Sunday, June 23, 2024

Can Gabby Douglas still compete at the Paris Olympics 2024? Exploring ways for the American gymnast to join Team USA

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Gabby Douglas recently competed at the 2024 U.S Core Hydration Classic, which served as the final qualifying event for the 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships, scheduled to be held from May 30 to June 2, in Forth Worth, Texas.

The 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships is a part of the U.S. women’s selection procedure along with the 2024 Olympic Team Trials, scheduled from June 27 to 30, 2024, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Gabby Douglas has secured three Olympic gold medals in two editions.

At the 2012 London Olympics, she secured a gold medal along with the team. Further, the American gymnast also clinched a gold medal in the women’s individual all-around event becoming the first African-American woman, and the first woman of color of any nationality, to clinch a win in the event. She competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics, again collecting a gold medal with the team.

Following the 2016 Games, Douglas remained dormant from the sport for nearly eight years until she made a comeback in the 2024 Olympic year. At the 2024 U.S. Core Hydration Classic, which served as the final qualifying opportunity for the national championships, she fell short of displaying a performance worth her redemption.

Douglas stumbled twice on the uneven bars before withdrawing from the rest of the events, collecting 10.100 points, and failing to qualify for the national championships. Moreover, according to chapter 9 of the elite program of USA Gymnastics, she remains ineligible to issue a petition for reconsideration. The rule specifies:

“No petitions will be considered for athletes obtaining an all-around score at a classic competition.”

However, the 2024 Olympic Trials qualification will be on invitation basis only. Fans will have to wait to see if Douglas will be one of the twelve athletes to receive a call to continue her Olympic pursuit.

Gabby Douglas’ comeback was marked with multiple challenges

Gabby Douglas at the 2024 Core Hydration Classic in Hartford, Connecticut.
Gabby Douglas at the 2024 Core Hydration Classic in Hartford, Connecticut.

After remaining absent from the sport for eight years, Gabby Douglas was supposed to make her return at the 2024 Winter Cup in February 2024 in Kentucky.

However, the American gymnast had to put a hold on her much-anticipated comeback after testing positive for COVID-19. Later, she competed at the American Classic in Texas, where she scored a total of 50.650 points in all-around, missing the 51.000 qualifying mark.

Her 14.000 and 13.350 points in vault and balance beam, respectively, marked her qualification for the U.S. Classic. Moreover, she also faced travel challenges before making it to the 2024 U.S. Core Hydration Classic.