SRU welcomes Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas Nov. 16

Gabby Douglas

Nov. 13, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - When Gabby Douglas became the first African-American gymnast to win Olympic gold in 2012, she not only vaulted herself to stardom, but she became an influential figure in both sports and pop culture. Now she's coming to Slippery Rock University for a moderated conversation presented by the University Program Board at 8:30 p.m., Nov. 16 at the Smith Student Center Ballroom.

With her win at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Douglas also became the first American gymnast to win both the individual all-around and the team competitions for the U.S. gymnastics team. She won a third gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in the team competition, as the only all-around Olympic gold medal gymnast in U.S. history to return to a second Olympics.

When SRU students were polled earlier this semester on a survey of potential campus speakers, they selected Douglas as their top choice.

"A lot of people like how much she brings to the table," said Nina Bracci, a junior communication major from Elma, New York, and director of speakers for the UPB. "As an African-American, a female and an athlete, she can relate to a lot of people and a lot of people watched her in the Olympics and want to see her."

Following Douglas' 2012 Olympics, she was interviewed by the likes of Jay Leno and Oprah Winfrey, and was named to Barbara Walters list as one of the "10 Most Fascinating People of 2012."

"Gabby will be talking about diversity, race, obstacles she has overcome to make it to the Olympics, inside stories and her journey: how she got where she is and where she is headed," Bracci added.

The UPB typically hosts three to four celebrity speakers each year. Douglas's appearance is the first such event for 2017-18. Additional speakers will be announced for the spring semester.

Tickets for Douglas's appearance can be purchased at the door the night of the event or in advance at the Smith Student Center information desk. Tickets are $2 with an SRU student ID or $5 for the general public.

For more information about the event, contact the UPB at: upb@sru.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu