LONDON—Women's individual all-around gold medalist and media darling Gabby Douglas admitted Thursday that as much as she loves all the attention she has received at the Olympics, she’s looking forward to returning to her completely abnormal, fucked-up life back in the United States.
"This trip has been incredible, but really I'm already starting to miss home and being a weird kid who doesn’t have any friends," said the 16-year-old gymnast, who told reporters her teammates have been wonderful, but conceded she’s more accustomed to the incredibly bizarre existence of never talking to anybody aside from her coach. "I didn't think I would miss it so much, but I guess I'm just like anybody else my age who practices gymnastics more than eight hours a day, every single day of the year."
It has been increasingly common, in interviews, for Douglas to yearn aloud for everything to be as fucked up and strange as it was before the Olympics. Considering herself an irregular American teenager with a deranged obsession with gymnastics, she confirmed she has been pining to go back to her completely freakish life of being isolated from her family in Virginia by living hundreds of miles away from them in Des Moines, IA, where she compulsively trains.
"When I go back home I'll finally be able to talk to all the other girls who act as if they’re friends because they have no other choice," said Douglas, who expressed enthusiasm about seeing her crazy-ass, atypical kid’s stuff in her bedroom, which includes gymnastics trophies and pictures of herself participating in international competitions. "It's just been kind of crazy having people telling me where to go, who to talk to, and when to smile at cameras instead of telling me when to practice, how to get better, and when to smile in my routine."
Her first order of business upon returning home, Douglas said, will be to flop down on her host family’s couch all by herself and watch one of the many movies she wasn’t able to go see over the past three years. After that, the thing she is most excited to do is get back to practicing gymnastics.
"Is it weird that I even kind of miss doing homework?" said Douglas, referring to the only concept of school she knows—a series of worksheets she completes on nights and weekends in order to fulfill a base-level of education without interfering with her training schedule. "Oh, and pizza. I can't wait to go back and eat some pizza."
"Well, it's not like normal pizza," Douglas added. "That's not really part of my diet regimen. It's kind of a low-calorie, healthy pizza thing without any cheese. But it's still pretty good.”
The teenager with a smile that has lit up the nation goes by the nickname "Flying Squirrel," a moniker she didn't get by acting silly in class with friends or because of some inside joke with her family, but rather from the fact that she flies around on uneven bars for a living.
“As excited as I am to return to my abnormal life back home, I’ll never forget how magical London has been,” Douglas said. “Because having a goal pounded into my head over and over again until it becomes more recognizable than basic human emotions is probably my favorite thing in the world to do.”