The Raisman and Douglas Comebacks: An Intriguing Turn of Events


By Anna Rose Johnson

*** Note*** as of this week, Gabby Douglas’ FIG licence has been renewed – the article was written earlier in the week.

Last month, I was looking at the list of U.S. women who have FIG licenses. Gymnasts who haven’t competed in some time (such as Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney) have let their licenses lapse, but the current gymnasts (such as Simone Biles and Kyla Ross) continue to renew theirs. The list contains 41 gymnasts—23 seniors and 18 juniors.

“The license system allows the FIG to verify and track down crucial information on the athletes from the first moment they have been entered to the system,” Meike Behrensen, the FIG Communications Manager, told Full Twist. “By signing the form, the gymnasts agree to comply with and be bound by the FIG Anti-doping Rules.”

I was interested to discover that Aly Raisman’s name is on the list again with a license, after having let her previous license lapse. Raisman’s license is listed as valid until December 8th, 2016. According to Behrensen, FIG licenses are valid for two years. This means that Raisman’s license was issued on December 8th, 2014—less than two weeks after she was re-named to the U.S. National Team. The only other U.S. gymnast with the same license expiration date as Raisman is Victoria Nguyen, and they were both named to the national team on the same day.

Rachel Gowey and Gabrielle Douglas were also new national team members in November, but Rachel already had an FIG license. (Hers is dated out until February 27th, 2016, which makes sense because she received her first international assignment in March 2014.)

Gabby Douglas does not yet have a new FIG license; apparently hers lapsed when she took her break from competition and it hasn’t been renewed yet.

“The national gymnastics federations request FIG licenses for their gymnasts by providing the required information including an application form signed by the gymnasts and their legal representative (for minors),” Behrensen explained. “They also pay a license fee.”

So if USA Gymnastics requested FIG licenses for Aly Raisman and Victoria Nguyen after the November camp, why didn’t they request a license for Gabby Douglas? The license dates for other gymnasts indicate that USA Gymnastics requests licenses for those who have either been recently named to the national team or are under consideration for competition assignments.

The only explanation I can figure is that USA Gymnastics is planning to send Raisman to a competition early in the spring and they are saving Douglas until later in the summer. Perhaps Raisman will accompany Simone Biles to the American Cup, since Kyla Ross has apparently not yet accepted her invitation to Arlington. Of course, these are merely my own thoughts and do not reflect the opinions of USA Gymnastics or anyone affiliated with these athletes.

Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts on this interesting situation!

Special thanks to Meike Behrensen for her time and assistance!



  1. Grace says:

    Perhaps Gabby is not near as ready for competition as she’d like us to think. 😉

  2. Mihai says:

    But if Raisman got her license in November, dont this mean she will only be eligible for a FIG competition after 6 months (the month of May, in this case). I thought the gymnast would have to wait 6 months, but not sure about that 🙂

  3. Mariya says:

    Gabby now has a licence that expires in January 2017, similar to Maddie Desch, Megan Skaggs, Laurie etc.
    Not having one in early January may have just been an admin issue?

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