8 Things You Didn't Know About Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas just helped Team USA capture gold in Women's Gymnastics. Here are a few things you might not know about the decorated gymnast.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Gabby Douglas represented a whole lot more than just a young Olympian when she won gold in 2012. She was the first female African-American to win the Individual All-Around event. And she got what came with that: props from celebrities, critiques about irrelevant things like her looks, and a big time interview with Oprah. That’s a lot for a 16-year-old, and probably pretty much anyone.

But she’s no longer a teenager, and she's now a two-time gold medal winner after she and the rest of Team USA captured the All-Around title in Women's Gymnastics at the Rio Games Tuesday. Not bad for a gymnast who was technically past her peak. And we're not saying that, the world of gymnastics is. So after adding yet another medal to her already decorated mantle, we present 8 Things You Didn't Know About Gabby Douglas. 

She's a Lakers fan.

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Douglas is from Virginia, but something about the Lakers got to her. Blame it on Kobe if you'd like, but Douglas is a self-proclaimed purple and gold fan.

Respect. @kobebryant #MambaDay 4.13 pic.twitter.com/iHCpKliJvi

— Gabby Douglas (@gabrielledoug) April 13, 2016

She has her own emojis.

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She's trying to get the attention of actor Alex Roe.

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Alex Roe is a British actor, best known for his role in The Fugitives and The Cut, but he’s also one of Douglas’ favorites.

She moved to Iowa on her own to pursue gymnastics.

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After seeing Shawn Johnson on TV at the 2008 Olympics, Gabby knew she could be an Olympian, but she needed Johnson’s coach to achieve her goal. So a barely teenage Douglas moved to Iowa for intense training.

And as Oprah pointed out in the most Oprah way possible, this move was especially bold given the fact that she would be moving to a predominantly white area and competing in a predominantly white sport. However as her host dad said, “As long as she’s in my house, she’ll be treated as one of my daughters.”

Wilmer Valderrama created the docu-series about her family.

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The Valderrama-Douglas connect seems a little unusual, but pretty much it’s just that Wilmer Valderrama was fascinated by the Douglas story during the 2012 Olympics like everybody else. But because he’s not a normal person he can then pursue whatever interests he wants, he decided to make and produce an entire TV show around Douglas.

She’d be a hip hop dancer if she weren’t a gymnast.

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“Maybe for Beyoncé,” she told Sports Illustrated. It might not be that far off, given that Beyoncé has given her major props, and Gabby models her work ethic after her. 

Her dream car is the one from the Avengers movie.

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Serena Williams’ body confidence helped Douglas overcome her own insecurities.

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The most recent news  surrounding Serena Williams may be her shocking loss early on in the singles rounds in Rio, but she’s still an all time tennis god and body image master.

In an interview with Teen Vogue, Gabby’s mother explained how Serena’s body positivity influenced her daughter: “I remember when everyone was talking about her arms, and she became very self-conscious about how muscular they were. Then Gabrielle saw the elegance with which Serena Williams handled all the negative criticism of her own body. It was liberating for my daughter to see that. She said, ‘I don’t have to apologize to anyone about my body. My body is beautiful.’”

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