30 November 2012 4:55 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Around this time last year, Gabby Douglas dropped a bomb on her coaches and family: She wanted to quit gymnastics - and maybe try getting a job at Chick-fil-a. "What," she says now, "was I thinking?" Of course, she didn't. And the rest is history. Four months after becoming the first black woman ever to win Olympic gold in individual all-around gymnastics, Douglas, 16, is looking back on her magical year - one that includes a new memoir Grace, Gold, & Glory: My Leap of Faith, to be published Dec. 4, and excerpted exclusively in People this week. "My life has changed so much, »

- Kristen Mascia

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