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Gabby Douglas Officially Ends 2024 Paris Olympics Quest Due to Ankle Injury: ‘Age Is Just a Number’

Gabby Douglas won't be competing in the 2024 Olympics
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Gabby Douglas’ improbable bid for a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics officially came to an end on Wednesday, May 29, when the gymnast withdrew from the U.S. gymnastics championships in Fort Worth, Texas.

Douglas, 28, cited an ankle injury as the reason she would be unable to vie to become the oldest U.S. gymnast to compete in the Olympics since 1952.

“I love this sport and I love pushing my limits,” Douglas told ESPN. “I hope I can inspire both my peers and the next generation of gymnasts that age is just a number, and you can accomplish anything you work hard for.”

The event was her last chance to earn an invitation to the Olympic trials in Minneapolis next month. She last competed in the Olympics in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, and in 2012, she became the first Black gymnast to win the Olympic all-around title in London.

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Douglas announced in February that she would be returning to competitive gymnastics. She explained her decision via Instagram, writing, “Wow guys, what a journey so far. it’s had its ups and downs, but i’m not done pushing the boundaries. i’m determined to make every moment count! SO happy to get back out on the competition floor and enjoy this sport that i fell in love with as a little girl. here’s to never giving up on our dreams. let’s do this.”

At the time, Douglas stressed the importance of representing the United States on the sport’s biggest stage.

Gabby Douglas won't be competing in the 2024 Olympics

“I would just love to go back out there and represent USA one more time and just to have that feeling of being a part of something, being a part of a team again would be amazing and a huge honor,” she said.

Her initial decision to return to gymnastics came while watching the 2022 U.S. championships, where she realized she still had that competitive edge.

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“I was watching the 2022 championships, and I was like, ‘Man, I miss competing,’” Douglas said in an appearance on Hallie Jackson NOW. “And I was trying to figure out how to get this — I’m still a competitor at heart — so I decided to start back training.“

Now that 2024 is out of the question for Douglas, she will turn her attention to an even more improbable feat: 2028. She will be 32 when the 2028 Olympics hit Los Angeles, but she has her eyes four years down the road regardless.

“I proved to myself and to the sport that my skills remain at an elite level,” Douglas said. “My plan is to continue to train for the L.A. 2028 Olympics. It would be such an honor to represent the U.S. at a home Olympics.”

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