By T. R. Causay, blackdoctor.org
Gabby Douglas is already at the top of her game: the Olympian has two gold medals to her name, plus multiple world championships; she’s gearing up for her second Olympic games later this August in Rio – she was officially selected for the U.S. women’s gymnastics Olympic team last night; and on top of all that, she now has her own Barbie doll.
Long-time toy maker, Mattel, skipped the flowers for Gabby Douglas, and instead celebrated the Olympian’s success at the U.S. gymnastics team’s trials this weekend with a Barbie of her likeness. The 2012 champion couldn’t be more happier.
“I’m so excited,” Douglas tells PEOPLE. “My older sister and I used to play with Barbies and create these dramatic fantasy stories, so it’s such a huge honor.”
She hopes the kids playing with her doll will take away her number-one lesson for young women and men: Stay true to yourself, and go after your dreams.
“Be yourself and really embrace your inner beauty and your true talent,” she tells PEOPLE. “Believe in yourself. Never let anyone tell you you can’t do something when you can.”
Although it’s been four years since her last Olympics, the memories are still fresh in Douglas’s mind. With that Olympic medal and experience under pressure under her belt, she plans on going into Rio with the same attitude.
“I’m just going to do the same thing I did in London,” she says. “Focus, train really hard, be consistent and go out and enjoy the journey.”
So what does she plan to do when she gets to Rio? Gabby simply says, “More medals. Gold medals!”
The 20-year-old will be joined by another phenomenal gymnast, Simone Biles. Biles is considered by many to be the greatest female gymnast ever. In three years, she won 14 world championship medals (10 golds), more than any U.S. athlete in history.
At the Olympic trials, Biles won the all-around, earning the sole automatic qualification spot, and was tops on floor exercise and vault, while finishing fourth on balance beam and tied for fourth on uneven bars.
“I’m excited about being with the girls all the time because we all know what it’s like to go through this and we have each other to lean on,” says Biles. “And I think that’s the best thing that could have happened.”
Congrats to Gabby and Simone! We’ll be rooting you on!