.[13] She appeared on Rock Center with Brian Williams on July 19, where she discussed her family background and Olympic ambitions.[14] On July 20, Douglas was featured on one of five Olympic covers released that day for Time magazine.[15]

Summer Olympics

On July 31, Douglas and her teammates, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber, won the team all-around gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.[16] On August 2, Douglas won the gold medal in the individual all-around, becoming the first African-American woman and first woman of color to win the event.[17][18][19][20] She is also the first American gymnast ever to win both the team and individual all-around gold at the same Olympics.[21]
Douglas is scheduled to take part in the finals of uneven bars on August 6 and balance beam on August 7.

Personal life

Douglas is the daughter of Timothy Douglas and Natalie Hawkins.[22] When Douglas moved to Iowa to train under Liang Chow, Douglas and her sister had to convince their mother to let Douglas leave Virginia and live with a host family in West Des Moines.[23][24]. Douglas is a devout Christian. In a post-win interview she said that “all the glory” for her win goes “to God. She also tweeted her thanks to God, stressing “may I never forget the good things he does for me.” After her victory, she was quoted as saying: “And I give all the glory to God, It's kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to Him and the blessings fall down on me.”[25]

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