Two high school girls finished 1-2 in balloting for the Associated Press U.S. Female Athlete of the Year.
Gabby Douglas won top honors with 48 of 157 votes from a panel of AP sports editors throughout the U.S. A home-schooled sophomore from Virginia Beach, Va., she captured the all-around gymnastics gold medal during the 2012 London Olympics. Still just 16 years old, Douglas also helped the U.S. women win the team gold medal for only the second time in history.
She is the fourth U.S. woman and the first African-American woman to win
the coveted all-around Olympic gold medal. Her efforts also helped the
youthful Americans win the Olympic team championship at the London
Douglas is a native of Virginia Beach, Va., but has been living in West
Des Moines, Iowa while working with Chow Gymnastics, which has also
produced another standout Olympian, Shawn Johnson.
In Oct. she received the Women's Sports Foundation 2012 Sportswoman of
the Year Award Wednesday night during the 33rd Annual Salute to Women
in Sports banquet in New York City
Douglas told the 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."
Missy Franklin, a senior at Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.)
, was just seven votes behind in second place. She won four swimming gold medals during the 2012 London Olympics.