Many people outside of the gymnastics world probably didn’t know the name Gabby Douglas until this week, but they won’t soon forget her now. On Thursday, August 2nd, 2012, Douglas’ wildest dreams came true when all of her hard work payed off and she won the Individual All-Around competition in the women’s gymnastics olympic games.
At 14, Douglas left her home in Virginia Beach and moved 1,200 miles away to West Des Moines, Iowa to train for the olympics with a coach from China. The New York Times reports, “Liang Chow, who had coached the Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, transformed Douglas into one of the best gymnasts in the world, helping her skyrocket from an average member of the national team to the top of the sport. And a couple with four young daughters became her second family, nurturing her in Iowa while her real family supported her from afar.” Not everyone would make this sort of sacrifice, but for Douglas, she knew it was the only way.
Fast forward to the 2012 London Olympic Games and Douglas has made history. She is not only the first African-American woman to win the all-around competition, but she is also only the fourth American woman to win the individual all-around. Only Mary Lou Retton, Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin precede her. Her individual all-around gold medal comes only two days after “The Fierce Five” won gold in the team all-around competition. Douglas said, “I wanted to seize the moment. It hasn’t sunk in yet. Team finals hasn’t sunk in yet. But it will.”
These days, gymnastics takes a toll on it’s athletes and they only land up competing in one olympic games, but we have a feeling this isn’t the last time we’re seeing Douglas. She has made her mark and we are so happy for her! Congratulations on making history Gabby! You are one of a kind and a true Renegade Chick!