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Gabby wins AP Athlete of the Year

Dec 21, 2012, 12:54 PM EST

Gabby Douglas AP

Two-time gold medalist Gabby Douglas capped-off a significant year in women’s sports by earning the AP’s Top Female Athlete of the Year award Friday, marking the fifth straight year that a female Olympic gold medalist has taken it home.

“I didn’t realize how much of an impact I made,” Douglas told the AP. “My mom and everyone said, ‘You really won’t know the full impact until you’re 30 or 40-years-old.’ But it’s starting to sink in.”

Gabby, who became the first American to win both the team and all-around gold at the same Games, earned 48 of the 157 votes to barely edge-out teen swimming phenom Missy Franklin, who impressed 41 of the voting U.S. sports editors and news directors.

So, just a heads up: the top two vote-getters’ combined age is 33. Awesome.

Nearly every 2012 nominee was a London Olympian, including Allyson Felix, Carli Lloyd, and Serena Williams, as well Baylor basketball standout Britney Griner, who turned down Team USA to focus on school.

Gabby turns 17 on New Years Eve, and has spent her time since the Olympics appearing on a Wheaties Box, in a Nicki Minaj rap, and on Vampire Diaries. She was also interviewed by Oprah, threw out first pitches in New York and L.A., led the Pledge of Allegiance at the DNC, and even released a book.

“I didn’t think it was going to be crazy,” Douglas added. “I love it.”

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