Gabby Douglas is still racking up more awards and honors as she has been voted The Associated Press’s female athlete of the year, performs flawless leap next to Bob Costas, and was even invited to sit down across from one of the toughest journalists on TV Piers Morgan.
Ever since the teenage athlete became the first African American woman to earn a gold in all-around gymnastics this year at the London Olympics, American can’t get enough of the “Flying Squirrel.”
U.S editors and news directors from all across the country casted their votes for the AP’s female athlete of the year on Friday and decided that Gabby Douglas shined once again.
The 16-year-old’s votes trumped gold medalist Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, the unstoppable tennis champ Serena Williams, and perhaps one of the best women’s basketball players Britney Griner who led her team to a perfect season.
The young gymnast with the famous huge grin earned 48 of the 157 votes, seven more than Missy Franklin.
Gabby has become only the fourth gymnast to win the AP’s coveted award since 1931 and is the first to grab the award since Mary Lou Retton was named the female athlete of the year back in 1984.
In addition to her new vault that left America breathless and an upgraded uneven bars, she revealed a lovable personality that quickly made her one of America’s youngest sweethearts.
Many experts referred to Douglas as one of the most consistent gymnasts on the U.S team and helped earned her team the title as one of the best gymnastic teams the U.S has ever sent to the Olympics.
Nike, Kellogg, and AT&T were quick to reach deep into the bank accounts to offer the youngster some astonishing deals if she sponsored their products. According to agent Sheryl Shade, what made Gabby so remarkable was that she drew interest from companies that don’t typically partner with Olympians or even athletes for that matter.
In addition to making Olympic history, her autobiography “Grace, Gold, and Glory” has been ranked as No. 4 on the New York Times’ young adult list.
The best part of all, her coach claims that the best of Gabby is yet to come as she still has more training to do and even “higher bars to set.”
The “Flying Squirrel” has become one of the most memorable faces of this years Olympics and she was even given the opportunity to perform a graceful leap along side one of the most memorable faces of all the Olympic Games since 1992.
In a special photoshoot with Bob Costas, the young gold medalist is seem leaping beside the face of NBC’s Olympic Game coverage.
Despite the combination of time-shifted viewing and social media together providing many spoilers for the Olympic Games this year Costas was still there guiding his massive audience through all the action.
“He is frighteningly flawless in that chair,” said executive producer Jim Bell of Costas.
In addition to conveying the emotion behind Michael Phelps trying to redeem himself and the anxiety of seeing if Gabby would indeed grab gold, the famous news anchor was also never shy to express how he really felt.
During the Opening Ceremonies he called out the Olympic Committee for not acknowledging the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre.
Perhaps one of the most touching behind the scenes moments of the photoshoot was when Gabby showed up with her last copy of her autobiography as a special gift for the outspoken 60-year-old.
“Can I write ‘I hope to see you in 2016,’” Gabby asked as she prepared to autograph the book.
The world is hoping that Gabby will take center stage once again as the Olympic Games move to Rio in 2016.
Meanwhile, Piers Morgan wants to know what exactly does it take to be a winner and he looks towards the talented youngster for the answer.
“It takes a lot, not only talent,” Douglas answered. “But you have to be consistent and you have to dedicate your heart into the sport and you have to work very hard and give 100 percent.”
After being separated from her family for years to live with another family in order to receive the best training she could find, Gabby definitely knows a thing or two about giving it all to the sport that you love.
Her interview with Piers Morgan will air Saturday at 9 p.m.