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By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle "Gabby" Douglas will speak Tuesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in the Weis Center at Bucknell University.
"An Evening with Gabby Douglas" is sponsored by the Student Lectureship Committee. It is free and open to the public as seating permits.
Members of the Bucknell community will be given priority seating; doors open to students at 6:15 p.m. Any remaining seats will be available to the general public beginning at 6:45 p.m.
The event format will be a question-and-answer session, moderated by Bucknell senior and committee chair Lauren Treene.
Douglas, nicknamed "The Flying Squirrel", began formal gymnastics training at the age of 6; by the age of 8, she had won her first major title as the 2004 Virginia State Champion. At 16, she was selected as a member of the U.S. Olympic Women's Gymnastics team to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.
There she became the first African-American woman, as well as the first woman of color of any nationality, to win an Olympic gold medal as the All-Around Individual Champion. In addition, while winning a team gold medal, she became the first American gymnast to win gold in both the all-around individual and team competitions at the same Olympics. At the 2012 U.S. National Championships, Douglas won the gold medal in uneven bars, silver in all-around, and bronze in floor. She was also a member of the gold-winning team at the 2011 World Championships.
At just 17, Douglas' accomplishments have established her as a prominent sports figure in U.S history. She made an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno", was featured in an interview with Oprah Winfrey and was named on Barbara Walters' list as one of the "10 Most Fascinating People of 2012." In support of President Barack Obama, she led the Pledge of Allegiance at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She was recently named the 2012 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year.
In December, Douglas released her autobiography, Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith. The story reveals her motivational path to success as she shares the trials she faced along the way and how her strong faith encouraged her to persevere. Grace, Gold, and Glory became a New York Times Bestseller, debuting at No. 4 on the Young Adult Bestseller List.
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