The “Today Show” welcomed the four-member club of U.S. women who have won the Olympics women’s individual all-around gymnastics title to their London stage Friday (Aug. 3). Lead by Mary Lou Retton, who was the first U.S. woman to earn the title 28 years ago at the 1984 London Summer Games, Carly Patterson (2004 champ) and Nastia Liukin (2008 champ) were eager to welcome 16-year-old Gabby Douglas to the club.
“It feels amazing to belong to this club,” says a smiling Gabby. “All these Olympians have accomplished so much. I’m honored to follow in their footsteps.”
“It gives me goosebumps,” adds Mary Lou. “I’m very proud to have started this American domination.”
Nastia and Carly also touch on how much the sport changes in such a small amount of time — the girls have to keep flying higher and faster, flipping more and more to be competitive.
Carly says, “I remember doing [vault] Yurchenko double full and now they whip out Yurchenko two and a halfs like it’s nothing. I’m amazed by the gymnastics they’re doing just eight years and four years later.”
As for what happens next, Gabby says she’s kind of still in shock.
“It definitely hasn’t sunk in yet. They were telling me it’s definitely going to sink in when I go home,” says Gabb.
“I think this moment is such a special moment … just try to maybe keep a journal of all the exciting things you get to do, take tons of pictures,” advises Nastia.
Mary Lou adds, “Have a great team of support people around you. That woman right there,” as she points to Gabby’s mom, who says she is so immensely proud of her daughter.
Join the club, mom.