gabby, gymnastics, Gabby Douglas

Olympic Gymnastics Champion Gabby Douglas Returns After 8 Years, Qualifies For U.S. Classic

The first Black woman to win the Olympic all-around title in 2012, competed at the American Classic on April 27.

Olympic champion Gabby Douglas has returned to competition for the first time in eight years, and this may be a prelude to her qualifying for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

According to The Associated Press, the first Black woman to win the Olympic all-around title in 2012 competed at the American Classic on April 27. This was the first time Douglas engaged in competition since the 2016 Rio Olympics. She posted a score of 50.65 in the all-around. Based on her results, Douglas qualified for multiple events for the U.S. Championships in Fort Worth, Texas, next month. She will compete on May 18 at the U.S. Classic in Hartford, Connecticut.

She last competed in the Olympics when she helped America win a second straight gold in the team competition. According to NBC, after taking a self-imposed hiatus, she announced in February that she returned to training two years ago and would try to make this year’s Olympic team.

“I never announced a retirement,” Douglas said. “I didn’t want to end this sport like I did in 2016. I wanted to take a step back and work on myself and my mental state.”

Several days before she returned to competition, she revealed she tested positive for COVID-19 and that her comeback would be delayed due to it. On her Instagram account, she wrote, “I’m so sad to say I won’t be competing this weekend. I was so excited to get back on the competition floor, but unfortunately, I just tested positive for COVID.”

The 28-year-old will most likely compete in the U.S. Classic in three weeks, the U.S. Championships in five weeks, and then the Olympic Trials in Minneapolis in late June.

Three years ago, after tennis player Naomi Osaka decided to take time off for her mental health, Douglas applauded her. After stating she did that previously, she seems to have done it recently so she can return in time for the Paris Olympics this summer.