(L-R) Olympic gymnasts Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas, and Anastasia “Nastia” Liukin attend the 33rd Annual Salute To Women In Sports Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on October 17, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 17, 2012—2012 Olympic all-around champion Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute, was named the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 2012 Sportswoman of the Year Award, which is given to an individual sport athlete who exhibits exceptional performances during a 12-month span. Douglas accepted the award tonight at the 33rd Annual Salute to Women in Sports banquet in New York City.
After helping the United States to team gold at the 2011 World Championships, Douglas won the gold medal on the uneven bars in March at the 2012 Pacific Rim Championships, where she also helped the USA to the team title. She won the gold medal on the uneven bars, the silver medal in the all-around and the bronze medal for the floor exercise at the 2012 Visa Championships in June. Just a few weeks later, Douglas won the all-around title at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials–Gymnastics. Following that stellar performance, Douglas quickly became a household name during the 2012 Olympic Games. Douglas was an integral part of the women’s effort to win the team gold medal at the London Olympic Games, where the USA easily won the team title and became known as The Fierce FiveSM. The 16-year-old Douglas then went on to become just the fourth U.S. woman and the first African-American to win the coveted Olympic all-around title.
The field of nominees was made up of five Olympic and two Paralympic athletes. The winner is determined by votes from the general public and the Women’s Sports Foundation Awards Committee.
Olympic all-around champions Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Nastia Liukin (2008) previously won this award.