(VIDEO) Raising an Olympian. The Village Behind Gabby Douglas.
Natalie Hawkins is mother to 2012 Olympian gymnast Gabby Douglas. The family is from Virginia Beach, Virginia, but Gabby’s dream to reach the Olympics in London meant training in Des Moines, Iowa, away from family. This is a must see video about parenting, family (natural and extended), sacrifice, determination and pure love.
UPDATE: Since this original post, Gabby Douglas has won the Women’s All-Around at the 2012 Olympic Games.
We also want to make note of Sgt. Timothy Douglas who is known as “Dad” to Gabby. In much of the narrative about Gabby, his name has been left out. Sgt. Timothy Douglas is an airman with the U.S. Air Force and has been serving his country in Afghanistan. It takes a village to raise our children and Sgt. Douglas is active and engaged in his daughter’s life.
Gabby was just nine years old when her father was first deployed. Gabby says praying for her father’s safety has been a regular part of her life, almost like her training regimen. She stated:
“I just had to pray to God just to keep him safe and tell the angels to keep my dad safe and come home.”
Douglas’ mother, Natalie Hawkins, is in the process of divorcing Timothy Douglas. But both parents have supported Gabby, helping to pay for her training and travel.
The video presentation is part of the series, “Mom behind the Olympic athlete.”