Gabby Douglas and Leslie Jones Are Texting Now, Thanks to #Love4GabbyUSA
Gabby Douglas in Rio
It's hard to believe that at just 20 years old, Gabby Douglas can be considered a seasoned veteran, but the gymnast, who competed in her second Olympic games in Rio, is just that. We spoke with the athlete, who is still in Brazil, on Friday by phone. She reflected on some of the negativity she faced at the Games, the outpouring of support that followed with the #Love4GabbyUSA hashtag, and her Olympic future.
POPSUGAR: How do you feel about the 2020 Olympics at this stage of the game?
Gabby Douglas: Right now, I'm definitely going to take some time off and enjoy this experience. I have to practice with the team in New York, and then I have the Kellogg's tour coming up. Just a lot of family time and play with my animals. I have two dogs, Zoe and Chandler, and a cat, Toby.
PS: Post gymnastics, what about college or a different career in your future?
GD: I just spent my whole life training and focused on one thing, I really don't even think about after the fact! It's like, oh yeah, I have to do something after! [laughs]
Gabby competing at the 2012 London Games
PS: You responded to some of the negativity you faced online, but you have to know that there were many more people rallying behind you and cheering you on. How did it feel to realize you had all that support?
GD: It felt amazing just knowing that people were in my corner and had my back and showed so much compassion.
PS: What did it feel like to have Leslie Jones lead the charge of people rallying behind you? Pretty cool.
GD: I know! It was just . . . it was so crazy. You know, I've gotten a chance to talk to her and say thank you so much for starting the hashtag and showing me love and encouraging other people to show me love. She texted me and I texted her back.
PS: Zac Efron came down to cheer you guys on, and I know he's Simone Biles's celeb crush. Who's yours?
GD: I would pick Alex Roe. I just saw The 5th Wave and he's just such a cutie. He was such a gentleman in that movie.
Gabby and Team USA celebrate their gold medal win in the women's all around at the 2016 Games
PS: What's been the most memorable moment for you at Rio?
GD: We really didn't have any chance to sightsee because we were just competing and training, but the Olympic Village is always so cool. Pin trading is a huge thing. I think that's how the conversations start off. It's like, "Do you have a pin? What country are you from? What sport do you do?" I've gotten so many pins!
PS: The Final Five have been such a great example for girls. You're so supportive of each other, even when you're competing against each other. What do you love about your team?
GD: I love how everybody just brings a different personality to the mix and everyone's different in their own way. There's a lot of energy — that's the vibe of Team USA.
PS: How would you describe each of your teammates in one word?
GD: Laurie: character. Madison: reserved. Simone: crazy. Aly: grandma — because she sleeps a lot!
PS: What's the one thought that goes through your head right before you step on the floor?
GD: I give myself a pep talk and visualize the routine. I tell myself: "I can do this, let's go!"
PS: What's an item that's always in your makeup bag?
GD: Definitely the Gilette Venus Swirl razor. That's why our legs look so smooth! You just swirl it and go. And lip gloss and mascara. Covergirl Star Wars The Super Sizer has such a good mascara brush; it makes your lashes so long!
PS: What's one meal you love to eat after a major competition?
GD: Pizza. Just plain cheese.
PS: What's one song you use to psych yourself up for an event?
GD: "Not Backing Down" by Blanca
PS: The one exercise you love?
PS: What about an exercise you hate?
GD: Burpees and suicides