Gabby Douglas, full of personality and energy, is one of the favorites for the women's all-around title at the London Games.
Robert Hanashiro,, USA TODAY Sports
As part of the USA's dynamic duo in women's gymnastics (along with Jordyn Wieber), Gabby Douglas is about to explode onto the international scene. USA TODAY Sports reveals 10 things you didn't know about one of the favorites for the women's all-around title:
The Flying Squirrel: Thanks to her high-flying exploits on the uneven bars, her signature event, Douglas was nicknamed the Flying Squirrel by national-team coordinator Martha Karolyi. "I like to become the Flying Squirrel," Douglas said last month. "I like squirrels. They're so adventurous."
Thanks, big sister: Douglas' sister, Arielle Hawkins, saw Gabby's flexibility from an early age and convinced their protective mother to enroll the baby sister in gymnastics. When Douglas exhibited potential and needed better coaching, Arielle stepped in again, convincing mom to let Gabby move to Iowa.
Chance at history: If Douglas medals in any individual event, she would become just the second African-American woman gymnast to do so. Dominique Dawes was the first. If Douglas wins the Olympic all-around title, she would become the first of African descent of any kind to do so.
Dad is home: Timothy Douglas served a six-month stint in Afghanistan in the Air Force and hadn't seen his daughter in nearly two years before surprising her at the U.S. trials. He came with a flag that was inscribed, "Go Gabby Douglas. Love, Dad." Gabby Douglas went on to win the all-around title at the trials. No word on whether Timothy has made his way to the Olympics.
The antidote to Wieber Fever: Douglas' biggest challenge for all-around gold could be teammate Wieber, the reigning world champion. Douglas beat Wieber for the first time at the U.S. trials, winning by one-tenth of a point. They'll be teammates during the team competition, then will turn into each other's biggest rival.
Magazine cover girl: Sports Illustrated featured the entire U.S. women's gymnastics team on the cover of its Olympic preview. Time gave Douglas a cover to herself, one of three U.S. versions released in mid-July. Swimmer Ryan Lochte and hurdler Lolo Jones were on the other covers.
Teach me how to Dougie: Douglas told NBC she had a victory dance if she won trials. After accomplishing the feat, she pulled off her own rendition of the Dougie on national television. There is no word on what she'll do if she wins the Olympic all-around.
Olympic medalist training partner: Douglas moved to Iowa to train in with Liang Chow, coach for 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medalist and all-around silver medalist Shawn Johnson, after meeting him at a gymnastics clinic. Douglas and Johnson were training partners for a brief time while Johnson tried to make a comeback.
New to the scene: Douglas didn't even make the 2011 world championships all-around final. She qualified fifth, but with Wieber and Aly Raisman ahead of her, a limit of two athletes per country in the final prevented Douglas from advancing.
Almost quit: A couple months before being named to the Olympic team, the burden was almost too much for Douglas, who considered quitting the sport. "It was pretty drastic," her sister Arielle told NBC's Rock Center in July. "She really really sounded very serious about it."