GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Gabrielle Douglas, the gymnastics sensation who won two gold medals at the recent Olympics, credits the support of her family and friends and faith in God for her success.
That theme is at the heart of her memoir, which was recently released through the Zondervan division of HarperCollins.
The 16-year-old, who captivated the country and the world at the 2012 London Games, tells an inspiring story of faith, perseverance and determination.
“Even before I competed in the Olympics, I always wanted to write a book,” Gabrielle says in a promotional release for her book. “Of course, there’ll be a lot of stories about gymnastics but the book will also be about how much my family and I have overcome during our journey. It hasn’t been easy. I want people to read my story and say, ‘If Gabby can do it, I can do it, too; anything is possible.’”
Written in collaboration with Michelle Burford, contains a full-color poster and photo inserts and provides a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Olympic fan favorite. In her memoir, she explains how her modest upbringing rooted in family and faith has shaped her young life.
The youngest of four siblings, Gabrielle recounts poignant, often humorous, stories from her childhood, discussing candidly the obstacles faced along her road to the world gymnastics stage. Offers a first-hand look into the intense training and sacrifice required of this elite athlete and the personal obstacles she had to overcome, such as the bullying and racism she endured as an African-American gymnast, her heartache, isolation and homesickness, as well as multiple injuries – all of which led her to consider leaving gymnastics forever only seven months before the London Olympics. She also opens up for the first time about her father’s role in her life.
Gabrielle, who made history as the first American gymnast to take home a team and an individual gold medal in the same Games, began her training at age 6 and became the Virginia State Champion two years later. When she was 14, she left her family in Virginia Beach to train with coach Liang Chow in Des Moines, Iowa.
Under Chow’s guidance, Gabrielle competed in the Olympic Trials and walked away with a victory and the only guaranteed spot on the team.