Gabby Douglas’ gold medal winning routine will forever be remembered as one of the greatest moments in Olympic history. It is hard to take your eyes off of the sixteen year old’s exciting routine as she executes with such skill. When she is competing, her energy is electric. When she is being interviewed, her glow, her beautiful smile, love of her family, her sport and her faith together make an extraordinary young lady. She’s one of the few African-American gymnasts ever to compete in the Olympic Games and the first black woman to take the all-around individual title. She has been on the covers of Time and Sports Illustrated and she is still a teenager. While many her age are enjoying a carefree summer before they return to high school, she is making history. Her story is inspirational to say the least.
Along with the fanfare and the adulation, Gabby has to deal with the other side of being in the public eye. She has had to endure discussions about her distant relationship with her dad, which is not an uncommon thing for young Black people to deal with except the rest of us who can relate get to deal with it privately. She has not been in contact with him, and has blamed him for the family’s financial problems. She has also endured criticism over her hair. Twitter exploded with people making negative comments about her gel-slicked ponytail. The social media critics have certainly distracted attention from Douglas’ triumph, but they will never be able to take the accomplishment from her. Despite her critics, she walks away the victor and her hard work will pay off in more ways than one. Experts have said that she is set to make between 5 and 10 million dollars in endorsements after her performance at the 2012 London games.
Written by: Kika Ramsay