On Saturday, 20-year-old Douglas won the American Cup at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, which was her first gold since winning the Olympic all-around in London in 2012. There have only been six American women who have gone on to compete in two Olympic competitions since 1980. Thus far, the only woman who has gotten gold medalist twice was Věra Čáslavská in 1968. No pressure, Gabby.
“From the bottom of my heart, I really believe that I can achieve more,” Douglas said. “And it’s just not for the wrong intentions. I’m like, ‘Guys, I’m back. I’m serious.’ I feel like gradually and the more and more I keep proving that, I really hope that people believe it.”
Douglas finished the competition with a score of 60.165 after getting the highest score on every challenge except for the floor exercise. The gymnastic coach and former national team coordinator Bela Karolyi has a lot to say about Douglas.
“I’ve never seen something like that in my life,” said Karolyi, husband of current national team coordinator Martha Karolyi. “If somebody in my life has a chance to repeat, she’s the one.”
At this point, the only person who can take the gold from Douglas is her teammate Simone Biles, the three-time defending world champion.
“If she manages to add, to update the difficulty level of the performances, then she’s going to be a hell of a competitor for Simone,” said Bela Karolyi. “These two, again, they’re going to be able to show us to a major performance in the coming Olympic Games.”
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)