This 19-year-old Olympic artistic gymnast has more than just gold medals under her belt. Read about how she inspires us.
“My message is to never quit, never give up. When you have a little trouble here and there, just keep fighting. In the end, it will pay off.”
Who she is
At the young age of 17, Gabrielle Douglas won the gold medal for Best All-Around Woman Olympian and won a gold medal as a part of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team in the 2012 Summer Olympics. With two gold medals under her belt, Douglas is the first woman of color to win first place in both individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics. Originally inspired by her older sister, Arielle, who is a former gymnast and competitive cheerleader, Douglas immediately picked up the sport and even taught herself how to do a one-armed cartwheel as a toddler. At age 14, she moved across the country to train under elite coach Liang Chow, and the rest is history.
Why she inspires us
Douglas seems to be able to do anything she sets her mind to. Not only is she an Olympic gold medalist, she is also an accomplished author of two books, Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith and Raising The Bar. She is amazing at multitasking, as she expertly juggles her intense training schedule with touring and competing.
Her thoughts on nutrition: With such a packed schedule, Douglas is always on the go. Being tempted by fast-food options is inevitable and it’s not always easy to stay healthy. “I carry a healthy snack in my bag and when I get hungry, I just snack on that,” she says in an interview with Glamour Magazine. She also admits to disliking vegetables but after trying them dipped in balsamic vinaigrette, she discovered she loved them and did the same with hummus and pretzels, and blueberries and Greek yogurt. “I had to do a little bit at a time… Baby steps!” she said, highlighting the importance of eating healthy food options into your diet little by little, instead of trying to transform your lifestyle overnight.