Gabby Douglas Announces Return to Gymnastics Ahead of 2024 Olympics: 'I've Found Peace'

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas teaches Jay Pharoah gymnastics on the IMDb Series “Special Skills” in Los Angeles, California. This episode of “Special Skills” airs on March 10, 2020.
Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

The Gold medalist previously competed at the 2012 and 2016 games, and was a member of the celebrated Fierce Five.

Gabby Douglas is back! The Olympic Gold medalist has announced that she's returning to gymnastics and gearing up for a 2024 Olympics run. 

The 27-year-old athlete took to Instagram on Thursday after a lengthy hiatus, sharing a pair of black-and-white images of herself leaping high above a balance beam. In the caption, she reflected on her social media absence and "facing darkness and fears." 

Douglas said that she "did a lot of journaling, reflecting, soul searching" since stepping away from the platform last year, only to find herself "back where it all began." 

"It’s so easy to suppress and run away from facing darkness and fears," she confessed. "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. I wanted to find the joy again for the sport that I absolutely love doing."

Douglas then hinted at the future, appearing to set her sights on the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. 

"I know I have a huge task ahead of me and I am beyond grateful and excited to get back out on the floor," she wrote, "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"

Douglas followed up with a black-and-white video post that shows her in action on a horizontal bar, writing "loading..." in the caption. 

Last week, newly-married Simone Biles also announced that she would be returning to the mat ahead of the 2024 Olympics.

Douglas is a three-time Gold medalist who competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games, and was a member of the celebrated Fierce Five, who captured the hearts and spirits of the world when they won the team event in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Douglas was later among more than 100 women -- including her Team USA teammates Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Biles -- who said they were abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar

Nassar was sentenced to decades in prison for sexually assaulting gymnasts, including Olympic medalists. He is serving decades in prison for convictions in state and federal courts. He admitted sexually assaulting athletes when he worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. Separately, Nassar pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography. On Sunday, he was stabbed multiple times in a Florida federal prison. 

Meanwhile, Douglas added another coveted trophy to her collection in 2021 when she earned the Diamond Mask Trophy as winner of The Masked Singer

"I had an amazing time on the show," Douglas told ET after claiming victory on the hit Fox reality competition series. "I cannot thank everyone enough because production, cast, crew, everybody on set was so patient, so kind, the atmosphere was all about positivity, it was all about uplifting each other. I had the best time."

"I wanna say, like, it's literally neck and neck with the Olympic games," Douglas added. "It's up there. I'm telling you, everybody was so amazingly sweet and I got to do something so outside of myself, something that is so not normal for me."

But last August, she explained on Instagram that she would be taking a step back from the spotlight to focus on herself. 

"My life has never been smooth or easy," she wrote in her statement at the time. "I have carried a heavy weight on my back for quite some time and it has weighed me down physically, mentally, and emotionally, so many things and people have tried to crush and break me. I no longer want to run, but fight and heal. I refuse to be defeated by this weight, I refuse to be hardened by this weight. I want to feel light and happy again."