Gabby Douglas ends Paris Olympics run and withdraws from U.S. Championships

Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas has withdrawn from this weekend’s U.S. Championships, ending her bid for the Paris Olympic team, a representative for Douglas confirmed to NBC News.

Douglas cited an ankle injury sustained during training this week.

“I love this sport and I love pushing my limits,” Douglas told ESPN. “I hope I can inspire both my peers and the next generation of gymnasts that age is just a number and you can accomplish anything you work hard for.”

She said she intends to continue training in preparation for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The winners at the U.S. Championships this weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, will compete at the Olympic Trials on June 27-30. Douglas was scheduled to compete on three of the four events at the Championships after failing to qualify as an all-around competitor.

Her last competitive outing was the Core Hydration Classic in Hartford, Connecticut, this month, where she withdrew after struggling on the uneven bars.

Douglas, 28, pulled out in the first rotation. She hit a clean set in warmups, but fell twice on the uneven bars in competition for a 10.100.

Douglas returned to competition for the first time since the 2016 Rio Olympics at the American Classic in Katy, Texas, in April. She placed 10th in the all-around there, but qualified to compete at the U.S. Championships in three events.

She first announced her intention to return to the Olympics on “Hallie Jackson NOW” in February.

Douglas had initially intended to return to competitive gymnastics at the Winter Cup in February, but withdrew days before the competition due to a positive Covid test.

“I have to give myself a little bit of grace,” Douglas said at a training in Hartford. “It ended rough for me in 2016, so I didn’t want to end on that note. I want to make sure I end on love and joy instead of hating something that I love.”

Douglas said she “felt so much nostalgia.”

“I love this generation,” she said. “We’re pushing the boundaries and saying, ‘Hey, you don’t have to be 16.’”

Douglas’ 2012 performance in London made her the first Black gymnast to win the Olympic all-around gold medal. At the 2016 Olympics, Douglas helped the U.S. women to their second consecutive win in the team event, garnering her a third Olympic gold medal.

She did not make a run for the most recent Olympics in Tokyo, a move many in the gymnastics world interpreted as a de facto retirement announcement.

If she had been named to the U.S. Olympic team in Paris, Douglas would have been the first American woman since Dominique Dawes to make three Olympic teams. Simone Biles, who was Douglas’ teammate in Rio, is also eyeing her third Olympic team this summer.

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