Most athletes never win a gold medal at the Olympics. Well, Gabby Douglas has won gold in two. She won team and individual gold in London, and she won team gold in Rio.
“It was definitely amazing to win another gold medal, especially in the team competition,” Douglas told Damon Amendolara, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “That competition is just so fun because we all cheer each other on, but just to grab another gold medal was just something so special, just to go out there and represent the USA the best that I could. They really can’t compare. Just being on amazing teams both times, it’s extraordinary.”
Douglas, along with Jordan Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Kyla Ross, won team gold in London, becoming the first U.S. team since the Magnificent Seven in 1996 to accomplish that feat. Douglas also won gold in Rio with Raisman, Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian.
“It’s just amazing to be a part of such a successful team that has been very dominant for so long,” Douglas said. “Marta (Karolyi) definitely plays a big role. She and Bela have developed this program that makes the USA so strong. You really can’t put it into words. We all expect to go out there and have fun and not really worry about or be concerned about the expectations or the pressure. We all like to go out there and have fun and do our jobs.”
Douglas, who won the individual all-around competition in London, didn’t get a chance to repeat in Rio. She placed third in qualifiers, but Biles and Raisman finished first and second. Only two gymnasts from each country are allowed to participate in the final competition.
Isn’t it weird competing with – but also against – your teammates?
“Yeah, even though it’s team, it’s also individual,” Douglas said. “But we all for the most part have a really good and healthy relationship. We all support each other out on the floor. We just do our job and do what we trained to do. At the end of the day, it’s competition. It is what it is, being a team and also an individual. But we all encourage each other and we support each other. Win or lose, we’re still there and we’re still Team USA.”
As for the mini-controversy Douglas sparked – she didn’t put her hand over her heart for the playing of the national anthem during the medal ceremony last week – she’s used to it.
“It’s been four years now,” said Douglas, who apologized to anyone she offended. “I’ve become used to it, being in that spotlight, kind of watching everything you do.”