LOS ANGELES — Olympic champion Gabby Douglas basked in the “Tonight” spotlight and the admiration of fellow guest Michelle Obama, but the teenager already is thinking ahead to 2016.
Host Jay Leno, who noted that Douglas’ last name was an anagram for “USA gold,” asked Monday if the gymnast intended to compete in the next Summer Games, in Rio de Janeiro.
“Oh, definitely,” she replied, reaffirming previous statements.
The 16-year-old looked like a winner, dressed in a gold metallic skirt and a fitted, black motorcycle jacket. Her hair, worn in a utilitarian bun during the Olympics, was gathered in a chic ponytail.
Her best accessory were the two gold medals she carried onstage, handing one to Leno and the other to Mrs. Obama for closer inspection.
“I don’t even deserve to hold this,” Leno said later as he returned it.
Douglas became the third consecutive U.S. athlete and first African-American to win the all-around title. She and her teammates gave the U.S. its first Olympic title in women’s gymnastics since 1996.
Leno asked Douglas about meeting Prince William’s wife, who offered her congratulations to the team, including Aly Raisman.
“It was definitely an exciting experience. … Aly told her she liked her fashion, and she was like, `Well, I love your leos (leotards),'” Douglas said.
She admitted indulging in post-Olympics fast food to the wrong person: healthy eating advocate Mrs. Obama, who teased the champion.
“You’re setting me back, Gabby,” Obama told her.
“Sorry!” replied the athlete, who confessed to chowing down on a McDonalds’ breakfast sandwich to celebrate her victories.
But she impressed Mrs. Obama and Leno with a detailed description of how, starting at age 6, she learned to navigate the 4-inch-wide balance beam.
The host wanted to know if the dream of winning matched the reality.
“I think it’s very different, and when I mean `different,’ it’s in a better way,” Douglas replied. “I mean, I never thought I would be doing the show with the first lady, or even you, Jay.”