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How old is Gabby Douglas? Age and career timeline, from first Olympics to 2024 comeback attempt

Father Time is a fickle foe, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be challenged.

The menacing behemoth of age comes for us all at one point or another. Some embrace the challenge, however, locking horns with the vicious titan that is decay.

Enter Gabby Douglas, the former Olympic gold medalist. Douglas is no elder, not by any sense of the imagination, but in the world of gymnastics — where lithe movement can be the difference between success and failure — she might as well be.

Douglas is returning to the mat after eight years away. She initially intended to return at the 2024 Winter Cup in Louisville in February, but her comeback was postponed after she tested positive for COVID-19.

“I’m crushed but I’ll see you guys soon!” Douglas wrote on social media.

She has since returned to participate in the American Classic in April, and on Saturday, May 18, she’ll compete in the Core Hydration Classic.

When she does make her return, she’ll look to show that she still has what it takes in one of the country’s most significant gymnastics competitions.

How old is Gabby Douglas?

Douglas is 28 years old, born on December 31, 1995. In most sports, that’s smack in the middle of an athlete’s prime — the time when they’re at their physical peak.

Gymnasts of Douglas’ age don’t come around very often, though. She’s an aging veteran compared to her peers, many of whom are still adolescents.

Just one gymnast older than Douglas has captured Olympic gold (Maria Gorokhovskaya, USSR), and that happened back in 1952.

Suffice it to say, Douglas has her work cut out for her if she wants to make history. Every journey begins with a single step, however. Perhaps the Winter Cup can be Douglas’.

Gabby Douglas career timeline

Summer 2012: After an impressive amateur career and senior medals in preceding tournaments, Douglas became a household name after capturing the gold medal in the all-around competition during the 2012 London Olympics. At the age of just 16, Douglas had already cemented herself as one of the country’s greatest-ever gymnasts.

Summer 2016: Douglas continues her ascent to the peak of national consciousness, appearing inside youngsters’ doll houses as “Gymnast Barbie.”

She snagged another spot on the Olympic team for the 2016 Games. This time, she reestablished herself as one of the sports’ most genuine figures, dressing her neck in gold after winning the team competition with Team USA.

November 2022: After six years off the mat, rumors began to swirl linking Douglas to a return to competition during the tail end of 2022. Those whispers grew louder and louder after a photograph emerged showing Douglas alongside some of her younger counterparts at WOGA, the training center of USA stars past and present.

July 2023: Douglas officially announced her intention to return to the sport that had served her so well during her younger years. She also indicated she was hoping to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. For good measure, she took part in a TikTok alongside some of her younger teammates to reassert her place in the glimmering showroom that is gymnastics. 

Gabby Douglas return to competition

April 2024: Douglas attempted to make her comeback in February, but a positive COVID-19 test meant she could not make her return. Instead, she made her return on April 26, when she participated in the American Classic in Katy, Texas.

There, Douglas finished 11th overall, though she had highlights, which included landing a double-twisting Yurchenko vault.

May 2024: Douglas will participate in another competition, this one at the Core Hydration Classic, on May 18. It will feature not just Douglas, but Suni Lee and Simone Biles. The event is the final qualification chance for the U.S. Championships, though all three have already secured their spots in the event. It will also be an event used to help decide which athletes will be on the Paris Olympic team.

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