USA’s Gabby Douglas takes gold in women’s all-around
LONDON – In a moment all about color — gold, silver and bronze —U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas made history winning the most coveted hue of all, Olympic gold. Douglas, 16, became the first African-American, the first woman of color, to win the all-around title.
In her final event, the floor, Douglas began her routine to cheers of “Go Gabby!” As her techno music played, she had the crowd dancing as she turned North Greenwich Arena into Club Gabby. Cheers filled the place as she finished, her smile spread even wider as she fell into a bear hug from her coach,Liang Chow.
Douglas also was hoping to become the first woman of color to win the Olympic all-around gold. She also was hoping to be the African-American female gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal since Dominique Dawes did in ’96. “She was one of my inspirations and role models growing up,” Douglas said.
At 14, Douglas moved away from her family in Virginia Beach to train in Des Moines, Iowa with Chow, who also coached Shawn Johnson, the Olympic silver medalist. Leaving home at such a young age, and adjusting to a new environment and host family was challenging.
In the past, Douglas has been undone by her nerves. Last year at the Visa Championships, Douglas imploded finishing seventh in the all-round. She said that experience helped steeled her for high-stake competitions ahead. “I think I’ve improved so much with the mental situation,” Douglas said before London
“I learned about being a competitor,” Douglas said. “No one is going to feel sorry for you. No one is going to be like, ‘Ooh, you fell.’ This is going to be my chance to shine. You have to go out there and be fierce.