With fellow guest Michelle Obama looking on, Olympic champ Gabby Douglas extended her time in the national spotlight Monday with an appearance on “The Tonight Show.”
Host Jay Leno, who noted that the letters of Douglas’ last name can be rearranged to spell “USA gold,” asked 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 was dressed in a gold metallic skirt and a fitted, black leather motorcycle jacket. Her hair, worn in a utilitarian bun during the Olympics, was gathered in a chic ponytail.
The outfit was accented by 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.
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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, specifically a McDonalds’ breakfast sandwich, to celebrate her victories. Of course, healthy eating advocate Mrs. Obama wasn’t trying to hear that.
“You’re setting me back, Gabby,” Obama teased.
“Sorry!” replied the athlete. However, Gabby 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.”
Leno started to reply, when Mrs. Obama jumped in.
“Even you too, Jay!” she said.
On another sports-related topic, Leno put the first lady on the spot about what he called “this whole kiss cam thing” at a recent basketball game.
Last month, she and President Barack Obama were at a U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team exhibition game in Washington when the arena’s “Kiss Cam” panned to them. She appeared to shake her head “no” to a smooch.
That’s not what happened, Michelle Obama told Leno.
“I had just walked in and sat down, and I just saw my face on the Jumbotron. And I’m still a little embarrassed. … I didn’t see the ‘kiss cam’ part,” she said.
After the couple was booed, daughter Malia set them straight.
“She was just disgusted with us,” Obama recounted. “She said, ‘Why didn’t you kiss?’”
The 13-year-old quickly proved her skills as a problem-solver.
“I’ve arranged for you to get another chance on the kiss cam,” she told her parents, according to the first lady. The president delivered, giving the first lady a big kiss on the lips and adding a peck on the forehead for good measure.
Then Leno turned serious, asking Obama what she’s proudest of in her husband’s first term.
“Truly, health reform,” including protection for those with pre-existing conditions,” she said.