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Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas has withdrawn from the upcoming U.S. Championships due to an ankle injury sustained during training. Despite this setback, Douglas remains determined to continue pushing her limits and inspiring both her peers and the next generation of gymnasts. She had hoped to compete at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, and her withdrawal from this weekend’s Championships will prevent her from qualifying for the Olympic Trials in June.

Douglas had previously struggled at the Core Hydration Classic in Hartford, Connecticut, where she withdrew after encountering difficulties on the uneven bars. This was her first competitive outing since the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she helped the U.S. women’s team to a gold medal. Despite finishing 10th in the all-around at the American Classic in April, Douglas qualified to compete in three events at the U.S. Championships in Fort Worth, Texas. Her decision to withdraw from these Championships comes after months of training and preparation.

The 28-year-old gymnast had announced her intention to return to the Olympics earlier this year, following her 2016 performance in Rio. Douglas had initially planned to compete at the Winter Cup in February, but was forced to withdraw due to a positive Covid test. She cited the desire to end her gymnastics career on a positive note, filled with love and joy, rather than on a negative one. Despite the challenges she has faced in her comeback journey, Douglas remains dedicated to the sport and to showcasing the talent and diversity of this generation of gymnasts.

Having made history as the first Black gymnast to win the Olympic all-around gold medal in London in 2012, Douglas has already left a lasting legacy in the sport. Her achievements at the 2016 Olympics, where she won her third gold medal as part of the U.S. women’s team, further solidified her place in gymnastics history. While she did not make a run for the most recent Olympics in Tokyo, many saw this as a sign of her retirement from competitive gymnastics. Despite this, Douglas has continued to train and compete, aiming for a potential return to the Olympic stage in the future. Her decision to withdraw from the U.S. Championships is a temporary setback in her journey towards achieving her Olympic dreams.

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