If we take a trip back to the summer of 2012, we would all remember tuning in to watch the Summer Olympics. We might’ve been checking in to watch basketball, swimming, or volleyball because that year, the United States won the most medals, receiving 46 gold, 28 silver, and 29 bronze.
One of the most talked about medals the US received was due to the Fierce Five, a group of teenagers who were on the artistic gymnastics team. The team was made up of five girls, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, Jordyn Wieber, and last but not least, Gabby Douglas, who went on to make Olympics history.
At the time of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Douglas was 16 years old and stood just shy of 5’0”. Out of all the four disciplines in gymnastics, which are balance beam, floor exercise, uneven bars, and vault, Gabby Douglas was the only member on the US Olympic team to participate in all of them.
This was just the beginning to her rise in the Olympics. For the United States Team Finals, Douglas being the only one to participate in all four events definitely helped the United States win its first international Olympic gold medal in gymnastics.
When it came time for the individual all-around competition, this is where Douglas set herself a part from the rest and made history. In the preliminary qualifications for the Olympics, Gabby Douglas placed third, but set out to beat her competition and that’s what she did.
For the finals, Douglas came first in vault and balance beam, third in uneven bars, and fourth in her floor routine. With the combination of her scores, Douglas won first place in the individual all-around competition and won another gold medal for the United States.
With this win, Gabby Douglas became the first African-American woman to win this event and the first American gymnast to win both gold medals for team and individual all-around at the same time.
Post-Olympics, Douglas and the remaining members of the Fierce Five went on to meet President Barack Obama and get nominated for Best Team at the 2013 ESPY Awards.
Gabby Douglas was named Female Athlete of the Year in 2012 by the Associated Press and was nominated for the Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year, an award whose list of nominees includes names like Serena Williams and LeBron James.
Since then, Douglas released an autobiography that debuted on The New York Times best seller list and had a Lifetime biopic of her story. In May 2016, Oxygen premiered her new show “Douglas Family Gold” that follows her and her family as she gears up for the 2016 Olympics.
Make sure you watch Gabby Douglas as she continues her Olympic journey this summer and here is the clip of her final vault routine from 2012 that she won first place in and helped her make history.