Rounding Off: Gabby Douglas relishes ability to inspire others

Plus, a viral vaccination card, Epke Zonderland welcomes second son and a look back at Bulgaria from Seoul 1988

By Scott Bregman
Picture by © 2018 Rich Polk

Gabby Douglas, the Team USA gymnast who claimed all-around and team gold at London 2012 and team gold at Rio 2016, says that being a role model is something very serious for her.

"Honestly, I get so many [messages from fans]," Douglas said in an interview with People.com. "And I was touched by every single person. I'm just still trying to take it in myself because I remember when I was in their shoes at the time when I looked up to my role models. And it's such a grand feeling to be able to just inspire and touch and uplift so many people."

The gymnastics star last competed at the Rio Games, where she was the first reigning Olympic all-around champion to make it back to the Games since Nadia Comaneci. But even though she has moved away from the competition floor, that doesn’t mean Douglas isn’t doing her part for the dominant American squad.

"I text [the athletes training for Tokyo] like, 'Hey, how's everything going?'" said Douglas. "And just uplift them because gymnastics is a very hard sport, a very long journey. So, anywhere I can add my piece, anywhere that piece of the puzzle and it fits correctly, then I am there."

The first viral vaccination card?

With millions of Americans receiving the COVID-19 vaccination every day, it was only a matter of time until one went viral.

That’s exactly what happened Saturday at the men’s Big Ten Championships when University of Illinois gymnast Evan Manivong whipped out his vaccination card after perfectly stick a Kasamatsu one-and-a-half.

“Go get vaccinated everyone!” Manivong tweeted after the video of his performance started to gain traction.

The vault, which currently has more than three million views, has caught the attention of many including Good Morning America and Andy Slavitt, White House Senior Advisor for the COVID Response.

“Impressive. Most people I know only did one somersault,” Slavitt said on Twitter.

Congrats to Olympic champion Epke Zonderland and Linda Steen!

2012 Olympic high bar champion Epke Zonderland of the Netherlands and his wife Linda Steen announced the birth of their second son, Jan, Wednesday. We send our hearty congrats to the entire family.

From the vault…

Known for their dramatic style, the Bulgarians did not disappoint on the floor exercise at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. Led by 9.900 scores from Diana Dudeva and Deliana Vodenitcharova, Bulgaria finished fifth overall.