The U.S. Olympic trials for gymnastics starts Thursday and Gabby Douglas is close to making her dream of becoming an Olympic champion a reality. Nicknamed the ‘Flying Squirrel’ for her eye-popping athleticism in the uneven bars, Douglas moved away from her Virginia Beach home at 14 to train full time in West Des Moines, Iowa. There, she is honing her skills with Liang Chow, who helped lead Shawn Johnson to gold in 2008. The Washington Post reports:
Douglas, who prefers to be called “Gabby,” proved as much at the USA gymnastics national championships in May, winning gold on the uneven bars and getting edged by just two-tenths of a point for the all-around gold by defending champion Jordyn Wieber.
Next comes the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials, Thursday through Sunday in San Jose, where 15 women and 15 men will vie for just five spots each on the London-bound teams. Wieber and Douglas, both 16, appear certain picks. But the stars of the 2008 Beijing Games may be missing.
Johnson, the 2008 gold medalist on beam, retired on the eve of last month’s national championships, unable to fully recover from a catastrophic knee injury.
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