Monday, December 31, 2012

Very Happy 17th Birthday Gabrielle Douglas

Olympic Medalist Gabrielle Douglas turns 17 today. Gabrielle Douglas was born on December 31, 1995 in Newport News, Virginia. This past summer Gabrielle helped win the team around and individual all-around, becoming the first African-American woman, as well as the first woman of color of any nationality, to win the event. She is also the first American gymnast ever to win both the team and individual all-around gold at the same Olympics. Pleas stop by Gabrielle Facebook (here) and Twitter (here) to wish her a very Happy 17th Birthday today.

About Gabrielle Douglas:
Gabrielle Douglas was introduced to gymnastics by way of a cartwheel. Her older sister, Arielle – a former gymnast and competitive cheerleader, was determined to teach the toddler the sport she loved. Gabrielle immediately picked up her older sister’s love of the sport and soon taught herself how to do a one armed cartwheel.

Although a four year old Gabrielle vividly remembers flipping around the house and off the furniture, there was a bit of a delay in beginning her formal training. After two years of poking and prodding, Arielle convinced their mother, Natalie, to allow Gabrielle to train at a local gym. Once formal training began, another two years was all it took for Virginia to crown Gabrielle as the new 2004 Gymnastics State Champion.

Gabrielle soon reached her peak at her local gym, quickly accumulating numerous victories and top finishes over the next few years. The task became clear; Gabrielle had to convince her mother to allow her, the youngest, to move across the country in pursuit of her Olympic dream. This would allow her an opportunity to train under elite coach Liang Chow in West Des Moines, IA. and only then could she learn the skills needed to reach an Olympic level. At age 14, having overcome a number of obstacles placed before her, Gabrielle left Virginia Beach and her family behind to train with Liang Chow. Living with a host family, the Partons, Gabrielle now plays the role of big sister to their four girls.

Since leaving home, Gabrielle has earned a Team Gold at the 2011 World Championships, placed first at the 2012 Olympic Trials (earning the only guaranteed spot on the Olympic Team), 2012 Olympic Team Gold and the 2012 Women’s Gymnastics Olympic All-Around Title. Making her not only the first African American to ever receive the All-Around title, but also the only female gymnasts in history to possess both Team and All-Around Gold in the same Olympics. Gabrielle also plans to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

2012 Olympic All Around Gold Medalist
2012 Olympic Team Gold Medalist
1st Female Gymnast to posses both the All Around Title & Team Gold within the same Olympiad
1st African American Olympic All Around Gold Medalist

2012 Olympian
US Olympic All Around Trials Champion
2012 US Uneven Bars Champion
2012 All Around Sliver Medalist
2012 Floor Exercise Bronze Medalist
2011 World Championships Team Gold Medalist
3-time US National Team Member
2010 US National Championship Silver Medalist on Beam
2010 Pan American Championships Team Gold Medalist

Miss. Douglas also has her memoir out entitled "Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith". You can get your copy by clicking here.

Very Happy Birthday Gabrielle Douglas

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