Gabby Douglas’ new Olympic gymnast Barbie goes for the gold
Three-time Olympic gold gymnast Gabby Douglas has got her own Barbie cartwheeling into stores on Monday.
“It feels so surreal! It’s such an honor to have my own Barbie,” Douglas gushed to Moneyish. “It’s really cool to be celebrated for all my accomplishments with my own doll.”
The Gabby Douglas Barbie Doll is $24.95, and comes with a doll stand, pink and black Nike warm-up suit, and the champ’s signature star-spangled red, white and blue leotard modeled after her Gabby GK Elite line. The fab figurine was first revealed last summer, but girls can finally get their hands on her Monday.
The Olympic champion, who made history in 2012 at age 16 as the first African-American gymnast to take the gold in the individual all-around event, said she grew up playing with Barbies. She told Moneyish that she loved dressing up Ken and Barbie in different outfits, and making up stories for them.
So Douglas, now 21, was thrilled that Mattel let her “play a really personal and hands-on role in designing and creating the doll, so it really resembled my likeness.”
Plus, her limbs have been crafted so that the fully articulated knees, elbows, ankles, wrists and shoulders rotate and bend, just like the real Douglas’ powerful limbs. So girls can recreate the athletic moves that made Douglas a champion at the World Championships, the Pacific Rim Championships and American Cup competitions, as well as the Olympics.
“I love the design of the leotard, and that this doll can do almost everything I can on and off the floor,” said Douglas.
The Barbie is a celebration of Douglas’ accomplishments after the bullying she suffered during the Rio Games last summer, when internet trolls criticized her for not smiling, for not appearing to cheer her teammates enough – and going so low as to criticize her hair. But the Olympian handled the scrutiny with the same grace she displays when pivoting on the balance beam, or tumbling across the floor.
She was honored when the Barbie brand named her a “Shero” last year, or a woman who breaks boundaries and inspires the next generation of girls, joining esteemed women such as ballerina Misty Copeland, director Ava Duvernay and Disney star Zendaya with getting her likeness immortalized in plastic.
“It makes me want to continue to inspire girls everywhere, because that’s what Barbie represents – chasing after your biggest dreams that seem impossible,” said Douglas.
Her doll retails for $24.99 at all retailers and www.Barbie.com.
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