Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gabrielle Douglas Exclusive: Blessings Amid Homelessness, Blood Disease and Absent Father

Gabrielle Douglas,16, made headlines earlier this year when she won two gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, but the author of newly released book, Grace, Gold and Glory: My Leap of Faith is letting people know that there's so much more to her story.

Douglas made history at the Olympics when she became the first African-American All-Around Olympic Gold Medalist, and the first female to win both all-around and team gold medals at the same Olympics. However, the budding gymnast almost never made it to the global sports festival that made her a household name.
In her first book, Grace, Gold and Glory, Douglas reveals that at one point she told her family, coaching staff and host family in West Des Moines, Iowa that she was ready to walk away from her dreams of being an Olympic gold medalist. Douglas was forced to stay with a host family, the Partons, to complete her training in Iowa while her own family supported her from a distance at their family home on Virginia.
The homesickness was almost too much for Douglas to bear and she was ready to give up just seven months before the Olympic games. However, the gymnast's 18-year-old brother, John, brought her back to reality with the phrase, "In order to be the best, you have to take out the best."
Douglas has told The Christian Post about the importance of the notable quotation.
"It came from a movie 'Never Back Down' and it's me and my brother's kind of little ritual, 'If you want to be the best you have to take out the best,'" Douglas told CP. "And it's really true, I mean if you want to be great then you have to push yourself and you have to rise above and push yourself to the top. You have to go 100 percent every single day no matter if you're hurting a little...you just have to be dedicated to push yourself to do it."
Follow us
While Douglas ended up making it to her life-changing Olympic games, Grace, Gold and Glory details how the 16-year-old has also made it through some extraordinary struggles, including homelessness, racism and a blood disease. However, looking back Douglas insists that it is the hardships she has faced in her life that have defined her.
"I think (those experiences) helped me become a stronger and more mature person and that was my motivation. I remember my mom telling me that we were homeless," Douglas revealed to CP. "Stories about that, that was my motivation…People are out there going through tough times. I went through hardships like a blood disease, homelessness, moved to Iowa, injuries and I had to overcome all of those things to get to where I am today."

No comments: