Gabrielle Douglas told reporters via The Associated Press, “Someone mentioned that I was the first black American (to win the all-around gold), and I said, ‘Oh yeah, I forgot about that!’ I feel so honored.”
Fresh off her gold medal win in the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Individual All-Around final on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena in London, England, Douglas, 16, nicknamed The “Flying Squirrel” has become the darling of the Olympics.
Gabby, who was raised in Virginia, started training at the tender age of 6. Her dad, Air Force Staff Sgt. Timothy Douglas, went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan when she was just 9 years old.
“I just had to pray to God …and tell the angels to keep my dad safe…,” she recently explained to NBC Nightly News.
After having to miss many of her competitions, Gabby’s father was able to attend her U.S. Olympic trials on June 29.
“I’m like, ‘Who’s calling my name?’ And then I look up. It was my dad and his friend, and I haven’t seen him in a while,” Gabby explained. “They were holding up the flag, and I almost felt like bawling.”