If you’ve turned on a TV in the past 24 hours, you’ve heard Gabby Douglas‘ name. If you don’t follow the Olympics, you may not realize who Gabby Douglas is or why she’s a big deal–and we’re here to help you with that and let you know exactly why this Olympic gymnast rules so hard. Here are the top 10 reasons we totally heart Gabby Douglas!
1. Her confidence.
What’s so cool about Gabby Douglas is that she believed all along that she’d win, even when her coach didn’t think she had enough focus to make it to the London games. “It was just an amazing feeling,” Gabby giggled to The New York Times about her win. “I was just like, ‘Believe, don’t fear, believe.’” Atta girl!
2. She’s so tiny!
Gabby Douglas is the shortest girl on her team, stretching out to 4’11”. If anyone was proof that amazing things come in small packages, it’s Gabby Douglas.
3. She made history.
Gabby Douglas is the first African-American girl to win the all-around in gymnastics. “I have an advantage because I’m the underdog and I’m black and no one thinks I’d ever win,” she told the Times. “Well, I’m going to inspire so many people. Everybody will be talking about, ‘How did she come up so fast?’ But I’m ready to shine.” And shine she did–and so does her gold medal.
4. She has a sense of humor about how her race makes her stand out.
Gabby Douglas doesn’t see being a minority in a predominantly white sport as a huge deal, but more like a matter of circumstances–and she never let it phase her, even when she did feel a tiny bit out of place with her peers in the beginning. “It was so strange. I remember listening to rap music and being like, ‘You don’t know this song? O.K., sorry.’ And they’re like, ‘Country? You don’t know country?’ I’m just like, ‘This is awkward.’”
5. Her idols idolize her.
Those rappers Gabby Douglas loves so much? They love her right back. Lil Wayne tweeted, “Glad i lived to see what Gabby Douglas did in the Olympics. Icon.” Nicki Minaj was a fan too–and an impatient one at that, writing, “*kisses to Gabby* what an amazing little firecracker. #USA #Olympics,” followed by, “Oh wow, I tweeted about #Gabby earlier but she responds to @LilTunechi and not me? U know what? Ima fight u. I’ve had it!!!” Easy, Nicki!
6. She gave up everything she knew to chase her dream.
Gabby Douglas moved 1,200 miles away from her home and family in Virginia Beach, Virginia to train for gymnastics in West Des Moines, Iowa with people she’d never even met before. If that’s not dedication, what is?
6. Other Olympians adore her.
You may have heard of a certain Olympic athlete named Michael Phelps. Turns out, he’s a fan of Gabby Douglas, too, tweeting, “Congrats to @gabrielledoug last night!!! We watched from the pool!!! #USA.” And really, where else would he be watching her from?
7. She’s super pretty. . .
For real. Just look at her! Her eyes sparkle and she almost always looks happy.
8. . . . And she can’t be bothered by those who think she isn’t.
Gabby Douglas came under fire because some people didn’t like how she wore her hair. When she won Olympic gold. For gymnastics. Let that marinate for a second, girls. Gabby Douglass made history with her athleticism and talent–and looked adorable doing it–but people on Twitter are pissed about her hair? Can we please get a freakin’ grip?
9. She’s going to be loaded.
Along with medals come endorsement deals. While everyone hides behind their keyboards kvetching about her hair, she’ll be too busy counting her cash from her cereal boxes.
10. She’s not done yet.
Gabby Douglas already made history with her all-around gymnastics win, and she has two more shots at more medals at the uneven bars and the balance beam. Go, Gabby, go!
Did you watch Gabby Douglas in the 2012 London Olympic games? What do you love most about Gabby Douglas? Do you think Gabby Douglas’ hair should be an issue? Do you look up to Gabby Douglas? Tell us in the comments!