Gabby Douglas

By: Moriah Norman 6th period Language Arts 3/16/16

"So many times in life, we're faced with a choice: When a task becomes super difficult, will we flip out and quit, or will we stay focused and keep fighting." - Gabby Douglas

Background "Early Troubles"

  • Was born on December 31, 1995 to the mother Natalie Hawkins and father Timothy Douglas
  • Gabby was born with a blood disease that left her sick for months
  • At two months old she and her three siblings and parents became homeless living in a damp van
  • Her father tried to find a job leaving the kids with their mother
  • Giving in, Gabby's mother made the decision of living with their grandmother and her four kids
  • When her mother saved up enough money they moved out and bought their own house but still had a struggle with money

Leaping Forward "Gymnastics Discovery"

Gabby was introduced with the love of gymnastics at the age of three. Learning how to do a perfect cartwheel from former gymnast and sister Arielle, Gabby soon fell in love with the sport. She quickly taught herself how to do a one handed cartwheel at the age of four. Gabby begged her to do gymnastics as a sport but was given a quick "No" due to tight budget. Her siblings seeing how talented she was with the sport, all decided to give up theirs for her to pursue her gymnastics dream. At the age of six, Gabby was enjoying her life as a gymnast when her mother finally let in to let her join the sport. Only two years later Gabby started competition gymnastics and was named Virginia State Gymnastics Champion at age 8.

From Virginia to Iowa "Toughest Decision"

Gabby was a quick learner and advanced in gymnastics very quickly. With the pursuit of being in the Olympics, she was ready to move too harder training and coaching. Gabby was inspired by Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson who was trained by Liang Chow and fell in love with them both. She had the crazy idea of moving to Iowa to train with him. Her mother saw how talented she was and agreed to the idea; however, the family would not be able to go with her. Gabby was excepted to live with a host family the Partons who had four daughters that were also gymnast. Still wanting her dream, she left her family and moved with the host family promising to achieve her goal.

Achievements "Road to Gold"

- At age six she was named Virginia State Gymnastics Champion

- Placed fourth in the 2010 Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup

- Made history in 2012 as the first African American to make U.S. Olympic Team since Dominique Dawes

- First African American to win gold in women's individual all-around event and team award

Legacy Given to All

Even though Gabby has faced struggles in her life she chose to keep going. Her legacy is leaving the U.S.A gold medal as the first black woman to win individual and team award and she leaves us the motivation to never give up even through tough times because that is what makes us stronger. She also encourages us to succeed in whatever you do no matter the cost. She quotes...

"My message is to never quit and never give up. When you have a little trouble here and there, just keep fighting. In the end, it will pay off." - Gabby Douglas


"Bing." Gabby Douglas Inspirational Video. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.

Brian, Sarah Jane. "Gabby's Road to Gold." Scholastic Action. 07 Oct. 2013: 4+. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.

Editors, "Gabby Douglas." A&E Networks Television. Web. 14 Mar. 2016. <>.

Greeley, Murphee, and Gabby Douglas. "Gabby Douglas." Gabby Douglas. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

Kosara, Tori. Gabby Douglas: Going for Gold. New York: Scholastic, 2013. Print.