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Missing Out on National Camp, Gabby Douglas Imparts Wisdom to the World: ‘(Medals) Don’t Define You’

Published 04/02/2024, 7:56 PM EDT

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Amid the USA Gymnastics National Training Camp madness, Gabby Douglas is ‘having her own camp and slaying’. While some of her US comrades are paving the way to the Pacific Rim Championships and the City of Jesolo Trophy, the 28-year-old has better plans. Ahead of her entry at the 2024 Paris Olympics, after 8 years of absence, she’s surfacing with her life stories.

On March 28, at Hartford, Douglas was the prized Keynote speaker for Trinity’s celebration of Women’s Herstory Month. The TASA (Trinity African Students Association) and Trinity’s Women & Gender Resource Action Center (WGRAC)-organized event saw the Olympian share that side of hers that goes beyond and above gymnastic achievements.

Gabby Douglas has the best advice for the young crowd

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The public she addressed at Hartford mostly consisted of young student-athletes, especially women and girls. The 2012 London Olympics all-around gold medalist became the first woman of color to bag an all-around gold. But wearing that experience on her sleeves, the 28-year-old expresses her love for gymnastics not for the accolades but for the passion. Beyond athleticism, she wants to inspire others along the way. “I want to be a good role model to everyone”, said she. “Enjoy every single moment along the way… medals and accolades are amazing but they don’t define you as a person”, she added further.

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Shedding light on the atrocities of gymnastics, Douglas advised the young crowd to take a step back and reflect. Her words were not only a major takeaway for the audience but also a story they could keep as a reference. Since her Winter Cup absence erased her National Camp chance as well, what’s next?

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Douglas’ quiet comeback can happen in April

Starting April 25 is the American Classic, where Gabby Douglas might have a fair chance to get back to competition. Next up is the US Classic, where the Olympian can stun the Hartford crowd again. These two events will act as the springboard to the high-stakes US Championships, which will push the athletes closer to their Olympic dreams.

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She could have stayed away from the sport, but some realizations happen late but are for the best after all. “I did a lot of journaling, reflecting, soul searching and found myself back where it all began,” wrote the 28-year-old in a post earlier. Time will tell whether the 2016 Rio Olympics team gold medalist’s luck will be favored or not.

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Written by:

Agnijeeta Majumder

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Agnijeeta Majumder is an Olympic Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Being a former sprinter herself, Agnijeeta takes a specific interest in field events. She covers track and field, equestrian sports, alpine skiing, and gymnastics.
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Edited by:

Bhujaya Ray Chowdhury