U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas made history on Aug. 2 when she became the first African American woman to win the coveted women’s all-around title. Read on for more details!
She is the third straight American to win gymnastics’ biggest prize for women after Carly Patterson in 2004 and Nastia Liukin in 2008. Gabby, nicknamed “The Flying Squirrel” for her aerial skills on the bars, took the lead during the first event and held strong throughout, finishing with a score of 62.232 — three-tenths ahead of silver medalist Viktoria Komova of Russia.
US gymnast Aly Raisman and Russia’s Aliya Mustafina tied for third, but it was Aliya from Russia who ended up taking the bronze medal, with Gabby’s teammate Aly taking fourth place.
Gabby is the first African American woman to win the Olympic all-around gold. She follows in the footsteps of Dominique Dawes, who, during the 1996 Olympics, became the first black woman of any nationality to win an Olympic gold in gymnastics. After Dominique, an African American hadn’t taken an Olympic gold medal in women’s gymnastics– until Gabby.
“She was one of my inspirations and role models growing up,” Gabby said of Dominique, according to USA Today.
Gabby’s victory did not come without sacrifice. She and her three siblings were raised by Natalie Hawkins, a single mom in Virginia Beach, Va. Natalie struggled to pay for gymnastics, selling jewelry to make ends meet. When Gabby wanted to train with Shawn Johnson‘s coach following the 2008 Olympics, Natalie let her stay with a host family in Iowa while she trained. And now Gabby has two gold medals to show for it!
We’re so proud of Gabby! Congrats to her and Team USA!
What do YOU think of Gabby’s win HollyMoms?
– Christina Stiehl
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