Gabrielle Douglas was born on December 31, 1995 in Virginia Beach, VA. When Gabrielle was 3 years old, her older sister, Arielle - a former gymnast, taught her how to do a perfectly straight cartwheel. By the age of 4, Gabrielle had taught herself how to do a cartwheel with one hand.
Gabrielle started formal gymnastics training at Gymstrada in October of 2002 at age 6. Just two years later she went on to become 2004's Virginia State Champion.
At age 14, Gabrielle left Virginia Beach and her family behind to train with elite coach, Liang Chow, in West Des Moines, IA. Gabby lives with a host family, the Partons, where she now plays big sister to their four girls. The Partons also have a daughter that trains with Chow.
Under Coach Chow's tutelage, Gabby competed in her first elite meet at the 2010 Covergirl Classic in Chicago, IL. That same year, she also competed in the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup, where she placed fourth in all-around.
Gabby made her senior debut in 2011. She qualified to her first Senior National Championships in St. Paul, MN. At nationals, Gabby became the 2011 Bronze Medalist on Uneven Bars and earned a spot on the 2011-2012 Senior National Team.
In November, Gabby competed as a member of the 2011 World Championship Team that traveled to Tokyo and won team gold.
2012 started off as a very eventful year for Gabrielle! In March, she competed in the AT&T American Cup held in Madison Square Garden. Although she posted the highest all-around score of the competition, they were not counted because she competed as an alternate.
That same March, Gabby competed with the U.S. team at the Pacific Rim Championships. She injured her ankle on her first rotation, vault, but went on to win gold on the uneven bars in the event finals.
Gabby went to Chicago to compete in the Secrets Classic in May 2012. There she tied for third place on floor exercise and won gold for her uneven bars routine.
In June, Gabby competed in the VISA Championships and finished second in all-around, just two tenths of a point behind the leader. She also won a bronze medal for her floor routine and a gold medal for her uneven bars routine.
Gabby went on to compete at the Olympic Trials in San Jose, CA. She came away with the only guaranteed spot on the Olympic Team by winning the competition.