She's also been open about her family's financial struggles, hoping she can be a role model for lower income children.
"I want people to think, 'Gabby can do it, I can do it,'" Douglas said. "Set that bar. If you're going through struggles or injuries, don't let it stop you from what you want to accomplish."
The grace she showed under pressure — both on and off the floor — added to her appeal. When some fans criticized the way she wore her hair during the Olympics, Douglas simply laughed it off.
"They can say whatever they want. We all have a voice," she said. "I'm not going to focus on it. I'm not really going to focus on the negative."
Besides, she's having far too much fun.
Her autobiography, "Grace, Gold and Glory," is No. 4 on the New York Times' young adult list. She, Wieber and Fierce Five teammates Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney recently wrapped up a 40-city gymnastics tour. She met President Barack Obama last month with the rest of the Fierce Five, and left the White House with a souvenir.
"We got a sugar cookie that they were making for the holidays," Douglas said. "I took a picture of it."
Though her busy schedule hasn't left time to train, Douglas insists she still intends to compete through the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
No Olympic champion has gone on to compete at the next Summer Games, but Douglas is still a relative newcomer to the elite scene — she'd done all of four international events before the Olympics — and Chow has said she hasn't come close to reaching her full potential. She keeps up with Chow through email and text messages, and plans to return to Iowa after her schedule clears up in the spring.
Of course, plenty of other athletes have said similar things and never made it back to the gym. But Douglas is determined, and she gets giddy just talking about getting a new floor routine.
"I think there's even higher bars to set," she said.
Because while being an Olympic champion may have changed her life, it hasn't changed her.
"I may be meeting cool celebrities and I'm getting amazing opportunities," she said. "But I'm still the same Gabby."
AP Projects Editor Brooke Lansdale contributed to this report.
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