Alarms went off a little early this morning to catch a familiar face at the London Games. Gabby Douglas and Team USA competed in the qualifying round of women’s gymnastics.
“Just intently watching. I don’t say anything. Just zoned in,” says Chelsey Larson of West Des Moines.
They`re zoned in on one athlete in particular. Each glimpse of Gabby brings cheers in West Des Moines.
“She usually looks confident. You can tell when she’s a little nervous, but she barely shows it,” says Sierra Hassel who trains with Douglas at Chow’s Gymnastics.
They aren`t as good at hiding it.
“I just get a little nervous in my stomach,” says Amy Longwill, a coach at Chow’s.
“Me, Sierra and Rachel always hold hands. It makes her do good,” says Haylee Young.
This morning, the group watched a live streaming feed of the event. The top eight teams move on to the finals, but each member is also trying to secure a spot in the All-Around and individual events.
“Besides being there, this is the best thing,” says Larson.
Longwill says she couldn’t wait to see Gabby go for gold.
“The ideal was for everyone to do their best and whoever comes out on top does. You hate to have it be because of mistakes and things. You just want everybody from every country to do their best,” she says.
Of course, they hope Douglas comes out on top. You can count on her biggest fans in Iowa to tune in again tonight.
“Absolutely, I’ll be glued to the TV,” says Larson.
In 2008, Iowans had to stay up late to watch Shawn Johnson compete in Beijing. This time around, they could lose just as much sleep when they wake up early to watch Douglas.