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Gabby Douglas Beam

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In October, at age 14, Douglas moved into the home of Missy Parton in West Des Moines, Iowa, to train under Liang Chow, the former coach of 2007 World Champion and 2008 Summer Olympics gold medalist Shawn Johnson. Although Douglas' former coach, Walker, stated in 2012 that she was convinced Douglas could have made it to the Olympics if she had remained in Virginia Beach, Douglas said, "Something clicked in my head that said, if I really want to make this happen I need to get better coaching. " The impetus for Douglas' move to Iowa was when Walker had invited Chow to teach a clinic at her gym, Excalibur. Douglas was impressed when Chow was able to teach her how to perform the Amanar vault in a single afternoon. Douglas considered a move to Texas to train with a renowned coach there, but after that coach declined to train her out of loyalty to Walker, Douglas selected Chow. Chow was initially skeptical, since Douglas had been just one of hundreds of children at the clinic in Virginia Beach. However, Chow subsequently informed Douglas's Excalibur coaches that he had agreed to train her, but pointed out that he did not recruit her, saying, "I would never recruit anybody to my program. " Later on, Douglas suffered from a hamstring strain and a hip flexor injury in July. She couldn't do much during this time, but this allowed her to improve her bar skills.



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