Gabrielle Douglas is a sixteen year-old 4’-11″ dynamo from Virginia Beach, Virginia whose skills and expertise are in artistic gymnastics. Gabrielle is the daughter of Timothy Douglas and Natalie Hawkins. She began training in gymnastics at age six when her older sister, Arielle, convinced their mother to enroll her in gymnastics classes.When she was eight years old, Gabrielle won an all-around gymnastics award for her level at the 2004 Virginia State Championships. At age 14, Gabrielle moved from her home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to live with a host family in West Des Moines, Iowa, so she could train with Liang Chow, who was the coach of former world and Olympic champion Shawn Johnson. Martha Karolyi of the National Team Coordinator for USA Gymnastics and wife of the famed Bela Karolyi, nicknamed Gabrielle the “Flying Squirrel” for her aerial performance on the uneven bars.
Her favourite parts of gymnastics are the floor exercises and the balance beam. She enjoys Mexican and Italian food, her favourite book is Twilight, and she became interested in gymnastics because of her sister, Arielle, who was a ballroom dancer.
- 2010 Pan American Championships, team gold medal and gold on uneven bars
- 2011 World Championships, team gold medal
- 2012 Pacific Rim Championships, team gold medal and gold on uneven bars
Today, in the 2012 London Olympic Games, Gabrielle soared to all-around gold in the artistic gymnastics competition, making her the first American woman to win both the team gold and the individual all around title.
U.S. gymnast Gabrielle Douglas leaps into the air during her balance beam routine before going on to win the gold medal in the women’s all-around competition at the London Olympic Games on Thursday. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / August 2, 2012)
Congratulations , Gabby!