Gabby Douglas

2012 Olympic Gold Medalist

"Grace, Gold and Glory: My Leap of Faith"

Gabrielle Douglas was the Gold All-Around medalist at the Summer 2012 Olympic Games in London, but did not always have an easy life. She was not one of those gymnasts who did a cartwheel and was automatically an olympian. Her story is special and unique. Not only was she the first African American Gold All-Around gymnast, but she is the first ever All-Around gymnast that was once homeless. Most elites grew up with their parents in the gym. Gabby lived in a mini-van.

When Gabby was a little kid, her sister Ariel came home from gymnastics practice and taught her the skills she learned that day. Soon Gabby mastered the one handed cartwheel, and her mom noticed how great she was, so they put her in classes. She started off at a local gym, and then had to move to another because of her great talent. She qualified for TOP's a program for young children who could possibly become grow elite gymnasts. Everyone at the gym loved Gabby. She was a bubbly little girl. The older gymasts even helped her master her kip. Ariel had to give up gymnastics so her sister could do the sport.

The Douglas family did not have enough money. Gabby's mom was a single parent, with three children.

At age fourteen Gabby made the decision to leave her hometown of Virginia Beach to Iowa, to make her dream become a reality. The coach Liang Chow, brought 2008 Silver Medalist Shawn Johnson to the olympics. After a major loss in a national competition Gabby did not want to go back to the gym. She wanted to quit. Her mom refused to let her do this. Gabby would of had thrown away everything. Her talent, and especially her mom's money. The whole family lived apart, and did not have a lot of money all because of Gabby's sport: gymnastics.

Gabby took the right path, and continued training. At the AT&T American Cup, she had a stellar performance, but did not win because it was only an exibition. Later on at the Olympic Trials she came in first place, automatically winning her ticket to London.

On August 2nd 2012 Gabrielle Douglas became the champion. Viktoria Komova of Russia in 2nd place, and Aliya Mustafina of Russia coming in third. (Who tied with American gymnast Alexandria Raisman, but Aliya got the medal). Gabby's dream became a reality.

Gabby Douglas All Around London Olympics

Gymnastics Dictionary

All-Around: (Noun)- Your combined score for all four events (bars, beam, floor, vault) The highest all around score wins. These gymnasts compete on all four pieces of equipment. The All-Around is the most important part of the competition.

Elites: (Noun)- These gymnasts are level 10 and higher, and can compete national, or international competitions.

TOPs: (Noun)- A special program for 7-10 year olds who have major talent. They train very hard. TOPs stands for Talent Opportunity Program.

Gymnastics Exibition: (Noun)- When a gymnast will compete and get scored, but their score will not count. It is usually for expirence, or enjoyment for the crowd.

Vikotoria Komova: (Proper Noun)- Gymnast from Russia who's known for her extremely hard routines, and well execution. She was robbed from first place at Worlds in Tokyo, and at the 2012 olympics.

Aliya Mustafina: (Proper Noun)- Gymnast from Russia who just got back from rupturing her ACL. She is known for her beauty and grace combined with powerful skills.

Alexandria Raisman: (Proper Noun)- Alexandria Raisman a gymnast from the USA also known as Aly. She was part of the Fierce Five, and was the team captain. She is known for her perfect floor routine, and excellent beam routine. Aly also stole Jordyn Wiebers spot for the All-Around finals.

Kip: (Noun)- The hardest bar skill to get, but is the most common skill for a bar routine. This skill is based on timing and strength. The gymnast glides out to a full extension, then shoots her legs to the sky, and pulls herself up to the bar as if she were "pulling up her pants".