Gabby Douglas: All-Around Champ Has Changed Face of US Gymnastics

Justin GoldmanCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2012

Gabby Douglas competes in the Womens All-Around
Gabby Douglas competes in the Womens All-AroundStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

Coming into London Games, the U.S. women's gymnastics team was full of new faces. Gabby Douglas ended up giving the team a face-lift as she was just the fourth American woman to win the all-around title. She was also the first black gymnast to ever win the event.

At just 16, Gabby Douglas has a bright future ahead of her.

Her unbelievable routine combined with her sunny personality has boosted Team USA. Her gold medal has made her a pioneer in the sport and an overnight idol to many young girls in America.

Even at an early age, Douglas had obvious talent. At 14, she packed her belongings and left her family in Virginia Beach to train with Shawn Johnson's former trainer Liang Chow in Des Moines, IA.

Douglas' time in Des Moines helped to form and sculpt her raw ability into that of an Olympic gold medalist.

She has made an incredible difference in the culture of U.S. women's gymnastics. In a sport dominated by white athletes, Douglas continues to shine in the spotlight.


After the reign of Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson and Alicia Sacramone came to end, it was up to a new group of gymnasts to step up.

Gabby Douglas did just that.

These Olympics will go down as one of the most historic of all time. From Michael Phelps earning his record 22nd medal to Usain Bolt defending his 100-meter crown, it's Douglas whose feat will be remembered for a long time to come.

As the Games come to the final few days, the final medal count is still up in the air. But for the US., Gabby Douglas has done than anyone could have imagined.

Douglas put in the time and effort into her sport and became a groundbreaking athlete. She has changed the face of U.S. women's gymnastics and opened doors for many more athletes to follow in her footsteps.