Gabby Douglas, who won the all-around gold medal in women's gymnastics in the Summer Olympics in London, was named the Associated Press female athlete of the year, it was announced Friday.
Douglas barely beat out swimmer Missy Franklin for the honor. Douglas received 48 votes from the panel of 157 U.S. editors and news directors. Franklin, who won four gold medals at the Olympics, received 41 votes.
Serena Williams, who won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, was third with 24 votes, and Baylor basketball star Brittney Griner and skier Lindsey Vonn tied for fourth with 18 votes each.
Douglas, who turns 17 on Dec. 31, became the first African-American gymnast to claim the Olympic all-around title. She is the fourth gymnast to win one of the AP's annual awards, and first since Mary Lou Retton in 1984.
Douglas wasn't considered a contender for the Olympic gold medal when 2012 began, but she finished second in the American Cup in March, then finished first at the Olympic trials.
She then won the Olympic gold medal, and received additional attention for her personality and smile.