Gabby Douglas aiming for 2014 return
Gabby Douglas is pretty much over basking in the afterglow of
Sure, the trappings of becoming the first American gymnast to
win team and Olympic all-around gold medals in the same games are
nice. The talk shows. The commercial opportunities. There’s even
talk of a movie on her life story in the works.
Yet the 17-year-old wasn’t kidding when she said he plans on
making a run at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro. Any doubt Douglas
had about that desire vanished while making an appearance at the
Secret Classic in Chicago last month.
Watching the sport that has shaped her life move on without her,
Douglas returned to coach Liang Chow’s gym in Iowa eager to get
back to work.
”It’s weird sitting on the sidelines,” Douglas said Friday
shortly before she and the rest of her ”Fierce Five” were
inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. ”I want to be able
to get back there and compete and that I can compete so that I have
the ability too.”
Douglas is tentatively pointing toward the 2014 US women’s
gymnastics championships as the official return date. That plan can
change as she tries to reboot her career. Make no mistake, however,
she will compete again.
”I want to come back,” Douglas said.
So does Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman. While teammates Kyla Ross
and McKayla Maroney took short breaks before returning to training,
Douglas, Wieber and Raisman did their best to enjoy the perks of
becoming overnight sensations. Raisman did a season of ”Dancing
With the Stars” while Wieber finished up high school and
crisscrossed the country making all kinds of appearances.
Wieber, the 2011 world all-around champion, is back working with
coach John Geddert but is planning to enroll at UCLA in the fall.
She will continue to train in Los Angeles but could return to
training in Michigan. School, at the moment, is the higher
”If I don’t get college started now, it might be three years
from now to get started,” Wieber said. ”So maybe I’ll get it
started now, in a year maybe come back and train. I’m not really
sure what our plans are.”
Neither is Raisman, who came home from London with three medals.
At this point, she and coach Mihai Brestyan have talked in only
general terms. Raisman only says she’ll get in training ”soon”
and that her biggest concern at the moment is conditioning and
pacing herself. Putting together skills and routines will come much
”Mihai said it’s totally on me, no one can force me to come
back,” Raisman said. ”It’s my decision, which has been really
great. I know they want me to come back but they want me to go out
and have fun and get everything out of my system so that when I’m
back I’m really back.”
CARDINAL RULE: Kyla Ross is the youngest member of the Fierce
Five and the only one who remained an amateur after the games.
Looking back, the decision wasn’t a terribly difficult one.
While Ross would have seen a boost to her bank account if she
surrendered her amateur status, it likely wouldn’t have been enough
to cover the cost of college. The math didn’t add up for Ross or
her parents, particularly when the California native’s list of
potential schools includes Stanford.
A year after standing atop the podium in London, Ross is
confident she made the right call. So are her parents, who don’t
have to shuttle the 16-year-old around just to collect a
”You can pick and choose and say sorry, she’s got to train,”
Kiana Ross said. ”I don’t have someone who’s making money off of
her saying come on you have to do this. ”
It’s a path that world for Bridget Sloan. The member of the 2008
Olympic team and the 2009 world all-around champion remained an
amateur before stepping away from elite competition last summer.
She just finished her freshman year at Florida, where she won the
NCAA all-around title this spring.
KOCIAN WITHDRAWS: Madison Kocian withdrew from the women’s
championships on Friday after suffering a sprained left ankle
during the preliminaries on Thursday. Kocian was actually in the
lead through two rotations after posting a 15.0 on uneven bars and
a 14.8 on balance beam. She was near the end of her floor exercise
routine when she rolled the ankle at the end of a tumbling run.
Simone Biles will take a .750-point lead into the finals on
Saturday over Ross. Brenna Dowell is third followed by Peyton Ernst
and Maggie Nichols.