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Renowned Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas is returning to competitive gymnastics, with an apparent eye for Paris in July 2024.
Douglas, 27, announced on Instagram Thursday that she is returning to the sport she “absolutely love[s] doing.”
“I know i have a huge task ahead of me and i am beyond grateful and excited to get back out on the floor,” Douglas wrote, in part, adding, “there’s so much to be said but for now….? ?let’s do this.”
Gabby Douglas ended her post with #2024.
Douglas previously competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games, making history as the first U.S. gymnast to win the all-around and team titles at the same Olympic Games and the first Black American to take home individual Olympic all-around gymnastics gold, according to her official Olympics bio.
Douglas did not compete in U.S. trials for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which took place in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In an Instagram post last August, Douglas wrote that she was taking time to focus on her mental health.
On Thursday, she wrote that she spent her time off journaling, reflecting and soul-searching and “found myself back where it all began.”
“For many years, i’ve had an ache in my heart but i didn’t want to keep carrying anger, pain, sadness, or regret and through my tears and hurt, i’ve found peace,” she wrote. “I wanted to find the joy again for the sport that i absolutely love doing.”
Douglas and Simon Biles are Olympic royalty, leaping over mountains of pressure and expectations
Douglas once gave advice to fellow Olympic icon Simone Biles after Biles opened up about the unprecedented pressure she felt during the Tokyo Olympics. “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times,” Biles shared on Instagram. “I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The Olympics is no joke!”
Douglas told on E! News’ Daily Pop, “There are so many factors and avenues for pressure [in the Olympics], especially with the pandemic, so I can totally relate to that.”
“I would say, ‘Guys, this is a tremendous opportunity to be given this talent to go out and shine, and shine to the brightest. So, this our shot, and let’s go for it,'” Douglas mused. “We are trained as athletes to not really focus on anything that’s going on outside, or things that are going on right beside us. We are only allowed to focus on ourselves, so for me, I really just focus on breathing because that’s kind of the thing that’s accessible, breathing and focusing on one thing at a time.”
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for both men’s and women’s gymnastics are scheduled to take place next June in Minneapolis, according to ABC News.
Douglas’ return to competition means that the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympic individual all-around champions will all be competing to make the 2024 U.S. women’s gymnastics Olympic team.