After a strong start to this summer’s Olympic Games in London, American gymnast Gabby Douglas cooled off tremendously, failing to win a medal in two of three women’s individual gymnastic events.
Last week, Douglas became the first Black gymnast of any nationality to win an individual Olympic gold medal after winning the women’s individual all-around. She had also won a gold medal as a member of the U.S. national women’s artistic gymnastics team, which won the team all-around event.
But the 16-year-old Virginia Beach, Va. native was simply too exhausted to maintain her dominance as she fell short of medaling in the women’s individual uneven bars event on Aug. 6 and the balance-beam event on Aug. 7.
“We’re not losers,” Douglas told reporters after receiving a 13.166 on her beam routine, nearly two points behind gold medalist Linlin Deng of China. Douglas nearly slipped off the balance beam, hanging from the bar with both hands, which resulted in a major deduction from her score.
Her teammate, Aly Raisman, did manage to have individual success, winning gold in the women’s individual floor event and bronze on the beam.
“We’re superheroes. We do tricks no one can do… But we’re all humans,” Douglas said. “We all make mistakes. We’re 16-year-olds and have a lot of pressure on our shoulders. That’s kind of a lot for a teenager.”
Douglas told reporters that she now plans on going back home to Virginia Beach, Va. where she hasn’t visited since moving to train full time with her coach in Iowa.
There’s going to be parades ,” she said. “It’s going to be insane, but I’m ready for it. I made the history books.”