Gabby Douglas Ends 2024 Paris Olympics Dream, Pulls Out of U.S. Gymnastics Championships

Citing an ankle injury, the 28-year-old gymnast ended her quest to return to the Olympics, where she last competed in 2016

<p>Paul Archuleta/Getty</p>

Paul Archuleta/Getty

An ankle injury has ended Gabby Douglas’ 18-month-long quest to return to the Olympics — but the gymnast said she is not ruling out competing in the 2028 Games.

The three-time Olympic gold medalist told ESPN on Wednesday, May 29 that she has withdrawn from the U.S. Gymnastics Championships due to the injury, which she suffered earlier this week during training.

"I love this sport and I love pushing my limits," Douglas, 28, told ESPN. "I hope I can inspire both my peers and the next generation of gymnasts that age is just a number, and you can accomplish anything you work hard for."

The event was the gymnast’s last chance to earn an invitation to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials next month in Minneapolis, and comes after an eight-year hiatus from competition, following Douglas’ appearance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Related: Gabby Douglas Qualifies for U.S. Championships and Gets Closer to Olympics but Still Has 'Kinks to Work Out'

"I proved to myself and to the sport that my skills remain at an elite level," Douglas said. "My plan is to continue to train for the L.A. 2028 Olympics. It would be such an honor to represent the U.S. at a home Olympics."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer​​, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

Douglas was set to be the oldest female athlete in the field in Fort Worth this weekend, where her appearance with Simone Biles and Suni Lee would have been the second time that three Olympic all-around gold medalists competed at a meet.

Douglas' return to center stage has not been without challenges. Earlier this month, she withdrew from the 2024 Core Hydration Gymnastics Classic after competing in one event — the uneven bars — following two falls from the apparatus.

Related: Gabby Douglas Shares The Self-Care Products Getting Her Through 2024 Olympic Training (Exclusive)

The 2012 all-around Olympic gold medalist’s performance last month at the American Classic, where she earned high marks on the vault and balance beam, qualified her to compete in the championships.

But even after the competition, Douglas shared on Instagram that it “wasn’t my best showing.”

“Well guys… it wasn’t my best showing this weekend but was so happy and grateful to be back out there on the floor doing what i love again," she wrote. "With anything there are always kinks to work out, get better and improve. i’ve never been more excited to get back into the gym and work even harder."

She added, “Hard days are the best because that’s when champions are made.”

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.