This Day in Black History: Aug. 2, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07:  Gabrielle Douglas of the United States competes on the beam during the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Beam final on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 7, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

This Day in Black History: Aug. 2, 2012

Gabrielle Douglas won an Olympic gold in women’s gymnastics on Aug. 2, 2012.

Published August 2, 2014

At age 16, Gabrielle Douglas captured the attention of the world by becoming the first African-American athlete to win the Olympic gold medal in the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Individual All-Around final on this date, winning that award at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

She also won gold medals in both the individual and team all-around competitions at the Olympics. She was the first American gymnast to win gold medals in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics as well as being the only American All-Around Champion to win multiple gold medals.

Douglas was born in 1995 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and began training in gymnastics at the age of six. Her older sister, Arielle, persuaded their mother to enroll her in gymnastics classes. At the age of eight, she won the Level 4 all-around gymnastics title at the 2004 Virginia State Championships.

She had received a number of honors. On Aug. 3, 2012, the Kellogg Company announced it would feature a photo of Douglas standing on the Olympic podium with her gold medal for a special edition of its Corn Flakes.

Later that year, she spoke on a show with Oprah Winfrey about her experiences as the target of racist bullying at a gym where she trained in her younger years.

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 (Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Written by Jonathan P. Hicks


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