Gabby Douglas
‘I Need to Make This Dream Become Real’

Natalie Hawkins, the mother of American gymnast and gold medalist Gabby Douglas, talks about what it’s like to raise a talented athlete. Hawkins describes how hard it was to send her daughter over 3,000 miles away so that she could have adequate training for the Olympics. She also goes on to explain how Douglas’s host family, the Parton family, made it much easier for her to accept the distance as she saw how they welcomed Douglas into their home with open arms. In this video, Douglas and her mother also talk about how much Douglas missed her family while she was away from them. She recalls almost giving up on her dream for the gold when she got homesick a few months prior to the competition. Hawkins knew that her daughter had sacrificed too much to turn back. Listening to her mother’s advice allowed the 16-year-old Olympian to win two gold medals in gymnastics for both the individual all-around–the first woman of color of any nationality to win the event in Olympic history–and team competitions in the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

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Submitted by: Sarah Dejak
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