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Gymnastics star Douglas pulls out of US Championships, ending a third Olympics bid

Updated: 2024-05-30 09:42
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Former Olympic All Around gold medalist Gabby Douglas is introduced prior to the 2024 Core Hydration Classic at XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut on May 18, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

FORT WORTH, Texas — Gabby Douglas' long shot bid to make the US women's gymnastics team for the Paris Olympics is over.

The 2012 Olympic all-around champion withdrew from the USA Gymnastics Championships on Wednesday, citing an ankle injury.

The 28-year-old Douglas, who also helped the US win gold in the team competition at the 2016 Olympics, had been attempting a comeback after an eight-year layoff.

She returned to competition at the American Classic last month and made her first appearance at a major US meet at the US Classic in Hartford, Connecticut, two weeks ago.

Douglas fell twice on the uneven bars in her first rotation, finishing her routine while the crowd chanted her name. She withdrew from the remainder of the meet but did not offer specifics.

Douglas qualified to compete in three events — vault, uneven bars and balance beam — but did not meet the minimum score standard to compete in the all-around, limiting her chances of making what will be a highly competitive five-woman US team.

Douglas, the first Black woman to win the Olympic title, announced her return last summer, saying her love for the sport had returned while watching the 2022 US championships.

"It ended rough for me in 2016, so I didn't want to end on that note," Douglas said before the US Classic. "Regardless of the outcome, I wanted to make sure I end on love and joy instead of hating something that I loved." She has spent most of the last two years training in Texas under Valeri Liukin, the father and coach of 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin.

Douglas competed in all four events at the American Classic, showing signs of rust but also glimpses of the powerhouse she was when she burst onto the scene in the run-up to the London Olympics.

She left England as a champion and a star before taking a brief break. She returned to training in 2014 and helped the American women continue their long run atop the sport by winning gold at the 2015 world championships and then again in Brazil the following summer.

Douglas never formally announced her retirement, though her return came as a bit of a surprise. Her future as a gymnast is uncertain, though there may be opportunities to compete again if she chooses.


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