Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman Prepping for 2016 Olympics Comeback
There aren’t many American teenagers talking about retirement, but for U.S. Olympian Gabby Douglas, it’s a question that’s been haunting her for years. This past March at the Team USA Media Summit in Los Angeles, Gabby and her teammate Aly Raisman faced uncomfortable questions about their age (Gabby is 20; Aly is 21).
Yet in the highly competitive world of Olympic gymnastics, Gabby and Aly are practically senior citizens. Both young women were star members of the Team USA’s gold-medal winning team at the London Olympics, and both are eager to earn their spot on the 2016 Rio Team, too.
“When a football player wins a Super Bowl, no one asks them why they come back,” Aly said at the media summit. “When the swimmers win, they don’t ask them. With gymnastics they always say it can’t be done but Gabby and I are trying to disprove that…I think you have to be a little crazy. Me and Gabby are a little bit nuts.”
“Well, I don’t feel that old,” Gabby added. “A comeback is very tough. When you have taken a lot of time off after the Olympics and you don’t want to come back, actually the break feels nice, the freedom feels amazing and then you struggle with the discipline of training.”
According to Yahoo! Sports, no one over the age of 19 has won an all-around medal in decades, and the last women’s all-around gold medalists were 16, 18 and 16 again. But that last 16-year-old winner? Yeah, that was Gabby Douglas.
“It’s coming from my heart,” Douglas said. “I really believe I can achieve more. I really do.”
Hard to argue with that.
No matter who makes the lineup, Team USA is already hard at work preparing for the Summer Games in Brazil. Also, this March, Under Armour revealed the official team uniform for the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team, and Mic.com called them “appropriately glittery, girly and bad***, just like the athletes.”
Our Phoenix gymnastics academy knows that not all young gymnasts are destined for Olympic gold (although 98% of female cheerleaders once participated in gymnastics classes). Whether they make Team USA or not, young women like Gabby and Ali still act as important heroes and role models to countless kids all over the world. That’s just one of the many reasons that local gymnastics classes are so valuable for young men and women of all ages, especially at a time when kids spend more than 7.5 hours a day looking at TV, video games, computers, and phone screens.
Even though the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises parents that kids should get 60 minutes of physical activity every day, just one in three kids actually does so. Another reason boys and girls deserve to enjoy the benefits of gymnastic classes this year.