Gabby Douglas Becomes First Black Gymnast to Win Individual Olympic Gold Medal
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U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas made history on Aug. 2 becoming the first Black person of any nationality to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual gymnastic event, claiming her second gold medal of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
Douglas won her first gold medal on July 31 as a member of the U.S. women’s gymnastics artistic all-around team event. It was the first individual gold medal for a USA gymnastics team member since 1996. Douglas now owns two gold medals after edging out Russian gymnast Viktoria Komova for first place in the women’s individual all-around event. She scored a 62.232, less than three-tenths of a point ahead of Komova’s score.
Douglas sealed the gold medal performance with a stellar floor routine as her U.S. teammates watched and cheered her on, chanting “Go Gabby!”
Douglas now surpasses Dominique Dawes, who won a gold medal as a member of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. For 16 years, Dawes was the first and only Black gymnast to have won an Olympic gold medal, but even Dawes hadn’t won gold in an individual gymnastics event.
“[Dominique] was one of my inspirations and role models growing up,” said Douglas, who moved from her hometown in Virginia Beach, Va. two years ago to train in Des Moines, Iowa with her coach Liang Chow.
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