Gabby Douglas’ star is shining bright as she represents the U.S. at the London Olympics. 16 year old Douglas finished in first place during the U.S. Olympic trials which earned her a place on the U.S. team.
Douglas is the only Black female on the U.S. women’s team and she has high hopes of excelling like other African-American gymnasts who competed at the Olympics before her. She cites her top role model as Dominique Dawes who competed three times at the Olympics and was also the first African-American to win a medal in an individual Olympic gymnastics event.
The teen Olympian had the pleasure of meeting Dawes, gushing,
”It was actually supposed to be a surprise, and I was just so shocked and so thrilled after all these years I could finally meet my role model.”
Highly acclaimed Jordyn Wieber is the reigning world champion but was recently upset by Douglas at the U.S. Olympic trials. Douglas beat Wieber by one-10th of a point.
Speaking about one of her training partners, Shawn Johnson, who also did well at the 2008 U.S. Olympic trials, Douglas said she was gaining confidence from training with her, saying,
“I kind of watch her on the side sometimes seeing how quick and how precise her arms are on beam, so I kind of take that in. If she’s crooked she fixes it in the air, now she lands straight. So I kind of watch her and see how she handles the pressure.”
Douglas who has a bubbly personality said,
“I love showing off for the crowd, getting my release so high…I can just hear the gasp. They’re just like ‘Oh.’ And I’m just like, ‘I’m just going to catch the bar, guys, like calm down, I got this.’ Just seeing their reactions it’s so awesome.”
The 16 year old is optimistic about being successful in London. She is on what many speculate is the strongest U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team since 1996 in Atlanta. She is expected to have a big impact on the U.S. chances of winning the gold medal.