Taylor Townsend’s star is shining bright in the tennis world. Turning pro at age 16, Townsend is the first American to reach and hold the No. 1 junior ranking since 1982. Born in Chicago and currently residing in Florida, many are excited for the left-handed player and see a champion in the making.
2012 was great year for Townsend, even amid controversy over her weight. Townsend was asked by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), not to play in the U.S. Open Junior tournament. She decided to enter anyway but the USTA refused to pay for her travel. She didn’t let that stop her, holding a fundraiser, with the help of her mom and tennis coach, to help cover her expenses. She went on to win the doubles title at the event with fellow player, Gabrielle Andrews. In that same year she also took the singles and doubles title at the Australian Open and the double title at Wimbledon.
She recently won the wild card to the 2014 French Open, her first Grand Slam, with 2 ITF titles and became the youngest American woman to advance to the third round since 2003.
This girl is on fire! Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas, aka the Flying Squirrel, is an Olympic champion. She made several “firsts” in Olympic and national sports history, being the first African American gymnast to become the individual all-around champion. She is also the first African American to make the U.S. women’s Olympic team since Dominique Dawes in 2000.
Part of the “Fierce Five” U.S. Olympic team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Gabby would be the first American gymnast to win gold in all-around and team competitions, and the only American all-around champion to win multiple gold medals.That same year, Gabby was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.
Since growing up in Virginia Beach, VA, Gabby knew at a young age that she wanted to be a gymnast. At 8 years old, she won her first state championship in gymnastics. The rest is all part of a great history and an even brighter future.
She’s planning to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.