Olympic great Gabby Douglas makes gymnastics return after 8 years away


Olympic legend Gabby Douglas participated in her first gymnastics event in eight years on Saturday when she competed in the American Classic.

Douglas, who became the first Black woman to win the Olympic all-around competition at the 2012 London Games, posted a 50.65 in the all-around at the American Classic. She hit a double-twisting Yurchenko on the vault, which turned out to be her best event.

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Gabby Douglas on the beam

Gabby Douglas competes on the balance beam at the American Classic gymnastics meet on Saturday, April 27, 2024, in Katy, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

She’s already qualified for multiple events for the U.S. Championships next month. She could try to qualify for the all-around again at nationals.

Douglas last competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics and helped the United States win the team competition, following up from their 2012 win at the London Games. She also won an all-around gold in London.

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Gabby Douglas flips

Gabby Douglas competes on the vault at the American Classic, April 27, 2024, in Katy, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Douglas stepped away from the sport but never officially retired. She sought her comeback attempt after the 2022 U.S. Championships. She trained for two years and was initially set to make her official return in February at the Winter Cup. But that was derailed due to a positive COVID-19 test result.

“I would just love to go back out there and represent USA just one more time and just to have that feeling of being a part of something, being a part of a team again, would be amazing and a huge honor,” Douglas said in February, via NBC Sports.

The U.S. Classic is in three weeks, with the U.S. Championships two weeks after that.

Gabby Douglas does her floor routine

Gabby Douglas performs her floor routine at the American Classic, April 27, 2024, in Katy, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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Olympic Trials are set for June, with the Olympics less than a month later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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