Commentary: The 2012 London Olympics is Gabby Douglas time to shine!
Gabby Douglas, at just the young-age of 16, became the first African American and the third straight American to win the all-around title giving her the first Gold Medal won by an American female gymnast in several years.
Douglas couldn’t believe her coach until she saw the scoreboard. And when she did, she was speechless.
“I wanted to seize the moment,” Douglas said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet and team finals haven’t sunk in yet. But I know it will.”
Douglas, who was in the lead from the first event, finished the night with an electric floor routine, flashing a dazzling smile and lots of pizzazz. When her score posted 62.232, coach Liang Chow told her that she had won the gold medal.
However, she had to wait another five minutes until it was official because Viktoria Komova of Russia, runner-up at last year’s world championships , was still to come.
It seemed like it was just yesterday, but it was just two years ago that Douglas told her mom, Natalie Hawkins, that she wanted to move from their home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to train with Chow, who coached Shawn Johnson in 2008. Hawkins, first told Gabby no, because there was no way she was going to allow the youngest of her four children to move halfway across the country at 14.
But Douglas’ two older sisters lobbied on her behalf, giving her mother a list of reasons why Gabby should be allowed to go. The only reason to stay: They would miss their little sister.
No one could have imagined this result a year ago. Jordyn Wieber was the world champion and heavy favorite, while Douglas was the one who was a total mess at the national championships. But she gained confidence as part of the U.S. team that took gold at the 2011 world championships, and proved to herself she was as good as anyone when she beat Wieber at the American Cup in March.
After nearly beating Wieber at nationals, she came out on top three weeks later at the Olympic trials. And after Wieber failed to make the all-around because of a rule that limits countries to two gymnasts, Douglas became the one to beat.
Douglas, who is currently on the face of a set of special edition Olympic boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal, is poised to become the biggest star since Mary Lou Retton. Her smile is great and her personality is very humbling.
“I don’t ever recall anybody this quickly rising from an average good gymnast to a fantastic one,” U.S. National Team Coordinator Martha Karolyi said. Karolyi is the one who gave Douglas the nickname of the “Flying Squirrel”.
Douglas was sensational! Even in the team final, she set the tone with the very first event, the vault. And despite struggling a little bit on the balance beam, Gabby rose to the occasion when the stakes became higher than ever.
She smiled with confidence as she whipped off a series of back handsprings, landing as easily and confidently as she had when she performed on the arena floor. She did a front somersault with such power the thud of her landing echoed inside the arena.
She took a small hop forward on her dismount, but it hardly mattered. The look on her face said it all: “Yeah, I got this.” Her score of 15.5 extended her lead over Komova of Russia, to more than three-tenths of a point going into the final rotation, floor exercise.
Douglas skills on the floor exercise were impressive, but it’s her personality that makes her a show-stopper. The crowd was clapping almost from the opening notes of her techno music, and she got downright sassy with her dance moves, directing playful smiles at the judges.
Her score of 15.033 gave her another gold medal. “I was like, all the hard work has paid off,” Douglas said.
And now that Gabby Douglas hard work is paying off, its always someone out there who wants to take a knock at another Athlete, who just happened to win for the team (USA), not just herself.
Douglas couldn’t even bask in the spotlight of winning her two gold medals for the women’s gymnastic team, before people started taking shots at how she pulls her hair back in a ponytail, and then digging into her mother’s past to report that she filed bankruptcy earlier this year.
Even after swimmer Ryan Lochte captured his first gold medal and defeated fellow U.S. teammate Michael Phelps, someone tried to steal his spotlight by reporting that his parents were facing foreclosure in Florida.
Come one people, these are athletes who are representing our country! Why knock someone who continues to do positive things? That is really so stupid to dig up dirt and bring out things to damage people’s past. It’s their business and TMZ and the other news media need to keep their nose out of it!
Gabby is only 16 years old and Ryan is in his twenties! Don’t you realize that parents make sacrifices for their children, especially when its going to help them in the future.
Regardless of the negative hits, Douglass has become one of the most popular athletes at the Olympics in London, becoming the first African-American woman to win an all-around gold medal in gymnastics. She has become an international superstar, winning over fans with her smile and the nickname “Flying Squirrel.”
Her agent has fielded hundreds of emails from businesses, talk shows and magazines interested in Douglas, and she stands to earn millions of dollars from endorsement deals and other ventures.
Gabby’s mom, Natalie Hawkins, went on long-term medical disability in 2009. The single, mother of four has continually made the ultimate sacrifice and with Gabby’s beautiful smile, and her instant stardom that is now letting the world know that God is about to give them the ultimate payoff that only he can do!