ST. LOUIS — When asked to pick the best moment of her life since becoming the Olympic all-around champion four years ago, Gabby Douglas had to stop and think.
She has written an autobiography and created her own set of emoji. She has made a movie based on her life, and has a starring role in her own reality show. Those were great, she told me, but not the highlight.
For her, nothing matches her favorite prize of her instant celebrity: walking the red carpet.
“At the Golden Globes, Mark Wahlberg, was like, ‘What’s up, Gabby?’ And he was on my left and P. Diddy was on my right, and I was in shock,” Douglas said, giggling. “Then Anne Hathaway was like, ‘Hey, Gabby!’ And I was like, ‘Hey!’ and tried to be calm, not to be a fan girl.”
The funny thing, though, is that of all her memorable moments since the London Games, Douglas didn’t mention one that had to do with gymnastics, the very thing that has defined her young, sparkly life.
In 2012, she was just 16 — a 4-foot-11, 94-pound happy ball of energy — when she was the surprise gold medalist in London. She became the first black woman and the fourth American woman to win the Olympic all-around title. That brought a host of opportunities unrelated to gymnastics, and she took advantage of many of them.
But now, at 20 — and having grown to 5-foot-2 — Douglas is back. At this week’s United States nationals here, she is again one of the top gymnasts, poised to make her…