Gabby Douglas, the reigning Olympic all-around gold medalist, looks poised to make it to the top of the podium come the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
On Saturday the 20-year-old known as “the Flying Squirrel” won the American Cup at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., her first gold since winning the Olympic all-around in London in 2012, reports USA Today.
Since 1980, only six American women have gone on to compete in a second Olympics. No woman has repeated as gold medalist since Věra Čáslavská in 1968.
“From the bottom of my heart, I really believe that I can achieve more,” Douglas said. “And it’s just not for the wrong intentions. I’m like, ‘Guys, I’m back. I’m serious.’ I feel like gradually and the more and more I keep proving that, I really hope that people believe it.”
Douglas finished with a score of 60.165 after posting the high score in every portion except floor exercise.
Renowned gymnastic coach and former national team coordinator Bela Karolyi says that Douglas is one of a kind.
“I’ve never seen something like that in my life,” said Karolyi, husband of current national team coordinator Martha Karolyi. “If somebody in my life has a chance to repeat, she’s the one.”
If anyone can take the gold from Douglas, it’s her African-American teammate Simone Biles—the three-time defending world champion.
“If she manages to add, to update the difficulty level of the performances, then she’s going to be a hell of a competitor for Simone,” said Bela Karolyi. “These two, again, they’re going to be able to show us to a major performance in the coming Olympic Games.”
Read more at USA Today.