Athletic Sisters: Gabrielle Douglas

Excuse me...how come we don't hear more about this athlete here in the States?  Gabrielle Douglas is from the friggin' USA - I had to stumble across her on YouTube while searching for videos of Becky Downie.

From her website:
Gabrielle C.V. Douglas was born on December 31, 1995. When Gabrielle was 3 years old, her older sister, Arielle - a former gymnast, taught her how to do a perfectly straight cartwheel. By the age of 4, Gabrielle had taught herself how to do a cartwheel with one hand.

Gabrielle started gymnastics at Gymstrada in October of 2002 at the age of 6. She participated in the TOPs Program in August of 2003 and finished at the Bronze Level. Gabrielle competed as a level 4 gymnast in September 2003. Gabby competed at the 2004 Virginia Level 4 State Championships where she won balance beam, floor exercise, and the all around.

Gabrielle left Gymstrada and started at Excalibur Gymnastics in June of 2004. She participated in the TOPs Program again and after preparing for a little over 3 weeks, she qualified to the National TOPS Testing. Gabrielle only had two months to learn the necessary skills needed to compete at the Testing, and in October of 2004 - Gabrielle achieved her goal and scored just high enough to make the TOPs A Team.

In December of 2004, Gabrielle competed as a Level 7 Gymnast. She went on to win vault, floor exercise, and the all around at the 2005 Virginia State Championships.

Gabrielle made the TOPs A Team once again in October of 2005. Her results ranked her in the middle of her peers. She began competing as a level 8 gymnast in December of 2005. Gabrielle competed at Level 8 Virginia State Championships where she placed 3rd all around. She went on to qualify to the Region VII Championships where she finished 12th all around.

Because of age restrictions, 2006 was the last year Gabrielle could participate in the TOPs Program. In October of 2006, Gabrielle made the TOPs A Team, and she had the National Best Score. Gabrielle went on to become the 2007 Level 9 Virginia State Beam Champion. She qualified to the Region VII Championships where she earned 4th on vault, 5th on floor, and 4th all around. She place high enough to qualify to the 2007 Eastern National Championships where she finished 7th on vault, 5th on floor, and 13th all around.

In 2008 Gabrielle competed as a level 10 gymnast. In addition to her level 10 season Gabrielle competed as a Pre-Elite/HOPES Athlete. She competed at the American Challenge where she placed third all around. She also participated in the US Challenge as a Hopes Athlete where she won vault, uneven bars, floor exercise, and the all around. Gabby won all events and the all around at the Virginia State Championships. She went on to earn a silver medal on balance beam and bronze medal on floor exercise at Region VII Championships. Gabrielle's placement in the all around was high enough to qualify for her very first Junior Olympic Nationals. At nationals Gabrielle earned a bronze medal on balance beam and earned 9th in the all around.

Once Gabrielle completed her level 10 season she went on compete at the 2008 US Classic where she earned 8th on uneven bars and 10th all around. Gabrielle's score was high enough to qualify her to her very first elite nationals. She traveled to Boston, MA where she earned 17th the first day of nationals. Gabby improved her all around score the second day and her combined score put her in 16th place all around, just a few places short of the junior national team.

Gabrielle started the 2009 season with some "open" competitions where both International Elite and Level 10s Compete She placed 7th at the Parkettes Invite and 4th at the Excalibur Cup. She went on to win the 2009 Excalibur Qualifier and re-qualified international elite. Gabby traveled to San Diego, CA for the American Classic where she placed 6th all around and earned the silver medal on balance beam. She suffered a wrist fracture shortly before 2009 US Nationals and was only able to compete balance beam, where she earned 5th place.

In 2010 Gabrielle started off the season by winning the 2010 Sand Dollar Qualifier and re-qualifying international elite and qualified to the US National Championships. Gabby placed 1st all around at the 2010 Excalibur Cup and qualified to compete at the 2010 Nastia Liukin cup. She traveled to Worcester, MA for the cup and placed 4th all around and also earned a bronze medal on beam. Later that year Gabby traveled to Hartford, CT for the 2010 US National Championships where she placed 4th all around and earned a silver medal on balance beam. Gabby also earned a spot on the 2010-2011 Junior National Team! In October of 2010 Gabby left her long time gym of Excalibur to train at Chow's Gymnastics in Des Moines, Iowa.

Gabby made her senior debut in 2011. She qualified to her very first Senior National Championships which were held in St. Paul, MN. At nationals Gabby became the 2011 Bronze Medalist on Uneven Bars and earned a spot on the 2011-2012 Senior National Team. Gabby was later selected to be a member of the 2011 World Championship Team!
Again, I ask the question.


  1. Awesome! I always wanted to do gymnastics.

  2. So did I. *sigh* Always a regret of my childhood.

  3. Replies
    1. Oh, hell yes. And I remember coming across her by accident...that's how obscure she was, despite all these pre-Olympic accomplishments.


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