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Gabby Douglas returning to competitive gymnastics ahead of the Paris Olympics

Gabby Douglas returning to competitive gymnastics ahead of the Paris Olympics
Posted at 4:10 PM, Feb 08, 2024

Gabby Douglas wants to go to Paris.

The 28-year-old recently announced that she is hoping for a shot at the 2024 Summer Olympics. During a recent Hallie Jackson NOW interview, Douglas said that she has missed gymnastics and is not ready to retire.

“I would just love to go back out there and represent USA one more time and just to have that feeling of being a part of something, being a part of a team again would be amazing and a huge honor,” the 2012 all-around champion said.

MORE: Olympic gymnasts: Where are they now?

Douglas is a three-time Olympic champion, and she is also the first Black gymnast to ever win an all-around gold.

But her success came at a cost.

Douglas has been forthright about the criticism she endured while training for the Rio de Janiero 2016 Summer Olympics. As part of the “Final Five” (an illustrious group that included other top American gymnasts, including Simone Biles and Aly Raisman) at the Rio De Janeiro games, Douglas was scrutinized on a global stage.

Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas on podium at competition in 2016
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Douglas was criticized for everything from her hair to her facial expressions, and for not putting a hand on her heart during the national anthem.

In 2022, she shared a message on Instagram letting her fans know that she needed time for her mental health.

“I know I don’t post a lot about gymnastics, but I have my reasons,” she wrote in the caption for clips of her performances. “Behind the scenes there were so many egregious things that I went through on the road to my 2nd games. I went through hell x2 and I lost my joy, I lost my passion, my fire, my love, and then myself. There are still so many things that have been left in the dark, hidden.”

Gabby Douglas on the vault
AP, Tony Gutierrez

In the following years, Douglas has largely stayed out of the public eye, but she knew she wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the Olympics forever. She has been training with famed USA Gymnastics coach Valeri Liukin in North Texas.

Douglas recently shared a video featuring her training on Instagram, along with the caption, “wow guys, what a journey so far. it’s had its ups and downs, but i’m not done pushing the boundaries. i’m determined to make every moment count! SO happy to get back out on the competition floor and enjoy this sport that i fell in love with as a little girl. here’s to never giving up on our dreams. let’s do this.”

She’s looking strong. In a video she shared on TikTok in December titled “arm workout,” Douglas jumps up to grab the uneven bars, pulls halfway into a pull-up … and then just holds that position for a bit.

@gabbydouglas arm workout fr 🥵#fyp #gymnastics ♬ TWINNEM – Coi

Douglas’s return to competition will begin at the Winter Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, on Feb. 24. She will be the oldest gymnast competing there.

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