INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Reigning Olympic champion Gabby Douglas’ comeback is picking up speed.
Next stop? Texas.
Douglas will work out in front of U.S. women’s gymnastics team coordinator Martha Karolyi next week, a major step toward her return to elite competition. The 18-year-old hasn’t competed since winning a pair of gold medals, including the all-around title, at the 2012 London Olympics.
Douglas recently reunited with coach Liang Chow in Iowa after taking a seven-month break to spend time with her family in Southern California.
There’s still no timetable for when she’ll be ready for competition. It’s nearly three months to nationals in Pittsburgh in late August, with the world championships in China in early October. Douglas has said she hopes to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
World all-around champion Simone Biles, 2012 Olympic team member Kyla Ross and McKenna Kelley, whose mother is 1984 all-around gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, are also planning to attend the five-day camp at the Olympic training site near Huntsville, Texas, under Karolyi’s watchful eye.
Douglas is the third member of the “Fierce Five” that won team gold medal in London to return to training with the national team. Former world champion Jordyn Wieber just finished her freshman year at UCLA, where she couldn’t compete because she gave up her amateur status before going to London. Three-time medalist Aly Raisman has returned to training. But like Douglas, she has no firm plans on when she’ll be ready to compete.
It’s been a whirlwind two years for Douglas, who became the fourth American to win the women’s Olympic all-around when she soared to victory at the O2 Arena in August 2012. There’s been a movie about her life, along with a slew of endorsement opportunities.
She’s stayed healthy in the interim, and the invitation to training camp is an indication the early returns on her training have been promising