Gabby Douglas is Most-Clicked Athlete on NBC, Beats Michael Phelps
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Gabby Douglas rose to fame as the first African-American gymnast to win gold medal in the all-around competition, and her popularity online seems unbeatable too.
"Gabby Douglas Most-Clicked Athlete on NBCOlympics.com," NBC said in a press release Monday.
Attracting 18.27 million views on NBC's website, Gabby Douglas surpassed swimming champion Michael Phelps, who garnered 7.04 million views despite his glory as the most decorated Olympian ever.
"Gabby Douglas – the women's gymnastics all-around gold medalist who also won gold as a member of Team USA – is by far the 'Most Clicked Athlete' on NBC Olympics.com with 18.27 million views, more than 11 million more than the most-decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, who won four gold and two silver medals here in London," NBC reported on Monday.
"NBCOlympics.com has surpassed one billion page views across its computer, mobile and tablet platforms, including the two NBC Olympics apps, NBC Olympics Live Extra and NBC Olympics," NBC said of its success in broadcasting the London Olympics.
"With six days remaining, the London Olympics page view total is 1.1 billion, nearly surpassing the total page views for the entire 2008 Beijing Olympics (1.2 billion)."
The 16-year-old Douglas, nicknamed the “Flying Squirrel," won the gold for the women's gymnastics individual all-around final on August 2.
Douglas took the lead with the vault, wowed the audience with the height and precision in her performance on the uneven bars, showed off her unwavering spirit on the balance beam and finished with a powerful show-stopping floor routine.
Douglas didn't let anyone ever come close to her lead, and eventually finished with a score of 62.232.
The Virginia native, who sports a huge smile, became the third straight American to win gold medal in gymnastics, and the first ever African American gymnast to win the all-around competition.
"I was like, 'All the hard work has paid off,'" Douglas said.
"It just feels amazing to be called the Olympic champion.”
"People keep saying I'm the first black American to win the gold medal and I'm so honored," Douglas said after her golden win.
"It is everything I thought it would be; being the Olympic champion, it definitely is an amazing feeling. And I give all the glory to God. It's kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to Him and the blessings fall down on me," Douglas said in an interview after winning the historic gold.
Douglas would not have greeted this glorious day if her mother Natalie Hawkins did not allow the young gymnast to travel across the nation to be trained under coach Liang Chow.
Two years ago, the then 14-year-old Douglas pleaded to move from her Virginia Beach home to Des Moines, Iowa, where she could live and train with Chow.
The initial response from her mother was "absolutely not," but Douglas' two older sisters lobbied on her behalf, giving their mother a list of reasons why their youngest sibiling should be allowed to go, according to AJC.
Though Hawkins eventually relented, she thought "that I was crazy. I must have lost my marbles. But she wanted this more than anything."
Though Douglas had a rather humble beginning behind the U.S. heavy favorite Jordyn Wiever, she gradually gained confidence as the U.S. team took gold at the 2011 world championships and as she came close to Wieber in scores in the past year.
"I don't ever recall anybody this quickly rising from an average good gymnast to a fantastic one," national team coordinator Martha Karolyi said.
Besides Douglas and Michael Phelps, athletes in NBCOlympics.com's "Top 10 Most Clicked Athletes" list include:
McKayla Maroney - Gymnast, USA - 6.04 million
Jordyn Wieber - Gymnast, USA - 5.94 million
Aly Raisman - Gymnast, USA - 3.01 million
Misty May-Treanor - Beach Volleyball, USA - 2.45 million
Missy Franklin - Swimmer, USA - 2.36 million
Usain Bolt - Track & Field, Jamaica - 2.33 million
Ryan Lochte - Swimmer, USA - 2.27 million
Serena Williams - Tennis, USA - 1.83 million.© 2013 Fashion & Style.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Aug 09, 2012 10:34 AM EDT