“I took this portrait of Gabby Douglas in Des Moines, Iowa, where she was living with a host family, in order to train under local coach Liang Chow. Though only 16, she left her family in Virginia to pursue her dream: competing in the London Olympic games this summer. Despite the growing pressure and all-consuming training, she was incredibly relaxed and easy-going. I like the image because it tries to detail the mysterious ways athletes of this caliber carry their round-the-clock determination and discipline into their most daily routines.”
— Photographer Martin Schoeller. From “Flip Artist” in TIME’s 2012 Olympics Special Issue, July 30, 2012. See more of our best portraits of 2012 here.