Why is Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas important?

Gabrielle “Gabby” Christina Victoria Douglas (1995–), then a sixteen-year-old gymnastic phenomenon and a member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London, became the first African American to win a gold medal in the women’s all-around final competition. She is also the third straight American to win gymnastics’ biggest prize at the Olympics. Gabby came away with two gold medals as she and her “Fierce Five” teammates won team gold two nights earlier. The “Flying Squirrel,” as she is also nicknamed, was allowed to leave her mother, two sisters, and brother in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to live with a host family and train with her new coach, Liang Chow, in Des Moines, Iowa.


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