From Hating the Vault to Liking It, Gabby Douglas Reveals the Immense Strength It Took To Come Back to the Mat

Published 02/07/2024, 1:00 PM EST

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US artistic gymnast Gabby Douglas announces her triumphant return to elite competition after a challenging seven-year hiatus. Following her memorable performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Douglas stepped away from the sport due to mental health concerns. Now, with determination, she is back on track, poised to confront the hurdles of the Olympic year with renewed passion.

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However, Douglas enters a fiercely competitive arena, vying for a coveted spot among the five-woman Olympic squad, alongside luminaries like Simone Biles, the 2016 Olympic champion, and Sunisa Lee, the 2020 Olympic champion. Despite the anticipation surrounding her comeback, recent disclosures underscore the formidable challenges she faces on her journey back to the pinnacle of gymnastics excellence.

Gabby Douglas: backflipping through adversity to gymnastics

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A recent publication from Inside Gymnastics Magazine shed light on Gabby Douglas’ remarkable journey back into competitive gymnastics. Despite her current success, Douglas has had to endure rigorous training and overcome doubts since her return to the gym in July 2022. Initially faced with daunting challenges, she recalls struggling with basic skills like kips on the bars, prompting moments of uncertainty about her decision to continue. However, as Douglas immersed herself in the daily grind of training with unwavering consistency, mastering these skills gradually became second nature to her.

Now at the age of 28, Douglas finds herself not only refining her existing skills but also embracing the thrill of learning new ones. Notably, she has introduced a breathtaking combination on the uneven bars, a move she has never before attempted in competition. Yet, beyond the technical prowess, what truly shines through is Douglas’ newfound passion for the sport.

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The Paris Dream Team

Since 2022, Douglas has been diligently preparing for a potential appearance at the upcoming Olympics. With a focused mindset, she approaches the possibility of competing in the event, emphasizing a day-by-day approach to her training and readiness for the competition. In the race for spots on the U.S. Olympic women’s team, all eyes are on former all-around gold medalists Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, and Gabby Douglas. Should all three secure positions, they would collectively represent the last three Olympic all-around champions.

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The final selection, however, rests in the hands of a committee tasked with determining the team composition. Douglas, known for her prowess on the uneven bars, clinched all-around gold at the 2012 London Olympics at the age of 17. After a hiatus from competition, she resumed training at the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in 2022, following in the footsteps of past Olympic champions Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin.

ALSO READ – As Gabby Douglas Skips NTC, Simone Biles Admits She Is the Reason for Legend’s Gymnastics Success

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Written by:

Maleehah Shakeel

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Hey, I'm a fervent US sports writer at EssentiallySports, where my passion for sports seamlessly intertwines with the art of storytelling. I've honed my skills in crafting engaging narratives and offering insightful analysis within the realm of US sports, with a special expertise in equestrian sports. Equestrian sports aren't merely a fascination; they hold an irreplaceable spot in my heart.
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Edited by:

Sampurna Pal

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