Games & medals
Rio de Janeiro 2016
|#3 r1/2||Gymnastics||Individual All-Around|
|#9 r1/2||Gymnastics||Floor Exercise|
|#=7 r1/2||Gymnastics||Balance Beam|
|#33 r1/2||Gymnastics||Floor Exercise|
Gold medals are made out of your sweat, blood and tears, and effort in the gym every day, and sacrificing a lot.”
Number of medals
3 Olympic medals
2 Olympic Games
Gabrielle DOUGLAS biography
Gabby Douglas blazed a trail for USA women’s gymnastics. The 5’3” (1.60m)-tall Los Angeles resident was the first U.S. gymnast to win the all-around and team titles at the same Olympic Games and the first African-American to take home Olympic gymnastics gold – both feats that the storied Simone Biles has now replicated.
The signs were present early that Douglas was different. Aged just three she was scaling the doorframes all over her house and admiring the view. Within a week of being shown a cartwheel by her elder sister, Douglas was performing them one-armed, prompting her sibling to suggest she enrol in gymnastics.
By the time she was nine, Douglas knew she wanted to be an Olympic champion. Five years later she sacrificed her family life, moving from Virginia to Iowa to train with celebrated coach Liang Chow. It brought near-instant reward with Douglas crowned team world champion in 2011, when she was still only 16.
It was not all smooth, however. Before grabbing World Championship gold for the first time, an injured Douglas fell seven times during the televised 2011 USA National Championships. Her confidence beaten, it took a new coaching team and regime to persuade her she could do it all.
“It was that drive, it was ‘I’m not going to be embarrassed again. I have a talent and I’m going to use it,’,” Douglas revealed.
Fuelled by her mum’s mantra that she must ‘inspire a generation’, Douglas came out firing in 2012. At the Olympic Games in London she was unstoppable in the blue riband all-around event, before following it up with team gold. Douglas the only one of the USA quintet nicknamed the ‘Fierce Five’ to compete on all four apparatus.
Four years later Douglas was back again showing the kind of tenacity for which she was always lauded. Throwing off unwarranted social media criticism, Douglas once again triumphed in the team event to win her third Olympic gold.
“It takes a lot to be an Olympic athlete,” Douglas told Time magazine in 2017. “You have to be amazing, and you have to work hard. You may have a talent, but the people who work harder than you will surpass you.”