Gabrielle Douglas Captures Gold, First Black Woman to Take Home All-Around Individual Title

Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas
Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas

16-year-old Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas made history last Thursday by becoming the first African- American woman to win the all-around individual gold title in gymnastics. Douglas also captured gold in the team all-around competitions in gymnastics.

Douglas said she owes most of her success to her coach, Liang Chow, with helping her fight through the obstacles that paved her way to Olympic gold. She began training with Chow when she was 14. Douglas eventually moved from her home in Virginia Beach, Va., to be closer to Chow’s gym in West Des Moines, Iowa. She lived in Des Moines with a surrogate family and trained with 2008 Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson.

Under Coach Chow’s direction, she competed in her first elite meet at the 2010 Covergirl Classic in Chicago, IL. That same year, she also competed in the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup, where she placed fourth in the all-around.

Douglas was born on December 31, 1995 in Virginia Beach, VA. When Douglas was 3-years-old, her older sister, Arielle, a former gymnast, taught her how to do a perfectly straight cartwheel. By 4-years-old, she had taught herself how to do a cartwheel with one hand.

She started formal gymnastics training at Gymstrada in October of 2002 at 6-years-old. Just two years later she went on to become 2004’s Virginia State Champion.

In June, Gabby competed in the VISA Championships and finished second in the all-around, just two tenths of a point behind the leader. She also won a bronze medal for her floor routine and a gold medal for her uneven bars routine.

Douglas will now take home the endorsement gold as she has been picked to be the face of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.

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