It’s been almost a year since Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglass made history by becoming the first Black woman to be crowned individual all-around gold medalist and winning gold with her team, dubbed the Fierce Five. This achievement made a whole nation proud and even gold-medal winning gymast Dominque Dawes, herself a pioneer in the sport, was moved to tears by the accomplishment. Since then, Douglas, now 17, has stayed busy. It’s not even a year since her gold-medal heroics and she’s on her second book. “Raising the Bar” is a follow-up to her “Grace, Gold and Glory: My Leap of Faith,” a book that detailed her quick rise. In this one, she talks about her ongoing triumphs as well as her challenges as becoming a household name. It includes some exclusive photos and memories of her last 9 months in the spotlight.
“It’s been almost a year since the Olympics but it feels like five years because so much has happened,” she told the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Her mother Natalie Hawkins is truly proud of her daughter’ success, but deserves a lion’s share of the credit given the undiluted support she offered her youngest daughter.
“It was not easy but I knew I would have regrets if I didn’t help her pursue it because I was so passionate about it,” Hawkins told the TJMS. “Even at age 8, she was incredibly focused and discipline and I could see how serious she was about it, so I could do no less on my part. She was so incredibly good. All of the coaches and everyone who came into contact with her echoed the same thing. This kid has the most amazing raw talent and most coaches that we worked with said they’d never seen a prodigy like her before.”
Douglas’ entire family supported the effort it took to make her an Olympian. Far from sibling rivalry, Douglas also credits her brother and sister for helping her achieve.
“My brothers and sisters were always supportive. Actually, they gave up their dreams so I could achieve mine. They’ve always been there for me. They’re incredible, they’re amazing and they’ve been supporting me throughout this massive journey and they helped me through the tough times.”
As anyone who watched the Olympics knows, Douglas also set and example with her strong Christian faith. Hawkins, who raised her children in Newport News, VA., (Douglas’ parents are divorced) says it’s something she tried hard to instill in her children.
“I was raised in the church and I tried to encourage my kids to live a life of faith. I wanted it to be their choice, though. I didn’t want to choose for them. I exposed them to different beliefs and just prayed they would choose the right one.”
Aside from her book, Douglas is also working with McDonald’s to promote “Egg White Delight” their new egg white delight sandwich, a healthier version of their classic Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich.
Though her teammate Aly Raisman is dong well on the current season of “Dancing with the Stars,” Douglas says she won’t be on the show, because of other pressing priorities.
“You guys want me to do another Olympics right?”