Gymnast Gabby Douglas is expected to come back strong to the Olympics this summer after taking the top spot at the AT&T American Cup over the weekend.
According to USA Today, the 20-year-old’s return to the podium is her first win before the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this August. Douglas finished strong, earning a score of 60.165 during the competition. Her counterpart Maggie Nichols came in second with a score of 59.699. Douglas’ predicted return to the Summer Games also has historic potential, as only six American women have gone on to compete for the second time since 1980.
Douglas helped win the gold for Team USA back in 2012. She discussed her thoughts on her anticipated comeback on Saturday.
USA Today reports:
“From the bottom of my heart, I really believe that I can achieve more,” Douglas said. “And it’s just not for the wrong intentions. I’m like, ‘Guys, I’m back. I’m serious.’ I feel like gradually and the more and more I keep proving that, I really hope that people believe it.”
Douglas will have more time to perfect her technique during the Pacific Rim Championships in April. Former national team coordinator Bela Karolyi shared his thoughts on Douglas’ career.
“I feel good that we put her in this competition because otherwise who knows where would be her training,” said Karolyi. “She always should have not only a long-term goal but a short-term goal and make sure that she will put the effort to fulfill this goal. And if we leave her without goals on the track, then she may fall behind with her training. I think she did a very good job and she’s aggressive and confident enough.”
Three-time World all-around champion Simone Biles has also proven to be a strong contender against Douglas, but together they would make up the perfect USA Olympic team.