In this May 14, 2012, file photo, Gabrielle Douglas poses for a portrait at the Team USA Media Summit in Dallas. Douglas, who became the first African-American gymnast to claim gymnastics’ biggest prize _ the all-around Olympic title _ is The Associated Press’ 2012 female athlete of the year. (AP Photo/Victoria Will, File)
by Nancy Armour, Associated Press
When gymnast Gabby Douglas allowed herself to dream of being an Olympic champion, she imagined having a nice little dinner with family and friends to celebrate.
Maybe she’d make an appearance here and there.
She says it’s gotten far crazier than she ever thought it would.
And now the teenager who became the first African-American gymnast to claim gymnastics’ biggest prize — the all-around Olympic title — has a new honor. She is The Associated Press’ 2012 female athlete of the year, edging out swimmer Missy Franklin in a vote by U.S. editors and news directors.
She is the fourth gymnast to win the award, and first since Mary Lou Retton in 1984.
AP Projects Editor Brooke Lansdale contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.