Gabby Douglas wowed the world at the 2012 London Olympics when she became the first African American to win the individual all-around in gymnastics and helped lead the U.S. women's team to its first gold medal since 1996.
Her life hasn't slowed down since. Between appearances + endorsement deals, Gabby's written 2 books, released a bio-pic and even appeared on an episode of The CW's hit show The Vampire Diaries.
Now she's back in the gym hoping for another shot at Olympic gold in 2016 in Brazil.
barrier-breaking | at 16 years old, the first African American to win the Olympic gold medal in the individual all-around gymnastics event
nearly quitting | the year before the Olympics, she almost gave up gymnastics to work at Chick-fil-A because she was so homesick
~ she was living + training with her coach in Iowa ~
avoiding hair drama | "Are you kidding me? I just made history. And you're focusing on my hair?"
~ August 6, 2014 ~
2004 | at age 8, named Virgina State Gymnastics champion
2012 | won 2 Olympic gold medals at the summer games, London, England: individual all-around and team gymnastics
2013 | featured at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Washington, DC, Gabby's gymnastics memorabilia from the 2012 Olympics on display
from | to
Olympic gold medalist | author of two books: Grace, Gold, & Glory: My Leap of Faith and Raising the Bar
gymnast | featured in Lifetime network bio "The Gabby Douglas Story"
~ watched by nearly 4 million people when it first aired in February 2014 ~
December 31, 1995
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas
~ what her family calls her ~
~ what Olympic team coordinator and coaching legend Márta Károlyi nicknamed her because she soars through difficult moves during her uneven bars routine ~
The United States of America
Natalie Hawkins + Timothy Douglas
Arielle Hawkins, her older sister
~ convinced their mother to enroll Gabby in gymnastic classes ~
Johnathan, her older brother
Joyelle, her older sister
trained in | trained with
at 14, she moved to West Des Moines, Iowa | coach Liang Chow
at 17, moved to California | coach Chris Waller
2 dogs, Zoe and Chandler
her mother, Nat
in her spare time
listens to music
~ Rihanna, Beyonce, Kanye West ~
enjoys books & tv shows about fictional vampires
boogie boards at the beach
reads motivational quotes | her favorite:
"Nothing is impossible. Even the word says 'I'm possible.'"
~ Audrey Hepburn
@gabrielledougcollapse bio bits
"You know, God has a plan for me, and I'm going to follow in his footsteps and just rejoice and be happy."Gabrielle Douglas closes in on amazing feat: making the U.S. Olympic team | june 2012
"I have an advantage because I’m the underdog and I’m black and no one thinks I’d ever win."Gabby Douglas' Long Journey to Gymnastics Gold | august 2012
"It’s very tough for me to focus. I’m like: ‘Look, something shiny! No, focus. Oh, there goes a butterfly!’"Gabby Douglas' Long Journey to Gymnastics Gold | august 2012
"My mom used to tell me when I was little, 'When it rains, it's God's manifestation, a big day's waiting to happen.'"People Magazine | august 2012
"Gold medals are made out of your sweat, blood and tears and effort in the gym every day."Gabby Douglas | august 2012
"God has given me this awesome talent to represent Him. Glory goes up to Him, and the blessings fall down on us."U.S. gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas: 'glory goes' to God | august 2012
London 2012 Olympic gold medal
Eustace Dauger | CC BY-SA 2.0
Barack Obama Meets Members of the 2012 Olympic Gymnastics Team
President Barack Obama meets with members of the Gold Medal-winning US Olympic Gymnastics Team, including All-Around Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
Gabby Douglas mural
A mural of Gabby with her gold.
Vic Damoses | CC BY-ND 2.0