Gabby Douglas, the first African-American to win the all-around Olympic gymnastics title in London, was chosen The Associated Press female athlete of the year on Friday in a vote by US editors and news directors.
Douglas received 48 of 157 votes, seven more than American swimmer Missy Franklin, who won four gold medals and a bronze in London. Serena Williams, who won Wimbledon, the US Open and the London Games two years after her career was nearly derailed by health problems, was third with 24 votes.
Britney Griner, who led Baylor University to a 40-0 record and the women's US college basketball title, and American skier Lindsey Vonn each got 18 votes.
Douglas is the fourth gymnast to win one of the AP's annual awards, which began in 1931, and first since Mary Lou Retton in 1984.
She wasn't even in the conversation for the Olympic title at the beginning of the year. That all changed in March when she upstaged world champion and teammate Jordyn Wieber at the American Cup in New York, showing off a new vault, an ungraded uneven bars routine and a dazzling personality.
She finished a close second to Wieber at the US championships, then beat her two weeks later at the Olympic trials.