Gabrielle Douglas is still at the height of her fame after winning two gold medals in gymnastics at the London Olympics last summer.
The question is: Will she ever compete again?
Douglas, 17, said on the “Today” show last week that she’ll soon be returning to the gym, but that was news to her coach, Liang Chow of West Des Moines. He said Tuesday he still has not spoken with Douglas about any possible return and is focusing on his current crop of athletes.
However, Chow said he has received recent overtures from Douglas’s mother, Natalie Hawkins. He is set to meet with Hawkins soon to discuss a possible resumption of training for her daughter, but wants to first make sure she is serious about getting back to an elite level.
Douglas, a native of Virginia who came to Iowa at age 14 to train with Chow, was listed as the seventh-most influential athlete in America by Forbes this week, the only female among the top 10. She has been an in-demand celebrity since returning from London in August and is currently out promoting her new book, “Raising the Bar.”
But she has been away from her sport for nine months, and Chow said that even if she does return this summer, the training will need to focus on the 2014 competitive cycle. That would give her 10 months to prepare for the American Cup event next March.