TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ) — She is America’s newest sweetheart. Now, thousands of girls around the country want to be the next Gabby Douglas and head to the Olympics.
As Gigi Barnett reports, many of those girls are right here in Maryland.
Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas is the best in the world.
Moments after Gabby got the gold, she became a national inspiration, especially for millions of young girls. Some of them are at the Rebounders Gym in Timonium.
“It’s like ‘Wow! You made it,'” said Layla Hurley.
“I like to watch all of the Olympians to think that that’s what I could be one day,” said Caroline Crawford.
For these girls, that’s still years away. But Gabby’s beginning started just like theirs–in a gym just like Rebounders. And coaches spotted her talent very early.
They’re on the lookout here too. Training begins at 3 years old.
“It’s grueling. It’s tough and it takes a very tough person mentally, physically,” said Colleen Grossman.
“I don’t push her too much, she pushes herself enough,” said Becky Crawford.
Becky’s daughter Caroline has a taste for gold and she’s on the right track. In April, she won the state’s all-around championship in her age group.
“On the way home in the car the conversation went ‘Mom. We’re going to have to move to Iowa. I need to train with that coach who coaches Gabby Douglas,'” Becky Crawford said.
Rebounders says it’s received an influx of phone calls from interested parents since the Olympics began last week. But now that Gabby Douglas is the all-around champ, they expect to see even more.
“We anticipate that this fall is going to be extremely busy,” said Grossman.
For parents who want their kids to be the next Gabby, the gym says do it because your child thinks it’s fun, first and foremost, because going for gold will cost a lot of time and money.
And all that hard work in the gym is paying off for Gabby–the endorsements have already started rolling in. She’ll be on a box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes this fall.