First, Gabby Douglas didn’t put her hand on her heart during the national anthem, and now it appears she didn’t cheer hard enough for her teammates.
At 16, Gabby Douglas was the greatest gymnast in the world and widely revered. Somehow at 20, she has become an example of what is wrong with young Americans. I don’t buy it. Gabby Douglas is still a great American hero.
I’m not anything close to an expert on gymnastics. So I have no idea how much skill Gabby Douglas has lost. I do know that she would’ve easily qualified for the individual all-around competition if not for the limit of two gymnasts per nation. Adding on to what must surely have been a painful disappointment, she was limited to just one even for the team competition.
We often lament the decline of our great male sports heroes, usually at about twice the age of Gabby Douglas. Have I mentioned that she’s 20? In case I haven’t, she’s 20 years old. When Kerri Strugg and rest of the Magnificent Seven were capturing our hearts, Gabby Douglas was in diapers, probably not walking yet. I have to imagine it is difficult to accept going from the top of your sport to being a role player at such a young age.
Despite all this, Gabby Douglas gave a great effort in that team competition, contributing to her team’s dominating win and then stood respectively on the podium during “The Star-Spangled Banner”. I attend a lot of sporting events and often see people stand with their hands on their hearts during the anthem… while they talk, joke, and laugh with the people around them. Gabby Douglas, on the other hand, did just fine.
I wouldn’t blame Gabby Douglas if she had chosen to hide away. Instead, she has stuck it out, doing her best to be a good teammate and friend. I’m more proud of her as a person than I ever have been as a gymnast. I have tremendous #LOVE4GABBYUSA. She is a great American hero.