Gabby Douglas: AP’s Female Athlete of the Year

Gabby Douglas: AP's Female Athlete of the Year

With 48 of 157 votes from a national panel of Associated Press sports editors, Gabby Douglas was named the Female Athlete of the Year.

Douglas told AP: “I didn’t realize how much of an impact I made. My mom and everyone said, ‘You really won’t know the full impact until you’re 30 or 40 years old.’ But it’s starting to sink in.”

This has been a whirlwind year for the home-schooled sophomore from Virginia Beach, Va., as Douglas became the first African-American woman to win the coveted all-around Olympic gold medal during the 2012 London Olympics, and in October she won the Women’s Sports Foundation 2012 Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Gabby Douglas: AP's Female Athlete of the Year

Gabby Douglas, 16, has also persevered through the private bullying of teammates, she has said, and the public debate about her simple pulled-back hairstyle.

Douglas is currently working with Chow Gymnastics, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Here are some of Gabby’s best photos from a triumphant year.

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