Former Olympic champion Gabby Douglas is making her return to elite gymnastics, with her eyes on the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The 27-year-old posted two photos Thursday on Instagram, showing herself training on the balance beam. She wrote in an accompanying caption that she had done “a lot of journaling, reflecting, soul searching and found myself back where it all began.”
“For many years, I’ve had an ache in my heart but I didn’t want to keep carrying anger, pain, sadness, or regret and through my tears and hurt, I’ve found peace,” she wrote. “I wanted to find the joy again for the sport that I absolutely love doing.
“I know I have a huge task ahead of me and I am beyond grateful and excited to get back out on the floor and even more grateful for all of your support and love. It truly means so much. There’s so much to be said but for now… let’s do this #2024.”
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gabby Douglas (@gabbycvdouglas)
A post shared by Gabby Douglas (@gabbycvdouglas)
Douglas previously has spoken about her mental health, telling USA Today in 2021 that the 2016 Olympics “really did a number on me” while expressing her support for tennis star Naomi Osaka. Osaka had withdrawn from the 2021 French Open, citing her mental health.
In addition to the photos, Douglas posted a video of herself practicing on the uneven bars, her best event.
Douglas won gold in the all-around at the 2012 Olympics, becoming the third straight American woman to do so. Simone Biles and Suni Lee followed her at the 2016 and 2020 Games, extending the Team USA streak to five.
In addition to the all-around title, Douglas also won gold in the team competition and was named AP Female Athlete of the Year in 2012. While she took time off following those Olympics, she returned to elite competition in 2015 and helped the U.S. to another gold in the all-around in 2016.
She never officially retired after the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, but she was absent from the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
She becomes the second Olympic champion in recent weeks to make an announcement about plans for Paris. Her 2016 teammate Biles recently announced her return to competition at the U.S. Classic in Chicago in early August.