Gabby Douglas Gets Her Own Barbie – Just in Time for Rio!
Plus, why Douglas isn't afraid of Zika going into Rio
Gabby Douglas is not your average 20-year-old.
The Olympian has two gold medals to her name, plus multiple world championships; she’s gearing up for her second Olympic games later this summer in Rio – she was officially selected for the U.S. women’s gymnastics Olympic team last night; and to top it all off, she now has her own Barbie doll.
“I’m so excited,” Douglas tells PEOPLE. “My older sister and I used to play with Barbies and create these dramatic fantasy stories, so it’s such a huge honor.”
She hopes the kids playing with her doll will take away her number-one lesson for young women and men: Stay true to yourself, and go after your dreams.
“Be yourself and really embrace your inner beauty and your true talent,” she tells PEOPLE. “Believe in yourself. Never let anyone tell you you can’t do something when you can.”
Clearly, Douglas kept that message close to her heart during the London Olympics and beyond – since taking home the all-around and team gold medals in 2012, she’s won gold medals at the World Championships, Pacific Rim Championships and American Cup competitions.
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And though it’s been four years since her last Olympics, the memories are fresh in Douglas’s mind (“I feel like I just did one!” she says, adding that she and her 2012 teammates still stay in touch). It’s a good thing she remembers it so well – she’s planning on going into Rio with the same attitude.
“I’m just going to do the same thing I did in London,” she says. “Focus, train really hard, be consistent and go out and enjoy the journey.”
As the seasoned Olympic veteran on this year’s team, she’s looking forward to serving as a constant motivator for her fellow American gymnasts.
“For me, it’s pumping them up and motivating them,” she says. “If someone is struggling, it’s everybody’s job to help them and get them going.”
One extra potential struggle that this Olympics poses is the threat of the Zika virus, which is leading some athletes, spectators and journalists (such as mom-to-be Savannah Guthrie) to skip out on going to Rio. Douglas, however, isn’t letting that stand in her way.
“There’s always going to be an obstacle or a hardship put in front of us,” she says. “As gymnasts we are so used to adapting and really focusing on what we need to do.
“It’s the Olympics, it’s something so big, I don’t think anything should stop you from achieving your goals,” she adds.
She’s not sure what she wants to pursue after the Rio closing ceremonies – perhaps acting, she says – but she definitely knows what she wants to accomplish in South America.
“More merchandise,” she says. “More medals! Gold medals.”