Our Champion: Gabby Douglas
Derek Blanks

In the November issue of ESSENCE we spoke with Gabrielle Douglas about what her life’s been like since the 16-year-old sensation somersaulted into Olympic history by becoming the first African-American to win gold in both the individual and all-around gymnastics competition? We can sum up her answer in one word: Busy.

Not long after she returned from London, she sat down on the The Tonight Show couch alongside First Lady Michelle Obama and backflipped as Alicia Keys serenaded her at MTV’s Video Music Awards. She’s had a heart-to-heart with Oprah, traded tweets with everyone from Lil’ Wayne to Octavia Spencer, and led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic National Convention. Though it’s four years away, Gabby is already looking forward to defending her gold in Rio in 2016. For the next few months, she’ll be wowing crowds around the country as the star of Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. And she’ll be savoring every moment.

“I love it,” she says, flashing that high-wattage grin. “It’s been a little crazy and fun, and we’ve got to enjoy it because it’s going to go by so fast.”

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Relive all of our favorite memories from the 2012 London Olympics.