Gabby Douglas Announces Return to Gymnastics with Eye on Olympics: ‘Still a Competitor at Heart’

The three-time Olympic gold medalist last competed on the world stage eight years ago

<p>Rich Polk/Getty </p>

Rich Polk/Getty

  • Three-time gold medalist Gabby Douglas is eying a return to international gymnastics competition

  • In 2012, the Virginia native, who now trains in Texas, became the first Black gymnast to win an all-around gold

  • Douglas' signature apparatus is the uneven bars, which could help Team USA because it's historically the team's weakest event

Eight years after the 2016 Rio Summer Games, three-time Olympic medalist Gabby Douglas is eying a return to international competition!

On Tuesday, the 28-year-old gymnast announced that she wants to compete on the world stage, and “definitely” hopes to be in the medal conversation this summer at the Paris Olympics.

“I was watching the 2022 championships, and I was like, ‘Man, I miss competing,’ ” Douglas said on Hallie Jackson NOW. “And I was trying to figure out how to get this — I’m still a competitor at heart —so I decided to start back training.“

She added, “And then I found myself in the gym and I was like, ‘Alright, maybe we can do this again.’ ”

Related: Olympic Champion Gabby Douglas Announces Her Return to Gymnastics After 'Facing Darkness and Fears'

Douglas said she will compete at the Winter Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, on Feb. 24, where she will be the oldest gymnast at the meet.

The first Black gymnast to ever win the all-around gold — which she did at the London Olympics in 2012 —  Douglas was part of the “Final Five” (which included Simone Biles) who won the team gold in Rio four years later.

<p> Al Tielemans /Sports Illustrated via Getty </p>

Al Tielemans /Sports Illustrated via Getty

“I would just love to go back out there and represent USA one more time and just to have that feeling of being a part of something, being a part of a team again would be amazing and a huge honor,” Douglas said on Tuesday.

The Virginia native now trains with five-time Olympic medalist Nastia Liukin’s father, Valeri, at WOGA Gymnastics in North Texas, according to her USA Gymnastics bio.

Related: Olympic Gymnasts Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles Talk Body Shaming – and How to Beat It

With Douglas’ signature event being the uneven bars, the gymnast would be poised to help Team USA in what is historically the team’s weakest apparatus.

“I’m super grateful for my body to be able to hold up to this sport and I’ve been doing a lot of recovery,” Douglas said. “And it’s honestly helped me out very much. And I think I love it, I love pushing myself to the limit and I think when you love your craft when you're willing to work for your craft, it’ll work for you.”

On Tuesday, Douglas acknowledged that her return marks a “comeback,” and said that she will participate in several competitions leading up the Olympic trials in June.

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“I never really announced a retirement,” she said. “I never wanted to end this sport how I did in 2016. I wanted to take a step back and work on myself and work on my mental state. I love gymnastics. I love pushing myself every single day and I love the sport, so I never really wanted to walk away on a bad day. And I really want to make sure I really give it my all and end on a good note."

If Douglas makes the team for Paris, she will be the oldest American woman to compete in gymnastics since the 1950s, per NBC News.

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