Status at the medal podium on August 2, 2012, Gabrielle Douglas made historical past in additional tactics than one.
At that 12 months’s summer time Olympics in London, 16-year-old Douglas took the sector through typhoon. In a extremely aggressive and entertaining ladies’s inventive gymnastics pageant, Douglas simply edged out Russia’s Viktoria Komova to develop into the fourth American girl to win Olympic gold within the person all-around — becoming a member of Mary Lou Retton (1984), Carly Patterson (2004) and Nastia Liukin (2008).
Douglas, who grew up in Virginia Seaside, additionally broke a big barrier, turning into the primary girl of colour of any nationality to win a gold medal within the tournament.
In conjunction with Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross, Douglas had additionally gained gold within the staff tournament two days prior to. The “Fierce 5,” as they dubbed themselves, used to be the primary American staff to win gold because the “Magnificent Seven” in 1996.
In 2012, Gabrielle Douglas turned into the primary girl of colour to win gold within the ladies’s person throughout. (Photograph: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports activities)
Dominique Dawes used to be a key member of the Magnificent Seven, and he or she laid down the marker for Douglas when she turned into the first Black athlete of any nationality or gender to win an Olympic-gold-medal in inventive gymnastics and the the primary African American girl to win a person Olympic medal (bronze within the flooring workout).
However Douglas did Dawes and each and every different American gymnast that got here prior to her one higher in 2012, turning into the primary American girl to win gold within the staff and person all-around on the identical Olympics.
Douglas’ teammate Wieber used to be the reigning all-around Global champion and the gold-medal favourite within the leadup to the Video games, however Douglas beat her each within the Olympic trials and in in London. Wieber, who certified fourth, didn’t make the ultimate on account of a rule that restricted each and every nation to simply two competition within the all-around. (Raisman and Douglas had completed 2d and 3rd in , respectively, leaving Wieber the bizarre girl out.)
The all-around contest went right down to the cord between Douglas and Komova. Because of qualifying in first position, Komova used to be the ultimate to head, however in spite of a blank regimen, her rating wasn’t prime sufficient to surpass Douglas.
“It used to be just a little little bit of a heart-race,” Douglas stated at the broadcast.
In a long-lasting symbol of the Video games, Komova walked off crying into her trainer’s palms whilst Douglas waved to the group.
Douglas’ all-around gold used to be a big stepping stone for Black ladies in gymnastics and cleared the path for Simone Biles, who ruled the gymnastics pageant in Rio de Janeiro 4 years later.
In 2016, Douglas as soon as once more made the U.S. staff and gained a 2d consecutive staff gold along side Biles, who additionally took the person all-around identify, gained golds at the vault and flooring workout and bronze at the stability beam.
As of late, 3 out of 16 athletes at the U.S. ladies’s senior nationwide staff and 5 out of 11 at the junior nationwide staff are Black.
In 2013, Douglas donated a number of pieces she had utilized in London — together with her asymmetric bar grips and wrist tape, her credentials and the tickets her mother used — to the Nationwide Museum of African American Historical past and Tradition in Washington, the place guests of all backgrounds may just respect her historical accomplishments for future years.