Sixteen-year-old Gabby Douglas knows what it takes to reach her goals. When she was just 14, the pint-sized gymnast left her close-knit family in Virginia Beach to move to Iowa to train with a world-renowned coach.

“It definitely has made me stronger and more mature,” says Douglas. “And it’s temporary. I’m not going to be away from them forever.”

Douglas hopes her sacrifice will pay off at this weekend’s Olympic Trials, where she hopes to score a spot on the team.

Dubbed “the Flying Squirrel” by Marta Karolyi, the U.S. team coordinator, Douglas’ best event is the uneven bars, traditionally a weak spot for Americans.

Since bursting on the scene, Douglas has emerged as one of the top contenders this year. She finished just 0.2 points behind the reigning world champion Jordyn Wieber two weeks ago and could help the Americans win big at this year’s games in London.

Although she says she was once shy, the teen dynamo seems poised for the spotlight.

“I used to be sooo shy,” she told the Associated Press. “Now I’m like, ‘Lah, lah, lah. Lah, lah, lah. … I’m just ready to go out there and perform. I’m so ready to take on this journey.”


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  • hope she makes it. go gabby!

  • i was watching the qualifying rounds for the olympics and i’ve noticed there are a LOT of beautiful black gymnists that are representin honey!!!!!! i’ve never seen so many black gymnists on one team! i forgot WHICH team but i think like 2 made it to the olympics so far.

  • Oh I love this sport. Bravo for her. I grew up watching Black gymnasts Dominque Dawes and Betty Orkenko(sp)

    • Lady P

      I was viewing a clip of Gabby recently. She is for sure a breath of fresh air. Great talent..

    • who run the world?…GOD

      Dominique Dawes was my girl growing up! Best of luck to Gabby!!

  • Marisa

    Good luck Gabby my favorites gymnast were Awesome Dawesome and Shannon Miller so finally I got another favorite gymnast

  • Sonia Wiggins

    I also grew up watching Dominque Daws and I feel she never got the credit she deserved. I watched the Olympic trials this year and the commentators said Jordyn Wieber stepped out of bounds during here floor exercise on day 1. The judges didn’t deduct for it. It seems they wanted Jordyn Wieber to be in first place. I am so proud of Gabby!!!!!!!