Gymnast Gabby Douglas Clinches Gold at the American Cup

“The Flying Squirrel” proves that she is calm under pressure and a top contender for the 2016 Summer Olympics. 

Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas competes on the uneven bars during the Women's All-Around final on the seventh day of the 2015 World Gymnastics Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, on Oct. 29, 2015. 
Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas competes on the uneven bars during the Women's All-Around final on the seventh day of the 2015 World Gymnastics Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, on Oct. 29, 2015.  Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

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.

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