RICHMOND – Champion gymnast Gabby Douglas and her Fierce Five teammates visited the White House in November to be recognized for their Olympic success last summer.
She was solo Tuesday while visiting an American seat of government with an even longer history – the Virginia General Assembly, the oldest continuously operating legislature in the Western Hemisphere.
During her visit, the gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast was honored by the Virginia Senate. Douglas was introduced by Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, who turned to the Hampton Roads gymnast and said: “I used to be your size – when I was 10.”
Speaking about Douglas, Lucas praised “the outstanding work that she did at the Olympics.”
Douglas won the individual all-around gold medal at last summer’s London games as well as team gold.
She was joined in the General Assembly’s upper chamber by her mother and other family members. A resolution in her honor was read by Senate Clerk Susan Clarke Schaar.
The Virginia Beach-based athlete was then invited to the dais, where Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling presides, and was presented a framed copy of the resolution.
Bolling welcomed Douglas and her family – the gymnast giggled a few times – and joked that while legislators have “been known to be on the balance beam politically” from time to time, it’s nothing like the gymnastic apparatus Douglas competes on.
-Julian Walker, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot