Gabby Douglas on Quieting Her Doubters

The Olympic gold-medal winner, who has a new memoir, tells how she turned negatives into positives.

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TR: What was it like to be congratulated by gymnast Dominique Dawes and the Obamas?

GD: It was an amazing feeling because Dominique Dawes was one of my role models and I love her, and I'm so glad I got to meet her and especially the president and the first lady. Just to be in their presence was spectacular.

TR: You told the New York Times before you won your medals that no one thought you would win because you were black and you were the underdog. Do you feel that your win has helped erase the perception that black gymnasts or other athletes are unlikely to excel in sports where there aren't that many of us?

GD: I'm just so honored to become the first African American to win the all-around medal. A lot of people doubted me, but that was also my encouragement, not only to prove them wrong but also to prove myself right. I'm so happy to bring a new face to the sport of gymnastics.

Joshunda Sanders is an Austin, Texas-based writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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