'Gabby' Douglas: Second Black Gymnast to Win Olympic Gold
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Afro American Newspaper
(TriceEdneyWire.com) - African-American gymnast Gabrielle Douglas won an Olympic gold medal as a member of the U.S. national women’s gymnastic team July 31. It was the first gold medal won by a USA gymnastics team since the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Tagged by sports commentators as the “Fierce Five,” Douglas, along with teammates, Jordan Wieber, Kyla Ross, Alexandra Raisman, and McKayla Maroney, won the gold medal in the women’s all-around event Tuesday night, July 31, with a total score of 183.596; Russia took the silver and Romania won bronze.
Douglas scored a 15.966 on the vault, a 15.233 on the balance beam, 15.200 on the uneven bars, and a 15.066 on the floor exercise.
USA coach John Geddert told reporters that the “Fierce Five” is the best group to ever compete in the history of U.S. gymnastics.
“ Others might disagree, the ‘96 team might disagree,” Geddert said. “But this is the best team. Difficulty-wise, consistency-wise, this is USA’s finest.”
The 1996 U.S. women’s gymnastics team, known as the “Magnificent Seven,” won the first Olympic Gold medal in U.S. gymnastics history. The “Magnificent Seven” featured Dominique Dawes, the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in artistic gymnastics, and the first Black person of any nationality or gender to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics.
Douglas is now only the second African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal.
“I’m just so proud of these girls, I know how hard we worked to get here,” Douglas said. “This is truly an amazing experience and I’m just so happy and excited to be a part of U.S. history.”