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Rich Polk

Gabby Douglas is back, and she's not backing down from her most ambitious goals yet.

Speaking on NBC News' "Hallie Jackson NOW," Douglas, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, who became the first Black gymnast to win the all-around Olympic gold in 2012, announced that she's returning to competitive gymnastics for the first time in nearly a decade. She will return to competition at the Winter Cup in Louisville, Ky., on Feb. 24. It will be her first competition since the 2016 Rio Olympics, though she announced her return to the sport in general in August 2023.

"I'm still a competitor at heart," Douglas told Jackson on Tuesday. "After watching the 2022 championships, I was like I miss competing. ... I found myself in the gym, and I was like all right, maybe I could do this again."

In Rio, Douglas helped Team USA win gold in the team event -- as she had also done in 2012 -- but she failed to qualify for the all-around final. She also finished a disappointing seventh in the uneven bars. Douglas then received "hurtful" backlash for not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem.

Douglas, 28, will be the oldest competitor at the Winter Cup, but she told Jackson she "didn't want to end this sport how I did in 2016." She said she is practicing on all four apparatuses but has put "a little more" focus on the uneven bars.

The competition for an Olympic spot will be fierce, as Simone Biles is also looking for a third appearance. Reigning Olympic all-around champion Sunisa Lee is also vying for a spot on the five-person team.