Gabrielle Douglas is the first woman of colour of any nationality and the first African-American gymnast in Olympic history to become the Individual All-Around Champion. She is also the first American gymnast to win gold in both the gymnastic individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympic games.
Her first experience with gymnastics came at the age of 3. She learned from her older sister, Arielle, a former gymnast. From there, Gabby’s mother, Natalie Hawkins allowed her to leave home and follow her gymnastic dreams at just 14 years old.
Douglas moved in with a host family in Des Moines, Iowa, where she started training with prominent coach Liang Chow. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, at age 16, Douglass made history becoming the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in the all-around individual event.