Gabby Douglas ends Paris Olympics run and withdraws from US Championships

The 2012 Olympic all-around gold medalist will not compete in Paris this summer due to an ankle injury.

Gabby Douglas
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Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas has withdrawn from this weekend’s U.S. Championships, USA Gymnastics confirmed to NBC News on Wednesday.

Douglas cited an ankle injury sustained during training this week, ending her run for a third Olympic team, according to ESPN.

“I love this sport and I love pushing my limits,” Douglas told ESPN. “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.”

She said she intends to continue training in preparation for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The U.S. Championships, held in Fort Worth, Texas this weekend, determine the gymnasts competing at Olympic Trials later this month. Douglas was slated to compete on three of the four events at the Championships after failing to qualify as an all-around competitor.

Her last competitive outing was the Core Hydration Classic in Hartford, Connecticut earlier this month, where she withdrew after struggling on the uneven bars.

Douglas, 28, pulled out of the competition in the first rotation. She hit a clean set in warmups, but fell twice on the uneven bars in competition for a 10.100.

Douglas returned to competition for the first time since the 2016 Rio Olympics at the American Classic in Katy, Texas in April. She placed 10th in the all-around there, but she qualified to compete at the U.S. Championships on three events.

She first announced her intention to return to the Olympics on “Hallie Jackson NOW” earlier this year.

Douglas had initially intended to return to competitive gymnastics at the Winter Cup in February, but withdrew days before the competition due to a positive Covid test.

“I have to give myself a little bit of grace,” Douglas said at a training in Hartford. “It ended rough for me in 2016, so I didn’t want to end on that note. I want to make sure I end on love and joy instead of hating something that I love.”

Douglas said she “felt so much nostalgia.”

“I love this generation,” she said. “We’re pushing the boundaries and saying, ‘Hey, you don’t have to be 16.’”

Douglas’ 2012 performance in London made her the first Black gymnast to win the Olympic all-around gold medal. At the 2016 Olympics, Douglas helped the U.S. women to their second consecutive win in the team event, garnering her a third Olympic gold medal.

She did not make a run for the most recent Olympics in Tokyo, a move many in the gymnastics world interpreted as a de facto retirement announcement.

If she had been named to the U.S. Olympic team in Paris, Douglas would have been the first American woman since Dominique Dawes to make three Olympic teams. Simone Biles, who was Douglas’ teammate in Rio, is also eyeing her third Olympic team this summer.

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