Douglas was born on December 31, 1995 to parents Timothy Douglas and Natalie Hawkins. She has three siblings. She began training in gymnastics at age two when her older sister, Arielle, convinced their mother to enroll her in gymnastics classes. In October 2002, Douglas began her training at Gymstrada Gymnastics in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In July 2004, she left Gymstrada and began training at Excalibur Gymnastics.
At the age of eight, Douglas won the Level 4 all-around gymnastics title at the 2004 Virginia State Championships.
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A prodigy from a very young age, Gabby Douglas originally made her mark on the world of competitive gymnastics at age eight. She won numerous state championship titles in her age group throughout her early competitive career. While her star was fast rising in the arena, Gabby and her family faced economic challenges at home and she made the difficult decision to leave her mother Natalie, three siblings and grandmother in Virginia Beach and move to Des Moines, Iowa, to train with renowned coach Liang Chow to pursue her dream of Olympic glory. Buoyed by her early success, dedication and unyielding love from her family, Gabby made it onto the 2012 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, with whom she faced intense competition in the London Games. Her sacrifice and perseverance were triumphantly rewarded with Team Competition and Individual All-round gold medals, placing Gabby and her teammates – known as “The Fierce Five” -- among the world’s all-time greats in gymnastics. (Lifetime)