|— Gymnast —|
|Full name||Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas|
|Country represented||United States|
December 31, 1995 |
Virginia Beach, Virginia
|Residence||Virginia Beach, Virginia|
|Height||4 feet 11 inches (1.50 m)|
|Weight||90 pounds (41 kg)|
|Discipline||Women's artistic gymnastics|
|Level||Senior International Elite|
|Years on national team||2008–present|
|Former coach(es)||Dena Walker, Gustavo Moure, Liang Chow|
|Music||"Bon, Bon" (Pitbull, DJ Alvaro mix of "We No Speak Americano" by Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP)[note 1]|
Gabrielle Christina Victoria "Gabby" Douglas (born December 31, 1995) 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 all-around and team competitions. Douglas is the first African-American gymnast 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 as well as being the only American all-around champion to win multiple gold medals. She was also a member of the gold-winning U.S. team at the 2011 World Championships.
Douglas was born on December 31, 1995 to parents Timothy Douglas and Natalie Hawkins. She has three siblings. She began training in gymnastics at age two when her older sister, Arielle, convinced their mother to enroll her in gymnastics classes. In October 2002, Douglas began her training at Gymstrada Gymnastics in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In July 2004, she left Gymstrada and began training at Excalibur Gymnastics.
Gabby made her national debut in 2008 at the US Classic in Houston, Texas, where she placed 10th in the all-around rankings. She went on to compete at the 2008 Visa Championships in Boston, Massachusetts. Placing at #16 in that competition, Douglas was not eligible for the 2008 Junior Women's National Team.
In 2009, Douglas suffered a fracture in the growth plate of her wrist. Due to this injury, she was largely unable to compete and missed the 2009 CoverGirl US Classic. While she competed at the 2009 Visa Championships in Dallas, Texas, Douglas was unable to perform her full routines and competed only on balance beam and floor exercise.
In October, at age 14, Douglas moved from Virginia Beach to West Des Moines, Iowa, to train under Liang Chow, the former coach of 2007 World Champion and 2008 Summer Olympics gold medalist Shawn Johnson. Although Douglas' former coach, Walker, stated in 2012 that she was convinced Douglas could have made it to the Olympics if she had remained in Virginia Beach, Douglas said, "Something clicked in my head that said, if I really want to make this happen I need to get better coaching." The impetus for Douglas's move to Iowa was when Walker had invited Chow to teach a clinic at her gym, Excalibur. Douglas was impressed when Chow was able to teach her how to perform the Amanar vault in a single afternoon. Douglas considered a move to Texas to train with a renowned coach there, but after that coach declined to train her out of loyalty to Walker, Douglas selected Chow. Chow was initially skeptical, since Douglas had been just one of hundreds of kids at the clinic in Virginia Beach. However, Chow subsequently informed Douglas's Excalibur coaches that he had agreed to train her, but pointed out that he did not recruit her, saying, "I would never recruit anybody to my program."
Douglas earned the silver medal in uneven bars at the CoverGirl Classic in Chicago.
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.
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.
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. Márta Károlyi, the National Team Coordinator for USA Gymnastics, nicknamed Douglas the "Flying Squirrel" for her aerial performance on the uneven bars.
At the 2012 Olympic Trials held in San Jose, California, on July 1, Douglas placed first in the all-around rankings, securing the only guaranteed spot on the women's Olympic gymnastic team. Also in July, Douglas and her teammates were featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated Olympic Preview issue. This marked the first time an entire Olympic gymnastics team had been featured on the cover of the magazine. She appeared on Rock Center with Brian Williams on July 19, where she discussed her family background and Olympic ambitions. On July 20, Douglas was featured on one of five Time magazine Olympic covers.
Douglas and her teammates, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber (nicknamed the "Fierce Five"), won the team all-around gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. She then won the gold medal in the individual all-around, becoming the first African-American woman, as well as the first woman of color of any nationality, to win the event. She is also the first American gymnast ever to win both the team and individual all-around gold at the same Olympics. Douglas finished eighth in uneven bars, and seventh in balance beam. She is the first all-around champion to not medal in an individual event since women's gymnastics was added to the Olympics in 1952.
On August 3, the Kellogg Company announced that it would feature a picture of Douglas standing on the podium with her gold medal on special-edition boxes of Corn Flakes in the fall. This breaks the tradition of Olympic athletes appearing on Wheaties boxes. On August 13, Douglas appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, which also featured U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.[note 2]
On August 26, Douglas spoke about racist bullying at Excalibur Gymnastics in an interview with Oprah Winfrey and how it nearly made her quit the sport. She described an incident in which she had heard other girls at the gym say "Why doesn’t Gabby do it? She's our slave" when chalk needed to be scraped off the bars. The CEO of Excalibur Gymnastics, Gustavo Maure, has denied these claims.
In September 2012, Nintendo announced that Douglas would be part of a new ad campaign for New Super Mario Bros. 2. On September 6, Douglas participated in the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. She and her Fierce Five teammates introduced Alicia Keys, who sang "Girl on Fire". Keys was joined by Nicki Minaj who rapped her verses from the Inferno Remix of the song. When Minaj rapped the line "But I got 'em aggy, cause I win the gold like Gabby", Douglas appeared on stage and performed a brief routine containing cartwheels, jumps and back hand springs.
In December 2012, Douglas released her autobiography, Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith. The book debuted at number four on The New York Times Young Adult Bestseller List. In August 2013, Douglas moved to Los Angeles to be with her family. Although she is no longer training with Chow, she said that she is still preparing to compete in the 2016 Olympics.
Douglas had a small acting role on the Disney XD series Kickin It in the episode "Gabby's Gold", which aired on August 12, 2013.
Awards and honors
Douglas was a nominee for the Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year. In June 2013, Douglas received two BET Awards for her accomplishments.
In December, the Associated Press named her the Female Athlete of the Year. Douglas became the fourth gymnast to receive the honor. On September 4, Douglas led the Pledge of Allegiance at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The night before the election, Douglas appeared at President Barack Obama's campaign rally in Norfolk, Virginia, where she introduced Stevie Wonder and Olympic track and field gold medalist Francena McCorory.
Douglas is a Christian. Douglas has spoken about her faith saying, "I believe in God. He is the secret of my success. He gives people talent” and "... I love sharing about my faith. God has given me this amazing God-given talent, so I'm going to go out and glorify His name." Douglas' mother says her name means 'God's abled-bodied one'.
- Douglas, Gabrielle & Burford, Michelle (2012). Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith. Zondervan. 224pp. ISBN 978-0310740681.
- Douglas, Gabrielle (2013). Raising The Bar. Zondervan. 144 pp. ISBN 9780310740704
- Douglas responds on Twitter to Pitbull and acknowledges his "Bon, Bon" version. "Gabrielle Douglas – @gabrielledoug". Twitter. August 7, 2012. "@gabrielledoug Thank u for using Bon Bon 4 your floor routine...congrats on the golds! daleeeeeeee! Pitbull · Tue · RT · @ · ♥
haha lol!! Thanks np!!! :)) gabrielledoug · Tue · RT · @ · ♥"
"Bon Bon" samples DJ Alvaro's mix of "We No Speak Americano" by Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP so Associated Press has used the latter when referring to Douglas's floor music: "USA Douglas wins All-Around Gold". Fox Sports. Associated Press. August 2, 2012. "Unlike most gymnasts, who may as well use elevator music it matter so little, her We Speak No Americano is as big a part of her routine as any trick."[dead link]
- During the interview, Douglas mentioned a post-Olympics celebratory purchase of an Egg McMuffin from McDonald's, which Obama teased her afterward.
"Michelle Obama scolds Gabby Douglas for fast-food splurge". Entertainment Tonight (MSN.com). 14 August 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2014. – includes video from ETonline.com
The Monday metered ratings for Douglas's appearance were the highest for the talk show in 2012 since the night after the Super Bowl.
Patten, Dominic (2012-08-14). "Gabby Douglas & Michelle Obama Give ‘Tonight Show’ A Bump". Deadline.com.
- "Gabby Douglas". sports-reference.com. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- Macur, Juliet (2 August 2012). "A Very Long Journey Was Very Swift". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- Corneau, Allison (2 August 2012). "Gabby Douglas Wins Gold in Women's All-Around Olympic Gymnastics". Us Weekly.
- "Gabrielle Douglas Bio – USA Gymnastics". Retrieved 8 October 2011.
- Pucin, Diane (18 June 2012). "Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas adjusts well to spring to the top". Los Angeles Times.
- Suhay, Lisa (30 July 2012). "Olympic women's gymnastics: Gabby Douglas and parenting gold". Christian Science Monitor.
- Emmert, Mark (July 2, 2012). "Assist from sister sends Gabby Douglas to London". USA Today.
- Douglas, Gabrielle and, Burford, Michelle (2012). Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith. New York: Harper Collins. p. 36. ISBN 0310740614.
- Emmert, Mark (27 July 2012). "2012 Olympics: Gabby Douglas' former coach still feels sting". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- Luca, Olivia (July 7, 2012). "From her living room to London: Gabby Douglas strives for success at Olympics". San Jose Mercury News.
- "Gabby Douglas". NBCOlympics.com. Retrieved August 6, 2012.[dead link]
- Douglas, Gabrielle and, Burford, Michelle (2012). Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith. New York: Harper Collins. pp. 92, 93. ISBN 0310740614.
- Douglas, Gabrielle and, Burford, Michelle (2012). Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith. New York: Harper Collins. pp. 92, 93. ISBN 0310740614.
- Emmert, Mark (15 July 2012). "Gabby Douglas' West Des Moines family can't imagine life without Olympian". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Taylor, Phil (2 August 2012). "Life-changing victory for Douglas". SI.com (SportsIllustrated.CNN.com). Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Robinson, Tom (29 March 2012). "For gymnast, it's Olympic dreams and hard feelings". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- "U.S. wins women's gymnastics title". UPI. October 11, 2011.
- Turner, Amanda (21 September 2011). "Wieber Leads US Women's Team to Tokyo". InternationalGymnast. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Gabby Douglas after Dominating the 2012 American Cup, Despite Being the Meet's Alternate". Gymnastike.org. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- "Pac Rim Championships – Senior Event Finals Results". 18 March 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- Florek, Michael (July 29, 2012). "10 things you may not know about US gymnast Gabby Douglas". USA TODAY.
- Pucin, Diane (2012-07-02). "Gabrielle Douglas gets guaranteed spot on women's gymnastics team". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-07-27.
- "Flying Squirrel and Wieber Fever Meet in London". The New York Times. Reuters. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2012-07-28.[dead link]
- Emmert, Mark. "Gabby Douglas, gymnastics team make Sports Illustrated cover". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Dalbey, Beth (2012-07-19). "America Watches As Gymnast Gabby Douglas Heads to London 2012 Olympics". West Des Moines Patch. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Florek, Michael. "Ryan Lochte, Gabby Douglas, Lolo Jones get TIME covers". USA Today. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Armour, Nancy (July 31, 2012). "Americans live up to the hype and then some, adding 1st Olympic gold since ‘96 to world title". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2012-08-31. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Rexrode, Joe. "With Fab Five , U.S. gymnasts pick Fierce Five". usatoday.com. August 9, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- Hinnen, Jerry (2 August 2012). "Gabby Douglas wins all-around gold medal". CBS Sports. "Douglas – the first woman of color, of any nationality, to win the event"
- Wolfe, Sarag (2 August 2012). "US gymnast Gabby Douglas wins all-around gold medal". GlobalPost.
- Whiteside, Kelly (2 August 2012). "USA's Gabby Douglas takes gold in women's all-around". USA Today.
- Clarke, Liz (2 August 2012). "Gabby Douglas wins gold in women’s gymnastics all-around; Aly Raisman loses tie for bronze". The Washington Post.
- Rogers, Martin (6 August 2012). "Gabby Douglas fails to repeat magic on bars but remains the darling of Olympic gymnastics". Sports.Yahoo.com. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "London 2012, Gymnastics Artistic, Women's Apparatus, Final – Uneven Bars" (PDF). Usagym.org. 2012-08-06.
- Stiles, Adam (7 August 2012). "2012 London Olympics: Gabby Douglas Falls Off Balance Beam In Final". Washington, DC: SB Nation. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
- "Protest, near perfection lift USA's Aly Raisman –". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
- Jiggetts, Lauren (3 August 2012). "Gabby Douglas Gets Cereal Box Billing". NBC News. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Chen, Joyce (2012-08-27). "Gabby Douglas to Oprah: I was 'bullied,' called 'slave' during early gymnastics training in Virginia". New York Daily News.
- Finn, Natalie (2012-08-27). "Gabby Douglas' Ex-Gym Denies Claim of Bullying, Racism: "We Are Good People"". E! News Online. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
- "Gabby Douglas Goes For Gold In New Super Mario Bros. 2 Ad" (YouTube). Nintendo. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Trust, Gary (2012-09-07). "Weekly Chart Notes: tobyMac, Alanis Morissette, Alicia Keys". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2012-09-08.
- Markman, Rob (2012-09-06). "Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys Deliver Golden VMA Performance With Gabby Douglas". MTV News. (Viacom International). Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- Anon. (2012-09-07). "Gabby Douglas Does Gymnastics During Alicia Keys Nicki Minaj VMA Performance". TheHollywoodGossip.com. Retrieved 2012-09-08.
- Finn, Natalie (2012-09-07). "Five Biggest Jaw-Droppers From the MTV Video Music Awards". E! Online. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
- "Gabby Douglas to Publish Inspirational Memoir". People. 6 September 2012.
- "Best Sellers Young Adult". The New York Times. 23 December 2012.
- Miller, Bryce (August 21, 2013). "Gabrielle Douglas no longer living, training in Iowa". Des Moines Register.[dead link]
- Armour, Nancy (December 21, 2012). "Gabby Douglas Wins AP Female Athlete Of The Year Honors". Associated Press. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Gabby Douglas Leads the Pledge of Allegiance at the 2012 Democratic National Convention". CBS News. 19 November 2012.
- "Gabby Douglas Appears at Rally for Barack Obama" (Twitter). Gymnastics Coaching.com. 19 November 2012. – reprint of Twitter post
- "Gabrielle Douglas".
- "Olympic Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas Says Faith Is Her Foundation".
- "Gabby Douglas Tweets Bible Verses; Christian Rapper Lecrae Applauds Her Devotion".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gabby Douglas.|
- Official website
- Gabrielle Douglas at Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique
- Gabrielle Douglas at USA Gymnastics
- Gabrielle Douglas at the United States Olympic Committee
- Gabrielle Douglas on Twitter
- "'Brie & Her Big Cheese' – Gabby's Family Blog".