- (Photo: Twitter/Josh Whipp)
Gabby Douglas won this weekend's Olympic gymnastics trials to secure her spot on the 2012 United States team. The 16-year-old is a fan favorite expected to do well in the London Olympics this summer.
After competing at the trials, Douglas was ecstatic to be named to the team.
"All of this hard work has paid off," she told The Los Angeles Times. "I just can't wait to wear those red, white and blue striped down my back. It feels like a dream come true."
Douglas defeated reigning champion Jordyn Wieber at the meet and took her place alongside Wieber, Kyla Ross, Aliso Viejo, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman. The five young women will represent the U.S. at the games in London and are expected to do well.
The last women's U.S. gymnastics team to win gold did so in 1996. The all-star team included such figures as Dominique Moceanu, Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, Amanda Borden, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug. Moceanu and Strug recently made headlines for their private lives and have remained iconic figures in Olympic history.
Douglas has emerged as a fan favorite and has no shortage of support.
"Remember the name Gabby Douglas, I am sure we will a lot of great things from her in London," tweeted Community Healing.
"Gabby Douglas. I can't even. In addition to being a total powerhouse, SHE IS SO CUTE. That smile! Infectious," added Fuggirls.
Nicknamed "Flying Squirrel" for her high-flying routines, Douglas was quick to give thanks to God for her success.
"I give all my glory to God!" she exclaimed after the win.
Making the night even more special for Douglas was the fact that her father, active in the military, was able to attend the meet and see his daughter named to the U.S. team. Religion has always been important to the Douglas family, with Gabby's name having an extra-special meaning.
"I named her Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas," her mom Natalie Hawkins explained. "Her name means 'God's able-bodied one.' As you can see, she has lived up to her name."