While most 16-year-old girls are busy making Chris Brown shrines, Olympic sensation Gabrielle Douglas (pictured) just lead the 2012 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team to a gold medal this week. But there’s much more to her than just shining at the Games. Here, NewsOne gives you 10 facts about “Gabby” that you probably didn’t know.
1) Douglas’ high-energy performances on uneven bars earned her the nickname “Flying Squirrel” from Martha Karolyi, the National Team Coordinator for USA Gymnastics. [Source: Wikipedia]
2) Two years ago, Douglas asked her mother for permission to move 3,000 miles away from their home in Virginia Beach, Va., to live and train with a top-level gymnastics coach in Des Moines, Iowa. While her mom was initially hesitant, she eventually relented. Since Douglas’ performance earned her Olympic team a gold medal, clearly her family’s sacrifice was worth it. [Source: Shine From Yahoo]
Watch Gabrielle talk about becoming the next Black Olympian superstar:
3) This isn’t the first time Gabrielle has tasted gold. She won another gold medal with the U.S. Gymnastics Team at last year’s World Championships event. [Source: USA Gymnastics]
4) While she took an interest in gymnastics at a very young age, Gabrielle officially became a gymnast in 2002. [Source: USA Gymnastics]
Watch Gabrielle at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo:
5) Gabrielle performed her first flawless cartwheel at age 3. [Source: Time Magazine]
6) In 2004, Douglas became Virginia’s State Champion in Gymnastics. [Source: GabrielleDouglas.com]
7) This past March, Douglas competed in the AT&T American Cup at Madison Square Garden, placing fourth in the all-around competition. [Source: GabrielleDouglas.com]
Watch Gabrielle Douglas’s mom talk about raising an Olympian superstar:
8) Debuting as a senior gymnast last year, Gabrielle qualified for her first Senior National Championships in St. Paul, Minn. She would go on to become the 2011 Bronze Medalist on uneven bars. [Source: Gabrielle Douglas.com]
9) President Barack Obama personally congratulated Gabrielle and the entire U.S. Women’s Team this past Wednesday, telling Gabby via phone to “keep at it.” [Source: PilotOnline.com]
10) Gabrielle’s favorite book to read is “Twilight.” [Source: TeamUSA.org]
Good luck with the rest of your Olympic battles, Gabrielle!