Gabrielle Christina Victoria "Gabby" Douglas was born December 31, 1995, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
At just the age of 8, Douglas was already a champion, winning the Level 4 competition at the 2004 Virginia State Championships. From there Douglas had ups and downs throughout many competitions, but possessed so much raw potential. The biggest decision she made was at the age of 14 to move from Virginia Beach to West Des Moines, Iowa, to train under Liang Chow.
Under Chow's tutelage, Douglas flourished and developed into an Olympic-caliber gymnast. After winning the gold medal in uneven bars, silver in the all-around, and bronze in floor at the 2012 U.S. National Championships. It was there Douglas earned the nickname the "Flying Squirrel" for her aerial performance on the uneven bars. From there it was the Olympic trials held in San Jose, California, on July 1, 2012. All Douglas did was place first in the all-around rankings, securing the only guaranteed spot on the women's Olympic gymnastic team.
The 2012 London Games will always be remembered for Douglas and what her teammates, nicknamed the "Fierce Five", accomplished. Douglas, only 16 years old, along with McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber won the team all-around gold medal. Douglas followed that by winning gold in the 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's also the first American ever to accomplish the feat of winning both at the same Summer Games.
Check out her performance on the uneven bars:
And on the floor exercise:
Douglas is back training with Chow in an attempt to qualify for the 2016 Games in Rio.
Happy 19th birthday, Gabby Douglas, and best of luck in your quest.