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Gabby Douglas sets gymnastics comeback, first meet in eight years

Douglas' winning routine from London Olympics
Gymnast Gabby Douglas leaves everything on the mat in her winning routine, becoming the all-around Olympic champion in the 2012 London Olympics.

Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion, plans to return to gymnastics competition later this month for the first time since the 2016 Olympics.

Douglas, 28, said on Hallie Jackson Now that she plans to compete at the Winter Cup on Feb. 24 in Louisville, Kentucky, the first significant domestic meet of this Olympic year.

It’s an early tune-up for the Xfinity U.S. Championships (May 30-June 2) and the Olympic Trials (June 27-30).

“Honestly, I’m feeling excited, nervous, grateful,” Douglas said. “A little bit timid, but I think that’s normal. It’s been such a long time, but like I said, I’m so excited to get back out there, be with everyone, kind of get my feet wet a little bit after eight years out, and then I think I’ll just be a little bit, you know what I’m saying, good to go.”

Douglas, who never announced a retirement, was inspired to return to training while watching gymnastics in 2022.

She announced last July that she was back in the gym with an eye on a 2024 Olympic bid.

“I wanted to find the joy again for the sport that i absolutely love doing,” was posted on her social media at the time. “I know i have a huge task ahead of me and i am beyond grateful and excited to get back out on the floor and even more grateful for all of your support and love. it truly means so much. there’s so much to be said but for now….let’s do this #2024.”

In November, Douglas attended her first USA Gymnastics camp since 2016, an indicator that a return to competition was imminent.

She has been training at the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA) in Texas.

Douglas can become the oldest U.S. Olympic female gymnast since 1952, according to the OlyMADMen.

The Olympic team of five will be named after June’s trials, where the field could include up to 10 women who own at least one Olympic or world championships medal.

“I would just love to go back out there and represent USA just one more time and just to have that feeling of being a part of something, being a part of a team again, would be amazing and a huge honor,” she said.