The starting point was 2022. The United States won the gold medal for teams at the Liverpool World Cup, Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade won the individual All Around and Gabrielle Douglas thought from a distance: “I miss competing”. At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where she won the third gold medal of her career, it was her last appearance in professional gymnastics.
Douglas took the next step in July last year when she announced that she would seek to be part of the American artistic gymnastics team at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and has now confirmed when she will return: the Winter Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 24.
“I’m still a competitor at heart, so I decided to go back to training. Then I found myself at the gym and thought, ‘Okay, maybe we can do this again, ‘”Gabby revealed, in an interview with Hallie Jackson NOW.
The 28-year-old Virginia-born won her first gold medal in London 2012, where she also became a team player alongside McKayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber. They were known as the Fierce Five. Four years later, In Rio, she repeated the title with Simone Biles, Alexandra Raisman, Madison Kocian and Lauren Hernandez (the Final Five).
“I never really announced my retirement. I never wanted to finish this sport like I did in 2016. I wanted to take a step back and work on myself. Work on my mental state. I love gymnastics. I love to push myself every day and I love sports, so I never wanted to leave on a bad day. And I really want to make sure I give it my all and finish on a good note,” said the world champion in 2011 and 2015.
“I would love to come back and represent the United States one more time and have that feeling of being part of something, to be part of a team again would be incredible and a great honor,” Douglas acknowledged.
After moving away from professional activity, Gabrielle acknowledged in 2017 that she was one of the victims of Larry Nassar, a team doctor reported by 125 gymnasts and sentenced in 2018 to 175 years in prison for sexual abuse.
Gabby Douglas’ path to the Olympics
The Winter Cup in Louisville will be the first of several competitions in which Douglas will participate, who is training at WOGA Gymnastics with double Olympic champion Valeri Liukin, father of five-time medalist Nastia Liukin.
“I am very grateful that my body can withstand this sport and I have been recovering a lot,” said Douglas, who acknowledged that she is pointing to asymmetric bars, a device that has historically done well for her and one of the weaknesses of the United States team.
The Trials that will define those selected for Paris 2024 will be held from June 27 to 30 in Minneapolis and those who will take part will be announced a month earlier at the United States Championship in Fort Worth, Texas. “Wow guys, what a journey so far. It has had its ups and downs, but I haven’t finished pushing the boundaries. I am determined to make every moment count! Very happy to return and enjoy this sport that I fell in love with as a child. Let’s toast to never giving up on our dreams. Let’s do this,” Gabby wrote on her social media. The dream is afoot.