After the 2012 Olympics in London, gymnast Gabrielle Douglas’ popularity continued to rise like yeast. In 2014, Lifetime did a biopic film of her life story called The Gabby Douglas Story and starting Wednesday May 25th at 10 pm, her reality show Douglas Family Gold launches on the Oxygen channel.
Executive Produced by Hollywood hot shot Wilmer Valderrama (of 70s Show fame), the reality project chronicles Douglas ambitious journey to become the first U.S. gymnast in history to defend an Olympic gold medal in Rio this summer.
I spoke with Natalie Hawkins, Gabbys mom, one of the driving forces behind the gymnast’s illustrious career. I also spoke with Valderrama about the show, Gabbys life and why she is going for gold again.
Douglas captivated the world four years ago. She was a member of the United States women’s national gymnastics team dubbed the “Fierce Five” by the media at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she dramatically and unprecedentedly snatched gold medals in the individual all-around and team competitions, becoming the only American all-around champion to win multiple gold medals in a single Olympic Games.
She was also a member of the gold-winning American team at the 2011 World Championships. After a three-year hiatus, Gabby returned to the scene and helped the US Women win the 2015 World Championships by swiping a silver in the All-Around competition.
As far as blacks in gymnastics go, she is simply The G.O.A.T, surpassing the legendary accomplishments of her predecessor and idol Dominique Dawes AKA “Awesome Dawesome,” a three-time Olympian, a World Championships silver medalist and a member of the gold-medal winning “Magnificent Seven” at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Dawes was the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in artistic gymnastics and the first black person of any nationality or gender to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics.
Douglas’ rise to fame is well documented, celebrated and the cultural relevance of her accomplishments was no more evident than when her hair style became as pressing a social media issue as her stellar performances on the mat. Expect more exciting and truly genuine moments in her new Oxygen series.