Two weeks ago, Gabby Douglas nailed her dismount on the uneven bars at U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Trials to help her secure one of the five coveted spots on the team bound for Rio. Overall, the reigning Olympic all-around champ came in seventh place, but was valued by coach Marta Karolyi for her ability to perform under pressure.
Joining Douglas on Team USA is Madison Kocian who finished in eighth, and the top three overall finishers; Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez and Aly Raisman. The three replacement gymnasts that will also be traveling to Rio are McKayla Skinner, Ragan Smith and Ashton Locklear.
Douglas’ inclusion on the team coincided nicely with the release of her own Barbie Shero (she hero) doll by Mattel.
OLYMPIC ALL-AROUND CHAMPION
Four years ago, Douglas — coached by Liang Chow — became the first ever woman of color to win the Olympic all-around title with scores of 15.500 on beam, 15.966 on vault, 15.733 on uneven bars, and 15.033 on floor exercise.
The darling of America’s “Fierce Five”, Douglas was the focus of a media flurry after her London triumph. She took an extended break from training and relocated from Iowa to Los Angeles to take advantage of her celebrity.
ROAD TO RIO
In 2014, Lifetime produced The Gabby Douglas Story, a made-for-TV movie chronicling the gymnast’s odyssey from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Des Moines, Iowa, and her eventual star turn in London.
Now, training under Christian Gallardo at Buckeye Gymnastics in Columbus, Ohio, Douglas hopes to add yet another chapter to her Olympic story. The women’s qualification takes place on Sunday, August 7, and the team all-around is contested two days later.