Douglas: “the biggest night of my life”

dougie

2012 Olympic All Around Champion Gabby Douglas blogs for ESPN on winning the AA title last night.

LONDON — One of the most nerve-wracking moments of my life happened tonight, as I waited for the final score on floor in the Olympic all-around final. I had finished and was in first place, but Russian gymnast Viktoria Komova was the last gymnast to go and had done an amazing floor routine. My heart was absolutely racing.

Do I have it? Do I not have it? Will I be first? Second?

My coach, Liang Chow, said, “You’re the Olympic champion! You have it!”

But I couldn’t believe him until I saw the scoreboard. When I finally saw the results, I was speechless. Tears of joy streamed down my face, and I started waving to the crowd and my family in the stands.

When my mom first took me to Chow’s gym two years ago, she told him I wanted to be an Olympic champion someday. He told her he would do his best. He jokes now that he wasn’t so sure he could do it.

He has pushed me so hard, and some days I would wonder, “Why do I have to do this?” In the end, though, he believed in me and all the hard work really did pay off. He and his wife Li have shaped me into a better gymnast than I ever thought I could be.

When I first got here to London, I was in some pain from a tweaked muscle. I was feeling a little down. But Chow reminded me that everyone has pain. He said, “Don’t focus on that, you’re at the Olympics! If you don’t push it now, you’ll regret it.” He got me refocused, and, of course, he was right. When I got to the competition and all the nerves kicked in, I didn’t feel a thing.

Tonight, I didn’t think about avoiding mistakes — that’s what gets you into trouble. Instead, I just thought about going out there and representing Team USA, my coaches, my family and myself as best as I could. I just wanted to enjoy the moment. Chow told me not to fear what might happen, but to just believe in myself.

People have asked if I felt like I was on fire here in London, but I just feel normal, the same as I do every day in practice. The difference has been that I was ready to seize the moment, to focus and to trust in what I can do.

You say you want to do it and you dream about it every day, but then when it happens, it’s hard to believe it really has. Tonight, when the U.S. flag was raised and the national anthem played, there were so many camera flashes going off I felt like I was at a concert.

And the crazy thing was, they were all taking pictures of me.

We get a quick look at just how short a time Gabby gets to see her family for before being whisked off, learning that it will be the next morning when she see’s them. Must be pretty tough on the young sixteen year old who is having the biggest night of her life.

Thanks to Amanda from ESPN for getting in touch regarding Gabby’s blog.

3 Comments

  1. Kim says:

    Aww that was so lovely. Congrats Gabby! You were incredible.

  2. aaronellis says:

    Awesome job Gabby USA is very proud of you, becoming the third consecutive American to claim gymnastics top honor, you just made USA the only country to claim this prize back to back in 03 straight games, you’ve also made another mile stone with becoming the first woman of color to win the all around and claim an individual gold medal in the Olmypic games in the spott of gymnastics. You also just made it known to the world that its not based on ones color or what country they come from, but it’s what one can execute on the main stage!!! Congrats and job well done! You will go down in history forever!!!! Gabby Douglas the 2012 Olympic All Around Champion! ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  3. Admin says:

    delighted that someone is very happy for Gabby – I am too. I would have been equally happy if Komova or Mustafina had won.

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