VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - While the Olympics may be over, Gabby fever is not. The pint-sized powerhouse from Virginia Beach made history in London and stirred up excitement in Hampton Roads.
As you drive through Hampton Roads, the signs that a tiny person did some big things are very clear.
"I think it's really cool," says 12-year-old Erin Fitzpatrick.
Erin and her friend Elizabeth Mitchell had their picture taken at perhaps one of the most vibrant murals in Virginia Beach honoring Gabby Douglas.
"I really like watching the gymnastics on TV and I thought it was really cool that she was from Virginia Beach and local," says Elizabeth.
From the amazing artwork of Gabby at AJ Gators on Holland Road to a collage of the 16-year-old in the Wal-Mart at Nimmo Parkway, everyone wants to show Gabby they appreciate her.
"I think that she's an amazing gymnast and I look up to her a lot," says 12-year-old Emily Schmeiser.
Schmeiser is a gymnast and says she's excited to see Gabby honored in this way.
"I know that it must be really hard for her to do that and leave her family and it's just really nice that she would do that and compete in the Olympics and that's really cool. It's interesting," says Emily.
Emily's family is thrilled to see pictures of Gabby everywhere they go.
"We love it and she's an inspiration for all the kids and a good positive role model," Emily's mother Jill Schmeiser said.
"I think that she's really good at gymnastics," Emily's brother, Jack said.
The woman behind the collage at the Wal-Mart is employee Cassandra Randolph.
"I worked with her father overnight for five years and he always talked about her and was always telling me the different things he was doing with her as far as taking her to practices and all the things that, as a family, all of them used to do together," Randolph said.
She tells WAVY.com she'll never forget the moment when Gabby won.
"I just jumped up. I was [lying] in bed watching the news and I just jumped up and just started hollering about it," Randolph said.
Randolph says she couldn't help but think of her former co-worker at that very moment.
"He's a very, very nice person as well as their family and I just wanted him to know that we support him and we appreciate and we are so proud of her," Randolph said. "That's why I took my time to try and pick out the right pictures to represent them as best as I could."
Now every time you leave the store, Gabby is smiling her infectious smile right back at you from pictures hanging above the exit.
"They really need that now, someone like her," Randolph said.
From the Southside to the Peninsula you can read messages of thanks, support, and encouragement on business signs. All comments are directed to the humble teen who made a historic leap to fame.
"I think it's wonderful because I was telling the kids this is hometown pride, that when someone wins something from your hometown it's a good boost for the city. Virginia Beach gets put on the map. People look at it and say, 'Wow! There's a gold medalist from Virginia Beach,'" says Jill.
To that gold medalist, wishes of nothing but the best:
"I would say that she did an amazing job and that everyone is very happy for her," says Erin.
"Congratulations and everyone in Virginia Beach is very proud of her," says Elizabeth.
Many have been asking when a parade will be held in Gabby's honor. Virginia Beach spokesman Marc Davis tells WAVY.com that will be decided if and when Gabby comes back to Virginia Beach. He says he's in constant contact with a close relative trying to hammer out her travel details. As soon as we find out that information, we'll be sure to let you know.
Camden County Sheriff Tony Perry said that during the last two weeks, incidents of breaking and entering and home or vehicle larceny have increased in two areas of the county.
A Facebook post helped Elizabeth City Police identify and locate the suspect of a hit-and-run incident involving a 3-year-old this week.
As Newport News Fire Chief Scott Liebold plans to retire at the end of this month, the city is looking for his replacement -- and they want your help.