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Gabby Douglas ends Paris Olympics, withdraws from US championships

Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas has withdrawn from this weekend’s U.S. championships, ending her bid for the Paris Olympic team, a representative for Douglas confirmed to NBC News.

Douglas cited an ankle injury suffered in practice this week.

“I love this sport and I love pushing my limits,” Douglas told ESPN. “I hope I can inspire both my peers and the next generation of gymnasts by telling them that age is just a number and that you can achieve anything you work hard for.”

She said she plans to continue training for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The winners of the U.S. Championships this weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, will compete in the Olympic Trials June 27-30. Douglas was scheduled to compete in three of the four events at the Championships after failing to qualify as an all-around competitor.

Her last competitive outing was this month at the Core Hydration Classic in Hartford, Conn., where she withdrew after struggling on the uneven bars.

Douglas, 28, opted out in the first rotation. She had a flawless set in warm-ups, but fell twice on the uneven bars in competition for a 10.100.

Douglas returned to competition for the first time since the 2016 Rio Olympics at the American Classic in Katy, Texas, in April. She placed 10th in the all-around, but qualified to compete at the U.S. Championships in three events.

She first announced her intention to return to the Olympics on “Hallie Jackson NOW” in February.

Douglas had initially planned to return to competitive gymnastics at the Winter Cup in February, but withdrew days before the competition due to a positive Covid test.

“I have to give myself a little grace,” Douglas said during a practice in Hartford. “It ended hard for me in 2016, so I didn’t want to end on that note. I want to make sure I end with love and joy instead of hating something I love.

Douglas said she “felt so much nostalgia.”

“I love this generation,” she said. “We’re pushing the boundaries and saying, ‘Hey, you don’t have to be 16.'”

Douglas’ 2012 performance in London made her the first black gymnast to win the all-around Olympic gold medal. At the 2016 Olympics, Douglas helped the Americans to their second consecutive victory in the team event, earning them a third Olympic gold medal.

She did not participate in the last Tokyo Olympics, a decision interpreted by many in the gymnastics world as a de facto announcement of her retirement.

Had she been named to the U.S. Olympic team in Paris, Douglas would have been the first American since Dominique Dawes to make three Olympic teams. Simone Biles, who was Douglas’ teammate in Rio, is also eyeing her third Olympic team this summer.

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News Source : www.nbcnews.com

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