Gabby Douglas: Then and Now

Gym Gab is excited to present a five-day series featuring each member of the Fierce Five. Today we take a look at Gabby Douglas and why she was so important on the U.S. team in 2012, as well as where she is now.

Find other Fierce Five member’s “then and now” links below.

Gabby Douglas | Fierce Five Then and Now | Gym GabPhotography | Christy Ann Linder

Gabby Douglas Then

Gabby Douglas’s first National championship as a senior elite in 2011 was an unmitigated disaster. The injured Douglas had moved from Virginia to Iowa to train with Shawn Johnson’s coach Liang Chow several months before and although her skill level had improved, a hip injury had hampered her preparation. When she bombed on beam, falling four times during a single routine, many gymnastics pundits wrote her off as having destroyed her Olympic bid. But her skill and consistency on bars — in addition to her obvious talent on the other events — landed her a spot on the World team that fall, where she won team gold and made event finals on bars. She continued to gain notice by unofficially winning the 2012 American Cup, where she was entered as an alternate, tallying a higher overall score than both Wieber and Raisman, the U.S.’s official representatives at the event. Gabby continued her rise at the U.S. Championships and Olympic Trials, and peaked perfectly during the Olympic Games…and the rest is history.

Gabby Douglas Now

Gabby Douglas’s story — of a young girl who left her struggling family and moved halfway across the country to pursue her Olympic dream, which came spectacularly true — is the stuff of movies (and indeed, she recently helped produce a movie version of her life, which aired on Lifetime.) But as the reigning Olympic all-around champion, nobody faces more pressure to return to the sport, a paradox given that Douglas, like Nastia Liukin in 2008, has now achieved everything she’s ever dreamed of accomplishing in gymnastics. From the get-go, Gabby Douglas has declared her intention to return to competition one day, saying that Rio 2016 is her next goal. That seemed to go off the rails when and her family, now reunited, relocated to California for several months in 2013, where Douglas trained casually with Chris Waller in the same gym as Wieber. Douglas, however, made the decision to return to Iowa and Chow earlier this year, and has recommitted to the elite level. Douglas made waves when she left Chow this Summer to go and train at Buckeye Gymnastics in Ohio, but told the press she remains committed to making the 2016 Olympic team.
McKayla Maroney: Then and Now
About the Photographer: Christy was a former level 10 & Michigan State gymnast. She later returned to her roots by honing her photography skills- specifically in the sport of gymnastics, where her passion is unmatched. Find more amazing images of current elite gymnasts at

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