gabby, gymnastics, Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas Announces Return to Gymnastics Following Time Away to Focus on Her Mental Health

Olympic champion Gabby Douglas has greeted her Instagram fans with long-awaited news following her hiatus away from the platform.

The 27-year-old gymnast is returning to the mat and preparing for her appearance in the 2024 Paris Olympics. “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,” Douglas captioned a set of photos leaping through the air. “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 and ed her goal to reclaim her joy for gymnastics, a sport she said she loves doing. She concluded her caption with “#2024,” hinting that she will be making her grand return. 


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A post shared by Gabby Douglas (@gabbycvdouglas)

The Olympic gold medalist followed her announcement with a video of her practicing on the bars. She captioned the video with one word, “loading.”


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A post shared by Gabby Douglas (@gabbycvdouglas)

In 2022, Douglas announced to her followers that she would be stepping away from social media to focus on her mental health. “My life has never been smooth or easy. I have carried a heavy weight on my back for quite some time and it has weighed me down physically, mentally, and emotionally. So many things and people have tried to crush and break me,” Douglas wrote at the time.

“I want to be the best representation for all of you and be the best version of myself,” she added. Douglas explained to her fans that fighting and healing was her way to overcome the heavy pressure she was feeling.

Douglas’ return means she will join 2016 Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles at the 2024 competition, who also announced her return to the mat this year after stepping away to focus on her mental and physical health.

BLACK ENTERPRISE reported that Douglas supported Grand Slam singles champion Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the French Open in 2021 to focus on her mental health. “If you need to step back, that’s what you need to do,” Douglas said in support of Osaka’s decision.