Gymnast Gabby Douglas Ends Olympic Bid Due to Injury

Gymnast Gabby Douglas Ends Olympic Bid Due to Injury
Gabby Douglas competes on the balance beam at the American Classic, in Katy, Texas, on April 27, 2024. (David J. Phillip/AP Photo)

Olympic gold-medallist Gabby Douglas withdrew from a U.S. championship after 8 years of being away from competition, citing an ankle injury, ending her hopes of participating in the Paris Olympics this summer.

Ms. Douglas, 28, appeared in the sports scene again this year, competing in the asymmetric bars during the U.S. Classic in Connecticut, which determines Olympic participation. She fell twice during her program and withdrew from the Classic without giving a reason.

Last week, she announced she had an ankle injury, making her unable to compete in the U.S. Championships in Texas this weekend. Her bid to join the U.S. Olympic squad for Paris therefore comes to an end.

“I love this sport and I love pushing my limits,” she told ESPN on Wednesday.

“I hope I can inspire both my peers and the next generation of gymnasts that age is just a number, and you can accomplish anything you work hard for.”

Ms. Douglas withdrew from the life of a professional athlete after the Rio 2016 Olympics to focus on her mental health and returned to training last year, hoping to make it to the Paris Olympics this year.

Another U.S. gymnast, Simone Biles, has also faced mental health problems, which led her to withdraw from competition in 2021.

Ms. Douglas said she intended to continue training in preparation for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, when she will be 32.

“I proved to myself and to the sport that my skills remain at an elite level,” Ms. Douglas said.

“My plan is to continue to train for the L.A. 2028 Olympics. It would be such an honor to represent the U.S. at a home Olympics.”

Ms. Douglas is a three-time gold medallist, winning gold in the London Olympics in 2012 when she was 16 years old.

NTD Photo
Gabrielle (Gabby) Douglas competes in the women’s final in asymmetric bars during the Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, on Aug. 14, 2016. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Olympic Team

Simone Biles, Shilese Jones, and Suni Lee are some of the artistic gymnasts competing to join the Paris Olympics. They had an official practice as an Olympic team in Texas on Wednesday.

The women’s competition begins on Friday, and the champions going to Paris will be named on Sunday.

The U.S. Championships are the second of three events that will determine the U.S. Olympic team. The U.S. team will be announced on June 30 in Minneapolis.

Ms. Jones is a two-time world all-around medallist. She looked solid during the Wednesday training.

Ms. Biles looked confident and added a Cheng vault (round off onto the board, half onto the table, front layout with one-and-a-half twists off) to the program she used at the Classic.

Ms. Lee competed on vault, beam, and floor at the Classic and plans to add asymmetric bars at the U.S. Championships. She looked hesitant during official practice on Wednesday, missing several attempts at a Jaeger release move but successfully completed two full routines toward the end of the workout.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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