Gabby Gets the Gold!

Posted on August 6, 2012

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Every four years a new star emerges at the Olympic Games but I don’t know if the world saw Gabby Douglas coming.

The 16-year- old vaulted into our living rooms and stole the hearts of people around the world on Thursday as she became the first black gymnast to win the individual all-around Olympic gold medal. She also became the first American to win both the all-around and team events at the same Olympics. Douglas is also the fourth American woman to win the all-around title.

Gabby was only seven months old when the Magnificent Seven won the gold at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta but Gabby says they paved the way for the Fierce Five and she especially draws inspiration from Dominique Dawes, who was the first African American woman to earn Olympics gymnastic gold.

In an emotional interview with Fox Sports, Dawes said that Douglas already is having an influence on the next generation of aspiring gymnasts.

“I was able to help Gabby and now she’s going to help a whole other generation of young girls and boys — African-Americans, Hispanics, other minorities, to see the sport of gymnastics as an opportunity for them to excel. It just touches me to be a part of that movement.”

The 4-foot-11 teen has a bubbly personality, bright smile and an even brighter future but something tells me that she still doesn’t realize that she’s kind of a big deal. Gabby was shocked at the crowd’s reaction on the Today Show and amazed by the tweets from Oprah, Magic Johnson, Lil Wayne and Beyonce. But even bigger than that are the endorsements headed her way…Friday she landed on the front of the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal box and Time Magazine but the other deals are rolling in daily.

I think the best part of Gabby’s story for me is that she’s a normal kid, who had a dream and worked hard to achieve it. At age 14 she moved away from her family to West Des Moines and dedicated her life to gymnastics…two years later she’s dawning the gold. She’s a breath of fresh air and a positive role model for women and girls everywhere.

Here’s her take on how hard work pays off.

Hard days are the best, because that’s when champions are made…so if you push through the hard days you can get through anything”

Well said…Gabby! You Go Girl!

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Posted in: Sports