"Happy and grateful to be back" - Gabby Douglas delighted on gymnastics return after 8-year hiatus

Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 4
Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 4

Gabby Douglas is delighted to return to competitive gymnastics after eight years at the American Classic 2024, having last competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Douglas was earlier slated to compete at the Winter Cup 2024 after the USA Gymnastics Federation accepted her petition. However, she tested positive for COVID-19 minutes before the event kicked off and was forced out of the competition.

The 28-year-old finally made her long-anticipated return at the American Classic 2024. She started with a shaky floor exercise that earned her a score of 11.450. However, the 2012 all-around Olympic champion massively improved in her following routines, particularly on vault and balance beam.

Douglas earned a silver medal in the vault with a score of 14.000. On the balance beam, she finished 5th after earning a decent score of 13.350. As the American Classic 2024 concluded, the 28-year-old expressed happiness and gratitude for her return to the sport.

Gabby Douglas admitted that her performances at the American Classic weren't her ‘best showing’ but that she would work harder as she prepares for the U.S. Core Hydration Classic, scheduled for May.

"8 years later…. well guys… it wasn’t my best showing this weekend but was so happy and grateful to be back out there on the floor doing what i love again. 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", she captioned a clip of her performance from American Classic 2024.

The Olympic champion also thanked fans for their unwavering support, claiming that it meant a lot to her.

"Forever grateful for all of your love and support. it means the world. i love you guys and i’ll see you in Hartford," she added.

Gabby Douglas reveals the reason behind her comeback

Gabby Douglas training
Gabby Douglas training

Gabby Douglas last featured at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where Simone Biles’ heroics overshadowed her. She was part of the gold-winning USA team, but after the Olympics concluded, she didn't compete in any of the events.

The 28-year-old never announced an official retirement. Rumors around her comeback started in 2022, and a year later, she confirmed them via an Instagram post. In an interview with NBC earlier this year, she claimed that her decision to return came about while watching the 2022 U.S. Championships.

"I was watching the 2022 [U.S.] championships, and I was like, 'Man, I miss competing.' And, I was trying to figure out how to get like, this... I'm still a competitor at heart.... I can get this out of me, and so I decided to start back training", she expressed.

Last week, Gabby Douglas spoke over a Zoom call and stated that her love of gymnastics was also one of the reasons for her comeback.

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