Whenever I tune in for Douglas Family Gold, I can’t help but cheer for the talented and very spirited Gabby Douglas. And when she fails to nail an event, I feel very disappointed on her behalf. I felt especially bad for her during tonight’s episode, as she faced a major bump on the road to Rio.
Achieving Olympic glory is difficult enough the first time around for the average gymnast, but things get even more challenging as former Olympic gymnasts try for additional medals. Many are forced to drop out long before a second bid for the Olympics is even a possibility; of the Fierce Five, only two have even been able to try for Rio, as the others fell prey to career-ending injuries. Douglas has gone further than most of her 2012 counterparts, but her journey has nearly ended on multiple occasions.
Tonight’s big disappointment on Douglas Family Gold occurred on the beam, or rather, off it, as poor Douglas lost her balance during the event and fell down.
Douglas was clearly upset and frustrated with herself when she fell off the beam. If this happened to anybody else, they would for sure be out of the final round. Thankfully, Douglas aced the other events, so she was able to make it through to the finals. Unfortunately, making finals was only the first hurdle. Pitted against world champion Simone Biles, Douglas was unable to overtake her biggest competitor for the gold medal.
The big disappointment in Glasgow reminded me a lot of Douglas’ more recent upset; she only placed fourth during last weekend’s U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Nerves seemed to be a factor in Glasgow and I suspect the same problem led to her recent fourth-place finish. The difference is that she nailed the beam last weekend and struggled with the bars, which are usually her greatest strength.
Douglas is no stranger to disappointment, but she’s learned to take her Olympic journey one step at a time. She achieved her ultimate goal of getting on the podium in Glasgow, so while I was briefly very bummed on her behalf, I’m glad to see her making progress toward her dream of dominating the Olympics for a second time. And while she recently faced a huge disappointment at an important competition, I’m sure that she is in, as she claims “a really good spot right now.” If anybody can come back from a major disappointment, it’s Douglas.