Today (July 13), Gabby Douglas took to Instagram to announce her return to gymnastics in 2024. “As you all know, I stepped back from the socials, and in that time, I did a lot of journaling, reflecting, soul searching, and found myself back where it all began,” she said. “It’s so easy to suppress and run away from facing darkness and fears. For many years, I’ve had an ache in my heart, but I didn’t want to keep carrying anger, pain, sadness, or regret, and through my tears and hurt, I’ve found peace.”
She continued, “I wanted to find the joy again for the sport that I absolutely love doing. I know I have a huge task ahead of me, and I am beyond grateful and excited to get back out on the floor. [I’m] even more grateful for all of your support and love. It truly means so much, there’s so much to be said, but for now, let’s do this.”
During the 2016 Summer Olympics, Douglas faced a barrage of scrutiny over everything from her natural hair to facial expressions. As previously reported by REVOLT, she received backlash for not putting her hand over her heart during the singing of the National Anthem, for which she apologized on social media. “I always stand at attention out of respect for our country… I never meant any disrespect and apologize if I offended anyone,” she said at the time.
During the London games in 2012, Douglas became the first African-American to become an Olympic individual all-around champion. She also won a gold medal alongside Team USA members Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Kyla Ross that year. She would return to achieve another team medal with Raisman, Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian in 2016 over Russia and China, who earned silver and bronze honors, respectively.