Gabby Douglas Didn’t Always Have The Confidence Of A Champion. Here’s How She Found Her Strength.

“It took a long time for me to see my own potential — a long time.”

At just 20 years old, Gabby Douglas has already lived a lifetime full of impressive feats — even beyond being an Olympic gold medalist — such as becoming a New York Times bestselling author, snagging a reality TV show, and getting her own Barbie doll. That being said, achieving this wasn't something that came easy for a young woman who has overcome varying challenges on her meteoric rise to success.

"It took a long time for me to see my own potential — a long time," the Virginia Beach, Va., native confessed to Teen Vogue. "Finally something clicked and I knew I could be one of the best. It was a game changer. Now I'm like, 'I am going for this. I'm going for it all.' "


Douglas, who used to be homeless and is now one of America's sweethearts, clearly channeled that realization and has been met with success at both the London and Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Despite that fact, though, Douglas admitted that there were times there were times when internet trolls would comment on anything from her hair to her body that affected her confidence.

"It was very tough. Sometimes I would be in the bathroom, bawling my eyes out, wanting to quit," Gabby admitted. "But when I came through it, I felt as if I could overcome anything."

Douglas' momager, Natalie Hawkins, credits the "elegance" of how tennis pro Serena Williams handled negative criticism for "liberating" her daughter and helping her embrace her own body.

With all that Douglas has accomplished thus far — including becoming the first woman of African descent to win the individual all-around gymnastics gold medal in 2012 — there's no stopping this young woman. The Fierce Five member is already looking ahead to future Olympic ceremonies and can see herself having the gold medal put around her neck yet again — indicating that there's still more to see from this already legendary athlete.

"I guess when you've been there, you're like, 'Yeah, but can you do it again?' " Douglas said. "I love the challenge. I love to push limits. I feel like I haven't reached my full potential yet."

Douglas isn't the only athlete benefitting from gymnastics training. Check out the clip below to meet more:

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