Gabby Douglas is headed back to Iowa.
USA TODAY Sports has learned that the Olympic champion and coach Liang Chow have agreed to work together again, eight months after she left to rejoin her family in Los Angeles. Douglas is expected in the gym Monday, said a person close to the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because Chow and the gymnast are trying to temper expectations.
Douglas likely will spend the next few months conditioning and seeing whether there's enough time for her to pull off a comeback before the Rio Olympics in 2016. Comebacks are notoriously tough for gymnasts, who can feel as if they're starting from scratch after just a few days out of the gym.
But if there's anyone who can pull it off, it's Douglas, who went from an unknown to the Olympic champion in less than two years, and Chow, whose gymnasts have won six medals at the last two Summer Games, three of them gold.
Douglas, who turned 18 on Dec. 31, has said repeatedly that she wants to compete in Rio. She resumed training with Chow last May, and said in August that she hoped to return to competition sometime this year. But she left the gym in August, saying she didn't want to be apart from her family any more.
Douglas is extremely close with her mother, two older sisters and older brother, and she has been open about how hard it was to be separated from them while she trained in Iowa. Douglas left her hometown of Virginia Beach, Va., at 14, telling her mother she needed to work with Chow if she was going to have a shot at the 2012 Olympic team.
She was so homesick she nearly quit six months before London. But she stuck it out and became one the stars of the game. In addition to her all-around title, the first by an African-American, she led the "Fierce Five" to the team title, only the second for the U.S. women.
I hope the reunion was as tearful and dramatic as Bela and Nadia in the Nadia movie lol.