After an 8-year hiatus, three-time gold medalist Gabby Douglas is now a qualifier of the U.S. Championships following her victorious comeback at the American Classic in Katy, TX. Fans are cheering on her success.

For the 28-year-old gymnast, nicknamed the High Flying Squirrel, the event on April 27 did not show the best of her skills after placing 10th overall in the competition. Still, she solidified her spot in the U.S. Championships, scoring a whopping 14.000 for her double-twisting Yurchenko on the vault and a 13.350 on the balance beam in the final and fourth rotation, NBC News reported.

On April 29, Douglas took to Instagram to express her gratitude despite the “kinks,” including her falling off the bars twice for an 11.850 score and 11.450 on the floor performance.  Amid the hiccups, Douglas captured a special moment, sticking an impressive high-flying double-twisting Yurchenko.

“Eight years later…. well guys, it wasn’t my best showing this weekend, but I was so happy and grateful to be back out there on the floor doing what I love again,” Douglas began the caption about her hiatus. “With anything, there are always kinks to work out, get better and improve. I’ve never been more excited to get back into the gym and work even harder. forever grateful for all of your love and support. It means the world. I love you guys, and I’ll see you in Hartford.”

Throughout Douglas’ hiatus and competition days, fans continued to cheer and encouraged the Olympian to chin up.

“Girl, never forget you are an Olympic champion. You already won it all, lol. So everything else after that is just for fun,” a supportive fan penned.

“Gabby, do you know how much of a testament this is for you??? Don’t beat yourself up over this!!! There is brilliance still there in your gymnastics and loads of potential!!! So many are rooting for you hard and are happy to see you back just out there competing!!! You medaled on beam, you had the 2nd highest vault score out of that entire competition 8 YEARS removed from the sport!!! You ARE and will ALWAYS be that girl!!!! And like you said this is motivation for you to go back in the gym come back and kick ass!!! You got this!!!!” another fan encouraged.

“I hope [April 27] was nothing but motivation and positivity for you; I know you wanted to get out there and hit all 4, but don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s been 8 years. You have no idea how many people are cheering for you and want the best for you. We love you, Gabby,” a third fan chimed in.

Leading up to the American Classic, Douglas documented both her grinding and mental health journey back on the floor.

From vigorous gym training to social media breaks, Douglas, the first Black gymnast to win the Olympic all-around gold medal in Rio, is passionate about overcoming her trials.

Back in 2022, Douglas announced her break from social media with a heartwarming note on Instagram. She opened up about the burden of life’s “heavy weight” and the importance of working to become the best representation for all of her fans.

“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 and emotionally, so many things and people have tried to crush and break me. I no longer want to run but fight and heal,” Douglas penned. 


Throughout her winning career, Douglas has faced criticism beyond her amazing gymnastic skills, MADAMENOIRE previously reported. She shared her painful hair journey of getting bald spots as a result of wearing tight ponytails growing up in gymnastics. However, she remained humble in spite of people’s opinions about her mane and kept it moving. 

Nearly a year later in her social media hiatus, Douglas posted a stunning high-leaping photo to announce her comeback.

“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 said in the caption of her comeback post. “I wanted to find the joy again for the sport that I absolutely love doing.”

She continued, “I know I have a huge task ahead of me, and I am beyond grateful and excited to get back out on the floor.”

We’re rooting for Gabby’s comeback!

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